A visa may be required. We cannot assist in processing this document, but we provide instructions on how to apply.
All About the Visa for El Salvador
Can you hear El Impossible National Park calling your name? Then start planning your trip to El Salvador! Read this page carefully to find out everything you need to know about the visa requirements for El Salvador.
If you are thinking of visiting this Central American country, you will be pleased to hear that over 80 nationalities are visa-exempt, including the USA, the UK, and South Africa. That’s right: you can stay in the country for up to 90 days without needing to get a travel authorisation. All you will need to do is get a Tourist Card when you arrive in the country.
All nationalities that aren’t exempt will need to get an embassy visa. In this case, you can get either a Single Entry or a Multiple Entry visa. More specifically, the options available are:
- Single Entry, valid for 30 days
- Single Entry, valid for 60 days
- Single Entry, valid for 90 days
- Multiple Entry, valid for 365 days
Notably, though, if you have a valid visa for the USA, Canada, or the Schengen Area, you can use this to visit El Salvador visa-free.
- 1 What Is the Difference Between an El Salvador Visa vs Visa-free?
- 2 El Salvador Visa Requirements and Eligibility
- 3 El Salvador Visa Application Process
- 4 El Salvador Application Form and Documents
- 5 El Salvador Visa Status Check
- 6 How Much Does an El Salvador Visa Cost?
- 7 More El Salvador Visa Questions and Information
What Is the Difference Between an El Salvador Visa vs Visa-free?
When a country is visa-exempt, the citizens of that country can visit El Salvador with just your passport. All you need to do is check that your passport is valid for at least 6 months from your arrival date and make sure you have all the necessary documents with you. Then, you will be able to stay in El Salvador for up to 90 days.
Meanwhile, if your passport falls under the embassy visa category, you will need to make the appropriate arrangements to obtain your travel permit before travelling to the country. There is no Electronic Visa option available, which means you will need to visit a diplomatic mission of the country in person. Read on to find out how you can do this.
El Salvador Visa Requirements and Eligibility
As we mentioned, there are many nationalities that are visa-free, while others will need to obtain a visa before travelling to the country. Let’s take a look at which conditions apply to each nationality.
List of Visa-Free Countries to El Salvador
Antigua and Barbuda
British Indian Ocean Territory
The British Virgin Islands
Heard and McDonald Islands
Isle of Man
Northern Mariana Islands
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Martin (Netherlands)
Saint Vincent and Grenadines
São Tome and Príncipe
Trinidad and Tobago
United Arab Emirates
United States Virgin Islands
United States of America
In addition, all visitors in possession of a valid visa from Canada, the USA, or the Schengen Area, may also enter the country without needing to get a permit. This is the case, unless you are from one of the following countries.
This is also the list of nationalities who require an embassy visa for El Salvador.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
El Salvador Visa Application Process
If you are exempt from getting a travel authorisation, you can fly to El Salvador and obtain a Tourist Card upon arrival that will grant you 90 days in the country. Simply present your passport and any necessary documents at the immigration desk at the port of entry.
Nationalities that Need an Embassy Visa
On the other hand, if you need a visa, you can follow these steps to get one:
- Locate your nearest El Salvador diplomatic mission.
- Make an appointment or verify whether they accept drop-in visits.
- Gather all the necessary forms and documents, and check the validity of your passport.
- Go to your appointment, submit the application, and pay the service fee.
- Once you receive a notification from the embassy or consulate, go to collect your passport.
- Make your way to El Salvador with your shiny new travel permit stamped into your passport.
El Salvador Application Form and Documents
Regardless of which entry policies apply to your nationality, all visitors to El Salvador must have a passport valid for at least 6 months from your arrival date.
Moreover, visa-free visitors must have proof of possessing sufficient funds to cover your stay in El Salvador.
However, this condition doesn’t apply to citizens of the following countries:
- Costa Rica
In addition, you may be asked to provide the following information, so you should have it with you when you arrive, just in case:
- Details of your travel insurance.
- Hotel bookings or an invitation letter from your host.
- Return flights or onward travel bookings.
When you apply for a visa from an embassy or consulate, you will need to provide the following documents:
- A completed and signed application form (more details below).
- A bank statement proving you have sufficient funds to cover your trip.
- Travel insurance.
- Accommodation bookings for your entire stay.
- 2 passport-size photographs.
- Return or onward travel tickets
Some nationalities may be asked to provide additional information, such as proof of employment. As such, you should always confirm with the embassy or consulate which documents you need to bring to your appointment.
The Application Form
The application form is an essential part of your application. In this form, you will be asked to provide some basic information about yourself and your stay in the country, namely the following:
- Name and surname
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Passport number
- Passport date of issue
- Passport expiration date
- Passport place of issue
- Permanent address
- Phone number
- Name of spouse
- Nationality of spouse
- Current employer
- Work address
- Work phone number
- Date of arrival in the country
- Means of transport of arrival (e.g., air, land, sea)
- Purpose of your trip (e.g., tourism, visiting relatives)
- Length of stay
- Address in the country (this can be the address of your hotel)
- Name, address, and phone number of a contact in the country (if applicable)
- Details of any previous visits to the country
- Name, relationship, and passport number of anybody travelling with you
Finally, write the date, sign the form, and attach your passport-size photo in the designated space in the top-right corner of the form.
El Salvador Visa Status Check
So, you have submitted your application at your nearest embassy or consulate – what next? You will need to wait some time while all your paperwork is being processed. Don’t forget to ask how long it will take when you apply, but generally speaking, you can expect to wait around 2 weeks.
Once your application has been processed, you will be notified that your passport is ready for collection.
If it’s taking longer than expected, or you are concerned about receiving your travel authorisation document before your scheduled departure, you may wish to contact the diplomatic mission directly to request an update on the application.
They should be able to tell you whether your documents have been approved, rejected, or is still being processed.
How Much Does an El Salvador Visa Cost?
The cost of a travel permit to this country will depend on the type of document and the length of stay it grants the visitor.
As we mentioned, there are both Single and Multiple Entry permits for El Salvador. A 30-day Single Entry permit will be cheaper compared to a 90-day Single Entry permit or a 1-year Multiple Entry permit.
The costs can also vary depending on where you are applying from, so you should contact your nearest diplomatic mission to find out more about the fees.
On the other hand, visa-free nationalities who need to get a Tourist Card can expect to pay 12 USD for this permit upon arrival.
More El Salvador Visa Questions and Information
We hope you’ve found this page useful for planning your trip to El Salvador. Please find our FAQ section below, where you can find quick answers to your questions.
If you are visa-exempt, you should print a copy of the documents required to get a Tourist Card (see section above ‘Application Form and Documents’).
If your passport is due to expire, you should first renew your passport and then apply for the visa using your new passport details.
Otherwise, simply pick one of your passports and use it for both your application and to travel in the country.