Feb 18 2021

Gainful Occupation Permit Framework Revised

Seychelles

At a Glance

Seychelles authorities revised the framework for the Gainful Occupation Permit (GOP) to increase local workers’ access to the labor market during unprecedented unemployment levels. Key policy changes include:

  • Enforcement of labor market testing for GOP applications;
  • A new requirement for employers to submit a list of job vacancies for which they intend to recruit foreign workers to the Department of Employment for verification; and
  • The elimination of COVID-19-related concessions, such as the automatic extension of GOPs.

 

The rules are effective immediately.

The situation

The Seychelles government has revised the Gainful Occupation Permit (GOP) framework to encourage local workers to access the labor market during the country’s economic recovery. The new rules are effective immediately.

A closer look

Key changes include:

  • Enforcement of labor market testing.The government is now enforcing the rule for a GOP application to be accompanied by proof of advertisement of the position when the application is submitted to the Department of Employment. This was previously a requirement that was not strongly enforced.
  • No change of employers by non-local workers. Non-local workers who are redundant or those whose work contract have ended can no longer change employers in Seychelles.
  • New requirement to submit vacancies for verification. Employers must now submit a list of job vacancies for which they intend to recruit foreign workers to the Department of Employment for verification against a jobseeker database and localization plans. Employers must still submit a Certificate of Eligibility, which is an authorization allowing employers to recruit foreign workers if the skills they need are not available locally.
  • Eliminated COVID-19-related concessions. The revised framework eliminates two COVID-19-related concessions that granted foreign nationals in Seychelles certain rights while borders were closed:
    • Extension of GOPs. A COVID-19-related concession enabled foreign nationals whose GOP validity period ended during lockdown to extend their permit for three months. It was set up to allow ample time for repatriation arrangements and reopening of airspace. The new framework eliminates this concession.
    • Returning GOP holders. Employers of GOP holders who left Seychelles can no longer hire GOP holders – the new framework limits these employers to hiring local employees.

 

Impact

The stricter requirements in the new framework will create administrative hurdles for employers seeking to hire foreign workers. Foreign nationals will see more restrictions in their job search process in Seychelles.

Background

The GOP is a permit available for foreign workers with skills not locally available to work in the country for a defined period. The framework was revised in July 2020 to allow foreign nationals certain concessions in the labor market during COVID-19.

With unemployment at unprecedented levels in Seychelles, the government has revised the GOP framework to encourage the employment of local workers.

Looking ahead

It is expected that the Seychelles immigration authorities will closely monitor the new framework to ensure that local workers have access to the labor market during the country’s economic recovery. Fragomen will report on related developments.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19-related travel bans, restrictions and concessions, among other information, check Fragomen’s dedicated website

This alert is for information purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with who you work at Fragomen or send an email to [email protected].