Entering El Salvador
I thought I would begin this adventure by explaining the ways a person can enter El Salvador legally and how they can extend their stay. To begin with, the best source I've found on this is the following sites:
It gives all the details, so you don't have to look much further. But I'll try to condense it based on what I'm doing. I was originally moving to another country and we have changed our minds. So I had very little time to switch many things regarding our move. What I have learned is that anyone can fly into El Salvador from the U.S. with a valid passport with at least 6 months left on it. You can pay $10 at the airport and gain a 30 day tourist visa.
If you want a longer stay, you can apply for an extended stay (90 days) by going to the Foreign Department of the Main Office of Immigration, Ministry of Govern to obtain a longer stay permit.
1. The requirements to grant (one entry) Consular Visa are the following:
Fee $ 30.00 of Consular tariff. The visa will be given with the corresponding stamps. You will need the following items for this:
Travel document with a validity of six months
1. Fill in the Visa application form with a photo
2. Copy of return plane tickets.
There are several types of visas for those who seek a longer stay in El Salvador.
a) Consular Visa
b) Guarantee restricted visa or transit visa
c) Courtesy vi
The Office in charge of issuing the Guarantee for restricted visas is the Main Office of Immigration and Foreigners of the Ministry of Government.
Tthe office that follows up on guaranteeing restricted visa applications or transit visa application is managed by the General Office of foreign Service (DGSE, Spanish acronyms) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A Consular Visa is good for three months and costs: US$ 30.00
The length and cost of the Tourist Card is also three months and costs US$ 10.00 American dollars.
What's the basic differences between Consular Visa and the Tourism Card?
Fee US$ 10.00 Tourist Card
Fee US$ 30.00 Consular visa and with this visa you may stay longer in the country for more than three months applying at the Main Office of Immigration.
Here is the address:
Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores,
Colonia San Benito. Calle Circunvalación, No.227,
San Salvador, El Salvador, C.A.
Telephone numbers: (503) 243-9648, 243-9649 243-9650,
For Residence, this is what I've been told by my local Consulate office. You can fly in on the original visa and apply for an extension, if you don't have the time to wait. At that point, you can gather your documents to apply for residency. (It's always smarter if you do this before you leave the U.S., but if your time is short, then it can be done from El Salvador.) Here is a site explaining what you need, depending on what type of residency you are seeking:
Note: American citizens should be aware that any documents (i.e.: birth certificate, marriage certificates, divorced decrees, police record checks, etc) presented to the Salvadoran government (GOES) must be “Apostille” from the country of origin, also all types of documents must be issued within the last sixty (60) days otherwise they are consider invalid.
You will also learn that each of these documents must be translated into Spanish in El Salvador. Here is a list of Spanish translators there:
Here is additional information for any questions you may have:
You may contact the Salvadoran Immigration at:
Dirección General de Migración (DGME) - Centro de Gobierno
9ª Calle Poniente / 15 Avenida Norte (Alameda Juan Pablo II)
Edificio de Migración
Tel: 2213-7700, Fax: 2271-1850
To make inquiries about general services, to file complaints, etc
To make an appointment
At this site you may download different forms, and after you have presented your initial application, you may request a password to log-on and inquire about your case.