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Visa & Residency Guide to El Salvador

Want to know how to live in El Salvador on a tourist visa or with residency?

This article will provide you with the basics of how to achieve that.

 By first talking about living in El Salvador on a tourist visa…

Then moving onto the nuances of that…

Such as the possibility of doing a visa run….

And also the consequences of overstaying your visa…

Before ending it on the topic of the temporary and permanent residency programs that exist.

For those who wish to live in this country longer than what a tourist visa allows…

And do to so legally and with more security.

So let’s get to it!

Tourist Visa in El Salvador

From what I have heard, you can stay in El Salvador for 90 days upon entry.

Nothing more.

Anyway, from what I have read, it seems that getting another 90 day extension on your time in El Salvador is entirely possible.

Making it possible to spend 180 days in the country per year without having to leave the country.

Overstay The Visa?

It was difficult to find information online about the fine for overstaying your visa in El Salvador…

But based on the information I could find from other travelers, it seems to be roughly a dollar to a dollar and a half a day for every day you overstay.

With some travelers reporting much higher fines – but I suspect that has to do with dealing with greedy migration officers looking for heavy bribes from foreigners.

Just make sure to speak Spanish well enough and know how to stand up for yourself.

Anyway, from what I have read, it shouldn’t be much higher than a dollar to dollar and a half a day.

Visa Run?

Again – just warning I don’t have any personal experience with this.

But from what I have read online, it seems visa runs are possible to do in El Salvador.

So just piss off to another country and come back to El Salvador…

And you should get another 90 days allowed in the country from what I have read.

Residency in El Salvador

There seems to be more limited information on who can apply for residency in El Salvador from my initial research as part of this effort to get info on residency everywhere down here.

From my understanding, for residency, if you fall into any of the following typical groups below, you can possibly be eligible for residency in this country:

  • You plan on studying formally in El Salvador.
  • You are coming there for journalism purposes.
  • You are going to engage in religious activity.
  • You have a formal offer of employment in the country.
  • You have a relation to a formal Salvadorian citizen (spouse, children, etc).
  • You plan on investing in El Salvador.

Anyway, that’s all the basic information.

Like I said, there seems to be limited information online about getting residency in this country.

So I will check back on it at a later point – in about a month after I have emailed some officials to get clarification on getting residency in El Salvador.

More to come soon.

If you have any questions or comments, drop them below.

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Best regards,


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