There are many different options available to people who want to live in El Salvador.

Designed for transnational services workers (humanitarian/medical), this visa requires you to provide a fully legalized application, high resolution copies of all used pages (including the ID page) of your passport as well as the original physical passport for comparison, an apostilled/authenticated criminal record check covering the previous two years of legal residency, and a letter from the relevant institution detailing your name, role, activity, term, and compensation. This visa isn't designed to be extended.

Application

Designed for temporarily transferred contract workers, this visa requires you to provide a fully legalized application, high resolution copies of all used pages (including the ID page) of your passport as well as the original physical passport for comparison, an apostilled/authenticated criminal record check covering the previous two years of legal residency, and a letter from the relevant institution detailing your name, role, activity, term, and compensation.

Application

Extension

Designed for employees* and independent workers (digital nomads and solo entrepreneurs fall under this category), this visa requires you to provide a fully legalized application, high resolution copies of all used pages (including the ID page) of your passport as well as the original physical passport for comparison, an apostilled/authenticated criminal record check covering the previous two years of legal residency, and other category-specific documents as requested in the application.

Application

Extension

* Specified workers: Professional sports workers, Migrant workers and their dependent family members, Academics or teachers, Scientists and specialized personnel engaged in academic activities, research, technical or advisory, Directors, technicians and administrative staff transferred from abroad, Foreign persons who provide services to a public institution for projects of public interest.

* Requirements: Professional sports workers (maximum residence of one year) need a job letter. Migrant workers (maximum residence of two years) need a job letter and professional bona fides. Independent workers need a sworn, notarized statement, detailing the activities that they will carry out, address, place where the business will be located, start date of activities and projection of economic income to receive monthly and required permits. Academics and teachers (maximum residence of one year) need a certified photocopy of the agreement between educational institutions, if appropriate. Scientists and specialized personnel engaged in research, technical or research activities or advisory roles (maximum residence of two years) need a job letter. Directors, technicians and administrative personnel transferred from abroad. (maximum residence of two years) need a job letter. Foreign persons who provide services to a public institution for projects of interest public. (maximum residence of one year) need a job letter.

Designed for investors*, this visa requires you to provide a fully legalized application, high resolution copies of all used pages (including the ID page) of your passport as well as the original physical passport for comparison, an apostilled/authenticated criminal record check covering the previous two years of legal residency, and a notarized letter detailing your investments exceeding $1,460,000 (for the current year), including appropriate governmental registrations.

Application

Extension

* Qualified individuals: Presidents, members of the board of directors, legal representatives, shareholders of a commercial company legally established in Salvadoran territory; owners or managers of a company that has an active investment in the country in excess of four thousand minimum monthly salaries.

Designed for business people with a significant role in a corporate structure, this visa requires you to provide a fully legalized application, high resolution copies of all used pages (including the ID page) of your passport as well as the original physical passport for comparison, an apostilled/authenticated criminal record check covering the previous two years of legal residency, and a certified copy of the tax returns of the corporate entity, if it has operated for more than one year.

Application

Extension

* Qualified individuals: Presidents, members of the board of directors, legal representatives, shareholders of a commercial company; owners or general managers of a company that enters the country with the purpose of carrying out activities to promote or identify investment opportunities in the areas of industry, commerce, tourism, suppliers of goods or services or any lawful economic activity.

Designed for agents of businesses, this visa requires you to provide a fully legalized application, high resolution copies of all used pages (including the ID page) of your passport as well as the original physical passport for comparison, an apostilled/authenticated criminal record check covering the previous two years of legal residency, and a sworn statement detailing your name, role, activity, term, and compensation on behalf of the business.

Application

Extension

* Qualified individuals: Foreign persons who enter and remain temporarily in the capacity of managing director to supervise or train employees of a company legally constituted in Salvadoran territory, those who enter to deal with specialized matters (special representatives), traveling agents, commercial delegates, technical support staff, supervisors or auditors exceptionally linked to the activities of the company or society based in El Salvador.

Designed for pensioners with incomes exceeding $1095 per month (for the current year), this visa requires you to provide a fully legalized application, high resolution copies of all used pages (including the ID page) of your passport as well as the original physical passport for comparison, an apostilled/authenticated criminal record check covering the previous two years of legal residency, and other specific documents requested in the application.

Application

Extension

Designed for landlords and people with passive, recurring income exceeding $1460 per month (for the current year), this visa requires you to provide a fully legalized application, high resolution copies of all used pages (including the ID page) of your passport as well as the original physical passport for comparison, an apostilled/authenticated criminal record check covering the previous two years of legal residency, and other specific documents requested in the application.

