CHAPTER 93
IMMIGRATION DECREE

Arrangement of Sections

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

PART II

APPOINTMENTS AND POWERS

3. Appointment of director of immigration, etc.

4. Delegation of powers of director of immigration.

5. Powers of immigration officers.

6. Liability of carriers introducing prohibited immigrants.

7. Powers of immigration officers and police officers to arrest deportees from other countries in transit.

PART III

EXAMINATION OF PERSONS ENTERING AND LEAVING SEYCHELLES AND OTHERS

8. Entrants to appear before immigration officer.

9. Examination of entrants and others.

10. Security may be required.

11. Examination of persons leaving Seychelles.

12. Power to order passport to be delivered.

PART IV

ISSUE, VARIATION AND REVOCATION OF PERMITS

13. Persons exempted.

14. Dependant's permits.

15. Residence permits.

15A. Student's permit.

16. Visitor's permit.

17. Gainful occupation permits.

17A International trade zone work permit.

17B. Permanent resident permit.

18. Temporary permits.

PART V

PROHIBITED IMMIGRANTS

19. Prohibited immigrants.

20. Prohibited immigrants required to leave Seychelles.

21. Representations against requirements to leave Seychelles.

22. Suspected prohibited immigrants.

23. Deportation.

24. Detention.

PART VI

MISCELLANEOUS

25. Evidence.

26. Burden of proof.

27. No suit for damages in respect of things done in good faith.

28. Offences and penalties.

29. Regulations.

30. Service of notice.

17 of 1982,

6 of 1985,

3 of 1991,

3 of 2000,

11 of 2000,

12 of 2013.

Decree 18 of 1979.

SI 69 of 1986.

[Date of commencement: 1st January 1981]

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title.

This Decree may be cited as the Immigration Decree.

2. Interpretation.

In this Decree, unless the context otherwise requires—

“Director of Immigration” means the person appointed as Director of Immigration under section 3;

“gainful occupation” and “gainfully occupied” mean the carrying on of or employed in any profession, trade business or other avocation for gain or reward in Seychelles;

"immigration officer" means a person appointed as an immigration officer under section 3 and includes the Director of Immigration;

"land" as a verb, includes arrival or entry by any form of conveyance and references to landing, unless the context otherwise requires, include attempts to land;

"passport" means a passport or other travel documents of identity—

(a) —

(i) issued by or on behalf of the Government or any sovereign state recognised by the Government or issued by the United Nations Organisation;

(ii) which contains a personal description of the holder, the name of the country in which he was born and the date of his birth;

(iii) to which is attached a phonograph being a true likeness of the holder wherein his features are clearly and correctly depicted; and

(iv) which, except where a visa is dispensed with in pursuance of an arrangement to which the Government is a party, bears the visa or endorsement of a person authorised by the Government to that end; or

(b) of a type prescribed;

"permit" means a permit issued under this Decree;

"permanent residence permit" means residence permit obtained by fulfilling specified residential requirements;

[Ins by s 2(a) of Act 12 of 2013 w.e.f. 2 December 2013.]

"prohibited immigrant" means a person described in section 19 as a prohibited immigrant;

"this Decree" includes any regulations or rules made under this Decree.

PART II

APPOINTMENTS AND POWERS

3. Appointment of director of immigration, etc.

(1) There shall be appointed as public officers a Director of Immigration and such immigration officers as may be necessary for the proper administration of this Decree.

(2) The Minister may, by order published in the Gazette, confer all or any of the powers or impose all or any of the duties of an immigration officer under this decree upon any public officer.

4. Delegation of powers of director of immigration.

(1) The Director of Immigration may, in writing and subject to such restrictions, reservations, exceptions and conditions as he may think fit, delegate to an immigration officer all or any of the powers conferred on him by or under this Decree:

Provided that no such delegation shall prevent the exercise by the Director of Immigration of any delegated power.

(2) The Director of Immigration may at any time in writing revoke or vary and delegation under subsection (1) or all or any of the powers included within such delegation.

5. Powers of immigration officers.

(1) An immigration officer may arrest any person whom he reasonably suspects of being a prohibited immigrant or to have contravened or to be about to contravene any provision of this Decree.

(2) For the purpose of discharging his functions under this Decree, an immigration officer may—

(a) without warrant, stop, enter and search any aircraft, vessel or vehicle in Seychelles or, without warrant, enter and search any premises;

(b) require the person in charge of any aircraft or vessel arriving in or leaving Seychelles to furnish a list of the names of all person in the aircraft or vessel, as the case may be, and such other prescribed information as it is within the power of such person to furnish.

