El Salvador Digital Nomad Visa: How to Get One in 2024
The smallest country in Central America, El Salvador is a nation full of secreted-away natural beauty, intriguing cities, and some of the best surfing spots in the Americas.
While the country doesn’t offer any specific entry programs for digital nomads, it can still be a great place to live and work if you’re looking for an adventure in one of the hidden gems of the western hemisphere.
In this post, we’ll explore your options if you’re looking for an El Salvador digital nomad visa, and the key information you’ll need to plan your trip to this intriguing destination.
The El Salvador Digital Nomad Visa
Unfortunately, El Salvador doesn’t currently have a digital nomad visa, or any visa options that offer the same benefits typical of digital nomad visas from other nations.
It’s hoped that as digital nomadism continues to grow in popularity, El Salvador might follow the example of other nations in central and South America and introduce their own digital nomad program to attract foreign remote workers.
Though there’s no El Salvador digital nomad visa at present, the country has a robust tourist visa which might be suitable for many digital nomads’ needs.
This visa allows you to:
- Stay legally in El Salvador for up to 90 days.
- Potentially extend the visa for an additional 90 days once per year, for a total of 180 days.
- Get an El Salvador Tourist Card. With this, you’ll be able to move between El Salvador and the other states in the Central America-4 Border Control Agreement (Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua).
Note that El Salvador maintains a list of nationalities that are permitted to enter the country for 90 days at a time without a formal visa application process, which includes the Untied States, Canada, and the UK.
Though the tourist visa will meet the needs of many digital nomads hoping to set up in El Salvador, there are other visa options which you may want to look into, including:
- A consulted visa: Visas required for nationalities that don’t appear on El Salvador’s visa-exempt list, which can give the same terms as the tourist visa or a more nuanced entry depending on your intentions for the trip.
- A business visa: Visas which are granted for business activities within El Salvador. The duration of these visas depend on the details of the business activity you’re planning to carry out.
How to Get an El Salvador Digital Nomad Visa
If you’re planning to enter El Salvador as a digital nomad, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the requirements and processes around acquiring a visa that’s right for you.
Here’s how to get a stand-in for the El Salvador digital nomad visa in five steps:
Step 1: Gather Required Documents
Many nationalities can acquire an El Salvador Tourist Card and remain in the country for 90 days without a visa. However, if you don’t hold one of these nationalities, you’ll need to apply for a visa through an in-person consulate appointment.
To make this kind of visa application, you’ll need the following documents:
- A passport valid for a minimum of six months from the date when you’re planning to make your application.
- Two passport-sized photos no older than six months.
- A health insurance policy that’s valid in El Salvador and covers the duration of your planned trip.
- A hotel reservation or another form of proof of accommodation in El Salvador.
- Proof of a clean criminal record issued as a certificate by your country of residence.
- Flight reservations or other itinerary documents which prove that you’re not likely to overstay your visa.
- Proof of civil status and relationship to dependents, e.g a marriage certificate listing you and your spouse, or birth certificates of your children.
Step 2: Fill Out the Application Form
With all your documents organized, you can begin filling out the application form for your El Salvador digital nomad visa.
To do this, follow these steps:
- Visit the El Salvador consulate website in your consular district.
- Fill out the visa application form with your personal details, information on the purpose of your trip, and how long you plan to spend in the country.
- Sign the sworn statement declaring that the information you’ve given is accurate.
Step 3: Submit the Application
El Salvador requires all visa applicants to submit their application in-person at their local consulate or embassy. Contact your local El Salvadorian diplomatic mission to book a visa appointment, then attend it with all the documents requested by the consular agent.
Note that different consulates and visa applications may call for a different set of documents. With this in mind, it’s important to read all communications with caution and make sure you’re certain about the requirements ahead of the appointment.
The consulate or embassy should send you the resolution of your application within eight weeks.
Step 4: Pay the Visa Fee
If your application is approved, you’ll be all set to enter El Salvador. When you arrive in the country, you’ll need to pay a fee of around $12 USD for the El Salvador Tourist Card.
Note that there may be additional processing fees for the visa which can vary from one consulate to another.
El Salvador Digital Nomad Visa Pros and Cons
The current visa situation in El Salvador presents a number of benefits and drawbacks for digital nomads.
Here are some of the main pros and cons to consider if you’re looking at El Salvador as a potential home base in your digital nomad travels:
- Nomads from many countries, including the United States, Canada, and the UK, can enter the country on the same terms as a tourist visa without any formal application.
- Tourist status in El Salvador allows for free movement between other states in the Central America-4 Border Control Agreement (Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua).
- An affordable application process which can cost as little as $12 USD.
- El Salvador doesn’t have a dedicated digital nomad program, and the visa periods may not be suitable for many remote workers.
- Nomads with certain nationalities won’t be able to benefit from the visa-free entry offered to workers from the approved list.
Though the El Salvador digital nomad visa hasn’t been rolled out yet, there’s still several routes that nomads can take to enter the country legally and enjoy this hidden gem of Central America.
If you’re looking for insurance for your visa application, be sure to check out some of our global insurance plans for digital nomads.