Application

Extension

Designed for companions (e.g. spouses, children, etc) of primary applicants, this visa requires you to provide a fully legalized application, high resolution copies of all used pages (including the ID page) of your passport as well as the original physical passport for comparison, an apostilled/authenticated criminal record check covering the previous two years of legal residency (minors are not required to present criminal records, but they are required to present birth certificates), and other specific documents requested in the application.

Application

Extension

* Requirements: FOR SPOUSES OR PARTNERS: 1. Marriage Certificate. 2. Affidavit of free union granted before a Salvadoran notary, containing the time that the relationship exists. MINORS: 1. Notarized, signed application by the legal representative. 2. Birth Certificate. 3. If a minor, and signed only by the father or mother, present a special power of attorney granted by the person who was absent. In cases where one of the two has died, you must present the original Death Certificate. FAMILY MEMBERS: 1. Marriage Certificate in case of spousal relationships. 2. Birth Certificate in the case of minor relationships. 3. Sworn declaration of free union granted before a Salvadoran notary, saying how long the relationship has existed. 4. Reliable document proving the family relationship up to the fourth degree of consanguinity and second degree of affinity.

Designed for students, researchers, and unpaid vocational interns, this visa requires you to provide a fully legalized application, high resolution copies of all used pages (including the ID page) of your passport as well as the original physical passport for comparison, an apostilled/authenticated criminal record check covering the previous two years of legal residency, and other specific documents requested in the application.

Application

Extension

* Requirements: If a minor, then minor rules as above (F9) apply. If working part-time, then job letter is required.

Designed for shareholders of Salvadoran companies, this visa requires you to provide a fully legalized application, high resolution copies of all used pages (including the ID page) of your passport as well as the original physical passport for comparison, an apostilled/authenticated criminal record check covering the previous two years of legal residency, and other specific documents requested in the application.

Application

Extension

* Requirements: Shareholdings must exceed $10,000 (current year).

Designed for sole proprietors acting as merchants, this visa requires you to provide a fully legalized application, high resolution copies of all used pages (including the ID page) of your passport as well as the original physical passport for comparison, an apostilled/authenticated criminal record check covering the previous two years of legal residency, and a sworn statement detailing your name, role, address, location of business activities, and expected revenue.

Application

Extension

* Requirements: Inventory must exceed $2,500 (current year).

Designed for agents of NGO's and similar organizations operating within El Salvador, this visa requires you to provide a fully legalized application, high resolution copies of all used pages (including the ID page) of your passport as well as the original physical passport for comparison, an apostilled/authenticated criminal record check covering the previous two years of legal residency, and a letter from the relevant institution detailing your name, role, activity, term, and compensation.

Application

Extension

Designed for victims of human trafficking, this visa has special requirements and will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Application

Extension

* Requirements: 1. Petition in a personal character before the General Directorate, of wanting to reside temporarily in the territory; 2. Passport, travel document or identity. If you do not have it, you must present proof issued by the consulate of the country of origin, duly authenticated. 3. Proof of the Attorney General of the Republic or the National Council Against Trafficking in Persons, establishing their status as a victim of the crime of trafficking in persons.

Designed for people whose application should be reviewed due to humanitarian reasons (e.g. political refugees), this visa requires you to provide a sworn statement in addition to the application.

Application

Extension

Designed for missionaries, this visa requires you to provide a fully legalized application, high resolution copies of all used pages (including the ID page) of your passport as well as the original physical passport for comparison, an apostilled/authenticated criminal record check covering the previous two years of legal residency, and other specific documents requested in the application.

