Seychellois citizens with valid Seychelles passports no longer require authorisation to travel to the island nation. (Seychelles Nation)
New changes in the Seychelles Electronic Border System allow visitors to the island nation more time to submit their forms, ensuring that necessary approvals before traveling to Seychelles are acquired.
Previously a traveller had up to five days before travelling to make their application online. The pre-travel application window has been extended to 10 days as part of several changes to the immigration process made by Seychelles’ Department of Immigration following the lifting of COVID-19 travel restrictions.
The chief immigration officer, Erica Dufresne, told SNA that the extension in the pre-travel application window allows visitors to travel with confidence knowing they will not face any issues when boarding.
“The extended time frame removes any last-minute stress when using the Seychelles Electronic Border System. We also offer a save and exit feature when making an application, so travellers can save their progress if they need more time to gather all the necessary documentation required,” she added.
Seychellois citizens with valid Seychelles passports no longer require authorisation to travel to the island nation. Entrance is automatically approved upon the citizens’ submission of their disembarkation information form online.
“The information will be automatically reflected in our immigration system. All citizens and residents now have seven days to submit their disembarkation information form and 10 days to submit their embarkation information Form,” said Dufresne.
Talking about the need to increase the pre-travel application window, she shared that as the department is constantly looking to improve the system, it collects feedback from its customers.
“One major point that has been highlighted is the worry regarding the limited time window to submit their disembarkation information forms or travel authorisation. That is why we have doubled the pre-travel application window. Travelers can avoid any last-minute rush and this extra time will also help those who cannot submit the forms on their own, as they will have more time to seek out help from a travel agent, family member, or friend,” said Dufresne.
The department also increased the standard processing time for Travel Authorisation from 12 hours to 24 hours, as there is a need to accommodate the growing number of visitors arriving in the country.
She added that Seychelles’ immigration processes have gone digital not only to lessen the stress during travel and enhance the travel experiences to and from Seychelles but also to increase security at the borders and facilitate a speedy arrival.
The information submitted via the travel authorisation and disembarkation information forms allows for immigration officers to conduct advanced security screening, strengthening the control over Seychelles’ borders and blocking threats from entering the country.
“The right of entry is entirely dependent on the Immigration Department. This also provides individuals and carriers with more assurance at an earlier point in the journey about their ability to travel to Seychelles,” said Dufresne.
By going digital, Seychelles is also meeting international standards which are required for all countries by the United Nations (UN) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) resolutions.