El Salvador Visa

El Salvador is one of the smallest countries in Central America yet is one of the densest countries in America. More than 700,000 tourists visited the country in 2020, ranking as the 113th most visited country globally. El Salvador is known for its fascinating beaches, weather, food, cafe, and friendly locals.

If you are a foreigner who wants to also visit the Republic of El Salvador, you need to see if you first need a visa to enter the country.

Who Needs a Visa for El Salvador?

If you are a foreign citizen from one of the countries listed below, you do not need a visa to enter and visit El Salvador for up to 90 days:

  • All EU Citizens
  • Iceland
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Albania
  • India
  • San Marino
  • Andorra
  • Israel
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Japan
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Argentina
  • Kuwait
  • Singapore
  • Australia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Solomon Islands
  • Bahamas
  • Madagascar
  • South Africa
  • Bahrain
  • Malaysia
  • South Korea
  • Barbados
  • Marshall Islands
  • Switzerland
  • Belize
  • Mexico
  • Turkey
  • Brazil
  • Monaco
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Brunei
  • New Zealand
  • Tuvalu
  • Canada
  • Nicaragua
  • Ukraine
  • Chile
  • North Macedonia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Colombia
  • Norway
  • United Kingdom
  • Costa Rica
  • Panama
  • United States
  • Dominican Republic
  • Paraguay
  • Uruguay
  • Ecuador
  • Qatar
  • Vanuatu
  • Fiji
  • Russia
  • Vatican City
  • Guatemala
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Honduras
  • Saint Lucia

You are also exempted from the visa requirement if you are a foreign citizen who fits in one of the following categories:

  • Holders of a valid visa or passport of:
    • Any Schengen Country.
    • United States
    • Canada
  •  Holders of diplomatic, official, or service passports of:
    • Belarus
    • Bolivia
    • Cuba
    • Dominica
    • Dominican Republic
    • Egypt
    • Grenada
    • Guyana
    • Haiti
    • Indonesia
    • Jamaica
    • Jordan
    • Kenya
    • Montenegro
    • Morocco
    • Pakistan
    • Papua New Guinea
    • Peru
    • Philippines
    • Serbia
    • Suriname
    • Thailand
    • Venezuela
    • Vietnam
    Note: You are allowed to transit through El Salvador without a visa if you are transiting within 48 hours and hold onward tickets. This applies to everyone, even foreigners who need a visa to enter El Salvador.  

El Salvador Visa Requirements

You need to submit the documents listed below at the nearest embassy/consulate of El Salvador in your home country:

  • A passport which is valid for at least another six months. Your passport must be valid at least six months after your return from El Salvador. Include copies of previous El Salvador visas (if any).
  • Application form. Download the application form online and fully complete it. Do not leave any blank spaces.
  • Two photos. Make sure your photos were recently taken – at least within the last six months.
  • A health insurance policy valid in El Salvador. Make sure your insurance policy covers the entire duration of your trip.
  • A hotel reservation or other accommodation proof. Your accommodation proof document must prove that you have a place to stay while in El Salvador. The accommodation proof could be a rental agreement, a hotel reservation, a letter of invitation, etc.
  • Criminal record. A criminal record is a document issued by the police authorities of your home country. This document needs to prove that you are not a threat to the Republic of El Salvador and that you do not have a criminal record.
  • Bank statement document issued from your bank. This document needs to prove that you are financially stable and can finance yourself while in El Salvador.
  • Flight reservation or itinerary. Your flight itinerary is a document issued by the airline company. This document must contain your flight date and time, your return flight ticket, etc.
  • Civil status document depending on your current status. If you are married, you have to submit a marriage certificate, if you have a child, their birth certificate, if you live together with your partner, a joint bank account, a rental agreement, etc.

How to Apply for an El Salvador Visa?

Here are all the steps you need to follow to apply for an El Salvador visa:

  1. Book an Appointment With the Embassy or Consulate of El Salvador. The first step when applying for an El Salvador visa is to contact the nearest embassy/consulate and book an appointment. Make sure you arrive on time for your visa appointment. The embassy/consulate of El Salcador can reject your visa if you don’t attend on your visa appointment on time.
  2. Fill Out the El Salvador Visa Application Form. You can find the El Salvador visa application form online. After you download the application form, make sure you fully complete the application and sign it at the end.
  3. Gather and Submit All the Requested Documents at the Nearest Embassy or Consulate of El Salvador in Your Home Country. You must gather all the documents that the embassy/consulate of El Salvador requested. For further information regarding the required documents, see ‘El Salvador Visa Requirements’. Keep in mind that you may be requested to apply for an El Salvador visa online or by post if there is no consulate or embassy of El Salvador in your home country.
  4. Wait For an Answer. The embassy/consulate of El Salvador responsible for your visa application will inform you of your visa application result within eight weeks by email or text message.

Duration of an El Salvador Visa

The duration of an El Salvador Visa depends on the type of visa you are applying for:

  • A short-stay visa. A short-stay visa allows you to stay in El Salvador for three months. However, the short-stay visa is issued more for:
    • Tourism.
    • Family visits.
    • Bussines meetings.
    • Medical controls, etc.

Important: Everyone who does not need a visa to enter El Salvador must pay a fee of US$12 on arrival for a Tourist Card. You can finish the fee payment on the arrival of El Salvador at the airport, land border crossing or seaport.

  • A long-stay visa. A long-stay visa allows the foreigner to stay in El Salvador for one year. The long-stay visa is issued for different purposes such as:
    • Work.
    • Investment.
    • Study.
    • Family reunion.

El Salvador Visa Fees

You must finish the fee payment of US$12 for a Tourist Card at the entry port of entering El Salvador. However, in addition to that, if you need to apply for an El Salvador visa beforehand, you may be requested to pay a visa fee depending on which embassy or consulate you apply to.

Residence Permit for El Salvador

If you want to move to El Salvador for a long term, you need to apply for a residence permit at the Salvadoran Immigration Department, Centro de Gobierno, San Salvador. 

A residence permit will allow you to work, study and live in El Salvador for as long as your residence permit is issued.

Interesting facts about El Salvador

Here are some interesting facts about El Salvador:

  1. The Republic of El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America.
  2. El Salvador is the densest country in America.
  3. Spanish is the official language spoken in El Salvador.
  4. El Salvador coffee is famous all over the world.
  5. El Salvador country is known for its surf wonderful destinations.
  6. In El Salvador, guests are served first, and the locals respect their guests a lot.
  7. The country has the third-largest economy in Central America, behind  Costa Rica and Panama.
  8. There are a lot of tourists that visit the country every year.
  9. There are more than twenty volcanos in the country, and two of them are active.
  10.  In El Salvador, the weather is tropical. However, the rainy season starts from May to October, and the dry season is from November to April.