The country of Seychelles is a grouping of 115 islands off the coast of East Africa with the captial Victoria located on the island of Mahé. It’s a popular tourist destination and known for its beautiful beaches, snorkeling experiences, and breathtaking views.
Visiting Seychelles can become expensive very quickly, but if you play your cards right, you can cut corners in the correct places, so you can splurge on other worthwhile activities. However, if you’ve already fallen in love with the islands and you’re looking to relocate, we’ll go over the ins and outs of how much living in Seychelles costs.
This article will cover a lot of ground, from real estate costs to grocery costs and other things of the sort. We’ll also go over specific tax codes and how the prices of certain items are calculated. Most importantly, we’ll let you know what currency is acceptable to use on the islands.
Seychelles is a beautiful area full of nature and scenic views. If you’re looking to get away to an island paradise, Seychelles definitely comes to mind. Whether you want to move here for a short time or retire here, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about these islands.
Real Estate and Rental Prices in Seychelles
As with real estate everywhere, location is key to how much it will cost. Land in Seychelles can be costly, especially if it’s a beachfront property. However, the land without a view could cost as low as $56 (U.S. currency) per square meter.
Praslin is Seychelles’ largest island. Each property available on the island has some beachfront available, so prices are 20% higher than in the capital city, Victoria. If you’re not yet a resident of Seychelles, many people pay in all-cash when purchasing land or a home. Luckily, there are no capital gains or property taxes, but there are:
- Processing fees of 1.5%
- Sanction duties of 11%
- Stamp duties of 5%
When purchasing residential homes or land as a non-resident, you must have your transaction approved by the Ministry of Land Use and Habitat via a Government Sanction. You must pay for this with 1 million SCR (Seychelles rupees), which equates to around $51,000 in the United States.
Related: How to Buy Property in Seychelles
If you want to live in Seychelles but don’t think it’s essential to own the land, renting is always an option too. You could also buy an apartment as opposed to renting it, primarily if you’ve found you prefer apartment life over owning residential land. The average prices for renting are:
- $964.65 for a 1-bedroom apartment in the city
- $730.72 for a 1-bedroom apartment outside the city
- $1,852.89 for a 3-bedroom apartment in the city
- $1,423.58 for a 3-bedroom apartment outside the city
These prices look to be on par with what some apartments in the States charge for rent now. When purchasing an apartment in the city, the average rate per square foot is $107.21. Buying an apartment outside the city is actually more expensive, with an average price of $277.79 per square foot.
Sometimes houses in Seychelles come fully furnished, but not without more of a price tag attached to it. Overall, real estate in Seychelles can be pretty expensive. To get an idea of how much you can afford, take your annual gross income before taxes, and multiply it by 2.5. Of course, this method isn’t foolproof, as things like debit history and credit history will factor in as well.
Property Tax in Seychelles
Anyone in Seychelles can purchase property, whether they’re local or not. However, if you have a Seychelle Passport, you can buy land without needing to get permission. These transactions typically have taxes that equal 5% of the sale and 2% notary fees.
When seeking approval from the Ministry of Land Use and Habitat, there is a 3-month processing time, so don’t expect to file the paperwork and move in immediately. This time will give you the opportunity to pack, though, assuming they accept your paperwork.
Seychelles Immigration Costs
For visits less than 3 months long, you won’t need a visa. If you plan to live in Seychelles for longer, you can actually purchase a residency. It’s good for 5 years, can be renewed for the same amount of time, and costs about $7,600 for adults, about $1,200 for children under 18.
Depending on how much you invest in Seychelles, they may consider you for a permanent residency. This would give you the same rights as locals who have Seychelles Passports, but you cannot vote.
If you stay in Seychelles for 10 years, however, you can also become a permanent citizen. Once you’ve hit the 10-year minimum, you must remain an additional 2 years before applying for citizenship in Seychelles.
Related: Cost of Fishing in Seychelles
How Much to Live Comfortably in Seychelles?
The average monthly income in Seychelles, with taxes removed, falls at about $610.67. To live comfortably, as a single person, on average, you need about $543.19, without rent factored in. If you have a larger family than that, then the prices obviously increase—a family of four can cost up to $1195.46 without alcohol factored in.
One benefit of living in Seychelles as a permanent citizen is that healthcare is free for all. However, many times people have to travel to other areas in South Africa, like Kenya, to receive specialized care. Then they have to pay separately from what is typically covered on the islands.
Cost of Utilities and Groceries
Internet in Seychelles typically costs, on average, $112.06 but can range anywhere from $73.78 to $282.53 depending on the provider. Basic utilities like electricity, heat/ cooling, water, and garbage average about $65.10 for a 910 square foot apartment.
Groceries in Seychelles can be expensive, depending on what you need. Local items are comparatively inexpensive, but certain staples like tomatoes or a gallon of milk can be double what they usually cost in the United States.
A 12-ounce Coca-Cola averages $3.75 a bottle! These increased prices mainly come from the Goods and Services tax put on all items that are imported and not local to Seychelles.