(3) An immigration officer investigating an offence or an alleged or suspected offence against this Decree shall have all the powers, privileges, protections and authorities conferred by law on a police officer.

6. Liability of carriers introducing prohibited immigrants.

The person in charge of any aircraft or vessel bringing into Seychelles any person found, on appearing before an immigration officer in accordance with section 8, to be a prohibited immigrant and the owners, agents and charterers of such aircraft or vessel shall, upon being required to remove such prohibited immigrant from Seychelles, be responsible for such removal as soon as practicable thereafter and in default thereof shall be jointly and severally liable to pay to the Government all expenses incurred by the Government in connection with the removal of such prohibited immigrant from Seychelles.

7. Powers of immigration officers and police officers to arrest deportees from other countries in transit.

(1) Where any person has been ordered to be deported by the appropriate authorities of any other country and such person enters Seychelles on his way to his final destination, any immigration officer or police officer or police officer may arrest such person without warrant and such person may be detained in prison or in police custody until such time as arrangements can be made for the continuation of his journey.

(2) Any person detained in pursuance of this section shall be deemed to be in lawful custody.

(3) The person in charge of any vessel or aircraft about to call at any port or place outside Seychelles shall, if so required by an immigration officer, receive a person to whom this section applies on board the vessel or aircraft and, on payment, convey him or towards his final destination and provide proper accommodation and maintenance during the journey.

(4) Any person who contravenes subsection (3) shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of R10,000.

PART III

EXAMINATION OF PERSONS ENTERING AND LEAVING SEYCHELLES AND OTHERS

8. Entrants to appear before immigration officer.

Every person who arrives in Seychelles shall forthwith proceed and appear before the nearest immigration officer.

9. Examination of entrants and others.

(1) An immigration officer may examine any person appearing before him in accordance with section 8, and any person whom he reasonably suspects to be a prohibited immigrant, for the purpose of ascertaining in relation to such person—

(a) his identity;

(b) the object of his entry into Seychelles;

(c) the nature of his claim to remain in Seychelles; and

(d) whether he is a prohibited immigrant.

(2) For the purpose of subsection (1), an immigration officer may require any person to whom that subsection relates—

(a) to produce his passport;

(b) to make and sign such declaration as may be prescribed;

(c) to produce documentary or other evidence relative to his claim to enter or remain in Seychelles; and

(d) to answer, in writing or otherwise, such questions as the immigration officer may put to him.

10. Security may be required.

(1) The Director of Immigration may require in respect of any person entering Seychelles, as a condition of his remaining therein, the deposit of a sum of money or the furnishing of such guarantee as the Director of Immigration may accept in lieu of such deposit.

(2) The Director of Immigration shall specify—

(a) the sum of money not exceeding R 10,000 to be deposited or guaranteed; and

(b) the period not exceeding two years for which the deposit or guarantee is required.

(3) Any sum deposited or guaranteed in accordance with this section may be applied by the Director of Immigration to meet any expenditure incurred by the Government within the specified period in connection with the care, treatment or maintenance within or the removal from Seychelles of the person concerned.

11. Examination of persons leaving Seychelles.

(1) Every person departing from Seychelles, except a person in direct transit through Seychelles by air not having left the precinct of such airports as may be prescribed, shall appear before an immigration officer.

(2) An immigration officer may require any person to whom subsection (1) applies—

(a) to produce his passport and any permit issued to him under this Decree and to surrender any such permit which has ceased to be valid;

(b) to make and sign such declaration as may be prescribed; and

(c) to answer, in writing or otherwise, such questions relating to his identity or departure as the immigration officer may put to him.

PART IV

ISSUE, VARIATION AND REVOCATION OF PERMITS

12. Power to order passport to be delivered.

(1) An immigration officer may require a person who is the holder of a passport issued other than by the Government of Seychelles to deliver his passport to the officer before leaving the vessel or aircraft in which he enters Seychelles or at any time while the person is in Seychelles.

(2) An immigration officer to whom a passport has been delivered under subsection (1) may retain the passport until the person leaves Seychelles.