Application

Extension

* Requirements: FOR CATHOLICS 1. Photocopy of the current Catholic religious card, with its original to be compared. 2. Sworn statement before a Salvadoran notary signed by the Representative of said congregation. The declaration must indicate that the support will be borne by the Congregation. This requirement applies for foreign seminarians, lay missionaries, among others. 3. In the case of foreign persons under eighteen years of age, the respective birth certificate certification. If the legal representatives are not in the country, they must present power of attorney granted by the parents of the children or adolescents, so that the respective Archdiocese, request Residence in Salvadoran territory. If the father or mother are deceased must present the original Death Certificate. 4. If you study at a Salvadoran Higher Education Center, you must present proof of studies. 5. In the event that you develop remunerated activities, always within the religious Ministry, you must present the pertinent documentation to request permission to work (see forms of Residences with work permit). FOR RELIGIOUS PEOPLE OF OTHER DENOMINATIONS 1. Certified photocopy of the registration in the Ministry of Governance and Territorial Development, of the point of minutes issued by the secretary of the board of directors, stating the appointment of the Legal Representative. 2. Photocopy certified by a Salvadoran notary, of the Official Gazette, where the statutes appear published and the executive agreement that grants legal personality to the religious entity. 3. Sworn statement before a Salvadoran notary by the person who will provide support in the country, establishing the commitment that he acquires, the time for which he will cover said maintenance and the form of earning income. 4. If the Church will not cover the personal expenses of the religious during his stay in the country, he must Submit a Sworn Statement before a Salvadoran Notary, or before a consular official, in the event that it is granted abroad; by the person who will provide financial support in the country, establishing the commitment that it acquires, the time for which it will cover said maintenance and the way of obtaining the income. According to the format of the attached Sworn Statement of Support. 5. If the maintenance is provided from abroad, you must attach documentation that proves the form of make it effective in Salvadoran territory. 6. In the event that you develop remunerated activities, always within the religious Ministry, you must present the pertinent documentation to request permission to work (see forms of Residences with work permit).

Designed for investors holding the 'Volcano Bonds', the requirements for this visa haven't been released yet. However, in keeping with all the other residency programs listed above, we can expect that it requires you to provide a fully legalized application, high resolution copies of all used pages (including the ID page) of your passport as well as the original physical passport for comparison, an apostilled/authenticated criminal record check covering the previous two years of legal residency, and some method to verify the applicant holds bond tokens in excess of $100,000. This may require having an account on Bitfinex or BnkToTheFuture, although there may be a mechanism to prove ownership of funds held in a Blockstream Green, TDEX, CoinOS, or your own Liquid wallet. This section will be updated when the regulations are clear.

All documents submitted as part of your application must either be originally issued in Spanish, or translated into Spanish by a certified Salvadoran translator. This includes the information on any apostille or authentication papers and stamps, and must include a description of the stamps, and notation of signatures, dates, and other indicia. The translator must be duly 'appointed' by the attorney, and a complete submission must be duly 'acknowledged' by the same.

If an applicant has more than one entry into El Salvador, or the duration of their visit to El Salvador has exceeded 90 days at the time their application is submitted, they must also present a background check from the Salvadoran national police. This form can be requested in person here. You must submit a 50% enlarged copy of your passport ID page, bring a blue ink pen, and your photo and fingerprints will be taken on site. You will receive the certificate immediately.

Should you require fingerprinting for the background check of a foreign country, you are advised to go here. Be aware that the facility requires you to wear pants, and it takes 1-2 hours to complete the whole process.

If the applicant does not speak Spanish fluently, they require a 'Language Acknowledgement', which is a sworn statement recorded and notarized by a Salvadoran attorney indicating that the applicant requires an interpreter during official interrogations.

All documents and the application itself must be notarized by a Salvadoran attorney.

The immigration office will not accept any application until it is certified as 'perfected' by an intake specialist. Deficient applications will be reviewed by the intake specialist and a report detailing any missing requirements will be generated, free of charge, and given to the applicant. After a perfected application is submitted, the applicant will be allowed to pay the residency fee and sit for the identification picture. The applicant must also submit additional information, such as parent names, height, weight, eye color, and hair color for the identification card.

It is recommended to use only blue ink for all signatures on all documents. Only original documents will be accepted.

After you apply, you can check the status of your application here.

Answers to other frequently asked questions may be found here.

A more detailed analysis of El Salvador's entire immigration/emigration policy can be downloaded (6mb PDF) by clicking here.

Designed for people who were born in Central America, people who were not born in Central America but are Nationals of Spain or a Latin American Country who have been Temporary Residents for at least one year, and Nationals from any other country who have been Temporary Residents for three years, this Visa requires you to provide a fully legalized application, high resolution copies of all used pages (including the ID page) of your passport as well as the original physical passport for comparison, an apostilled/authenticated criminal record check covering the previous two years of legal residency (if one is not already on file with immigration), and other specific documents requested in the application.

Application


Designed for Nationals of Spain or any Latin American country who have been Permanent Residents for one year, Nationals of any other country who have legally resided in the country for five years, counting Temporary and/or Permanent Residences, any person married to a Salvadoran person who has two years of legal residence in the country, before or after the celebration of the marriage, counting Temporary and/or Permanent Residences, and Refugees or stateless persons in certain circumstances, this process requires you to provide a fully legalized application, high resolution copies of all used pages (including the ID page) of your passport as well as an original, legalised Birth Certificate (if not already on file at immigration), a clean solvency and criminal record certificate from El Salvador, and other specific requirements.

Application