Transportation can become very expensive when traveling in Seychelles, especially if jumping from island to island. If you don’t really have a reason to leave, it’s best to just remain stationary on your little tropical paradise, mainly because all the islands are breathtaking.
If you were to buy a new sedan, say a Toyota Corolla, it would cost you, on average, about $33,237.44 in Seychelles. On average, one gallon of gasoline costs about $5.31 but can range from $4.69-$5.75. This is indisputably more expensive than the United States.
However, unlike the U.S., Seychelles has a pretty comprehensive bus system. You can find pockets of good bus routes in the U.S., but it’s built into the Seychellois infrastructure. A one-way ticket for the bus can be as low as $0.53, or you can purchase a monthly pass for about $22.46.
It’s recommended you stay away from taxis though, as they are equally expensive. To start a taxi can be upwards of $7.34, and to drive only one-mile averages about $5.84. If you’re trying to live like a local, the best thing to do would be to purchase a bike and get around that way.
Entertainment and Child Care Cost
If you enjoy frequenting restaurants, Seychelles may not be the place you want to move to. On average, eating at a mid-range restaurant can cost about $74.39—this would be for a three-course meal equivalent. A combo meal at McDonald’s averages about $7.20.
One thing you get to enjoy in Seychelles for free is the scenery. Going to the beach, as long as you have sunscreen, is a fun, free way to spend the day and take in the beautiful ocean. They have movie theaters as well, where tickets only average about $5.75 per seat.
If you enjoy clothes shopping, again, Seychelles may not be the place for you. Their clothing prices have a vast inflation rate compared to U.S. clothing prices. Where Nike sneakers can cost around $65 in the U.S., the average cost in Seychelles is close to $90.
If you have pre-school-aged children, their school costs will average around $228.92 per month for a full day, private care. This cost only applies to one child. Primary school costs around $3,401.33 per year for appropriately aged children.
Seychelles Taxes and Currency
One notable difference between taxes in the U.S. and Seychelles is the VAT tax. Currently, the United States doesn’t have VAT taxes (value-added taxes). According to this source, most of Seychelles’ tax revenue comes from VAT taxes. VAT taxes add a charge based on each level of the supply chain, all the way from production to the point of sale. How much a typical consumer pays of VAT tax is just the cost of the item itself.
If you have a job in Seychelles, employers deduct a pension rate of 2% from your gross income, so you have a pension plan when you retire. This percentage was changed in 2014, raised up from 1.5%. Your employer must turn the retirement tax money over to the Seychelles Pension Fund each month.
When it comes to income taxes, Seychelles actually makes very little profit off of individual consumers. Though they do charge personal income taxes, they only account for 14% of total tax revenue for the country.
Can I Use USD in Seychelles?
For ease of understanding, we’ve listed all items in U.S. currency, the dollar. However, the local currency of Seychelles is the SCR (Seychelles rupee,) but they also mostly prefer to make transactions in euros (€). It’s advised to bring a lot of cash to start, especially if you’ll be making a land purchase as a non-resident—this transaction should be in SCR, though.
Barclays is the primary bank of Seychelles, and many bank cards don’t work on the islands. For significant purchases, like hotels or temporary transportation (rental cars), many places accept cards, but otherwise, you need to plan on using euros for a lot of purchases.
How Much Cash Can I Bring Into Seychelles?
All ATMs provide SCR only, so you have to prepare ahead of time with enough euros in cash. While you could go to Seychelles with only U.S. cash, it’s not as favored as the euro, and markets won’t allow you to barter the same way they do if you pay in euros. Additionally, many ATMs charge a foreign ATM and foreign exchange fee, which can become pricey quickly.
How Much Do I Need to Retire in Seychelles?
It’s possible to live comfortably and retire in Seychelles if you’ve saved up enough money. In fact, it could even be smart to buy a home there well ahead of your arranged retirement, so you’ve already got somewhere to go when the time comes. However, be wary of inheritance laws.
Seychelles Inheritance Laws
While there are no inheritance taxes or estate duties in Seychelles, there are inheritance laws that dictate how a deceased person’s land is dealt with. If you never become a full citizen of Seychelles, the court will leave what’s done with it in the hands of your home country.
However, if you become a citizen or fall under the jurisdiction of Seychelles Civil Law, you can become victim to these laws. Essentially, even if you exclude a child from your will, they’ll still get some of your estate because of these inheritance laws.
To avoid this happening, you need to set up your estate and finances in a trust structure in a country that doesn’t have forced inheritance laws and falls under foreign jurisdiction. Then that country will disperse your fortune as you specified in your will.
Sample Budget for Living in Seychelles
As a single person renting an apartment outside of the city, commuting to and from town with a bus pass, you would have a budget of about $1,400.00, factoring in things like:
- Utilities and Internet
- Entertainment expenses
However, this budget does not take into account more extensive families or families that need child care. As the number of people in the family goes up, the cost of living will as well. In some ways, living in Seychelles can be cheaper than the United States, but in other ways, it can be doubly expensive.
It all depends on your budget, and if you think moving to the islands of Seychelles would be the best choice for you and/or your family.