13. Persons exempted.

(1) This Part shall not apply to—

(a) citizens of Seychelles;

(b) employees of persons working as consultants to the Government or a statutory corporation, company or other body corporate designated by the Minister by order in the Gazette for the purpose of this section;

(c) members of the crew of any vessel or aircraft engaged in their duties as such;

(d) any person accredited to Seychelles by or under the authority of the government of any sovereign state;

(e) any person who under any written law is entitled to any diplomatic immunities or privileges by reason of his association with an organisation of which the Republic or the Government and one or more states or the government or government thereof are members; and

(f) any member of the official staff or of the house-hold of a person described in paragraphs (d) or (e).

(2) Any spouse or minor child of a person to whom subsection 1(b), (d) or (e) applies shall not requires a dependant's permit, a residence permit or a visitor's permit under this part.

14. Dependant's permit.

(1) On application being made in the prescribed manner, the Minister may issue a dependant's manner, the Minister may issue a dependant's permit to any spouse or minor child a citizen of Seychelles who is not—

(a) a prohibited immigrant; or

(b) the holder of a residence permit or a gainful occupation permit.

(2) A dependant's permit shall be issued for such period, and subject to such terms and conditions, as the Minister may determine.

(3) A dependant's permit shall cease to be valid if the holder—

(a) fails to enter Seychelles within 12 months of the date of issue or is absent from Seychelles for any period exceeding 12 months;

(b) is in breach of any condition of the permit;

(c) is convicted of an offence against this Decree; or

(d) is deported from Seychelles under section 23.

(4) The Minister may, from time to time, extend, revoke, vary or modify the terms of a dependant's permit.

(5) A dependant's permit shall not permit the holder to be gainfully occupied in Seychelles.

(6) The Minister may revoke a dependant's permit if—

(a) there has been any breach of any condition of the permit; or

(b) he considers it in the public interest to do so.

15. Residence permits.

(1) On application being made in the prescribed manner, the Minister may issue a residence permit to any person who is satisfied—

(a) is not a prohibited immigrant;

(b) intends to remain in Seychelles for a period in excess of three months;

(c) has a family or domestic connection with Seychelles; or

(d) has made or will make, in the opinion of the Minister, some special contribution to the economic, social or cultural life of Seychelles.

(2) A residence permit shall cease to be valid if the holder—

(a) fails to enter Seychelles within six months of the date of issue of the permit or such later date as the Minister may endorse thereon;

(b) is absent from Seychelles for a period in excess of six months without notifying the Director of Immigration in writing that he intends to return to Seychelles; or

(c) is absent from Seychelles for any period in excess of 12 months;

(d) is in breach of any condition of the permit;

(e) is convicted of an offence against this Decree; or

(f) is deported from Seychelles under section 23.

(3) A residence permit shall be issued for such a period, and subject to such terms and condition, as the Minister may determine.

(3) —

(a) A residence permit shall contain the names of such members of the permit-holder's household in respect of whom permission has been granted by the Minister to reside with the permit-holder during the currency of the permit.

(b) A residence permit shall not permit the holder to be gainfully occupied in Seychelles.

[Note: S 15(3) is repeated in the 1991 Ed.]

15A. Student's permit.

(1) On application being made under this section, the Minister may issue a student's permit to any person to enter and reside in Seychelles for the purpose of pursuing studies in an approved educational institution.

(2) An application under this section shall be in the form provided by the Director General of Immigration and shall be accompanied by—

(a) the prescribed fees;

(b) documentary proof of the fact that the applicant has been informed by an approved educational institution that the applicant would be enrolled as a student; and

(c) documentary proof of the fact that the applicant has sufficient funds to meet the expenses that the applicant would incur while residing in Seychelles.

(3) The Minister may issue a student's permit for such period and subject to such conditions as the Minister may determine.

(4) A student's permit shall not authorise the holder of the permit to be gainfully occupied in Seychelles.

(5) The Minister may revoke a student's permit if the holder of the permit is in breach of any condition of the permit or if the Minister considers it in the public interest to do so.

(6) For the purpose of this section “an approved educational institution” means an institution authorised by Government to provide education or offer courses and research facilities in various subjects to students, both local and foreign.

[S 15A ins by s 2 of Act 11 of 2000 w.e.f.
23 October 2000.]

16. Visitors' permits.

(1) On application being made in writing, an immigration officer may, subject to such conditions as he may deem necessary, issue a visitor's permit to any person who—

(a) is not a prohibited immigrant; and

(b) is not the holder of a dependant's permit or a or a gainful occupation permit.

(2) A visitor's permit shall specify the period of its validity, being a period not exceeding three months from the date of its issue, but capable of extension by the Director of Immigration for further successive periods not exceeding three months each to a maximum period of 12 months from such date of issue.

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