The Republic of El Salvador is a beautiful nation in Central America that is popular for its tropical landscape and great weather all year round.
Most North American and European tourists travel here to enjoy the beaches and nightlife. This gorgeous country has also enchanted a lot of people and transformed them from tourists to residents. In this guide, we’ll be walking you through everything you need to before you can live in El Salvador.
Life in El Salvador as an expat
With a small population that is just under eight million people, El Salvador is a remarkable tourist destination in South America. It is an excellent travel destination for people that are attracted to beauty, art, and culture.
It is a warm and friendly tourist destination filled with unexpected treasures. Because of its quiet tourism industry, millions of people are still unaware of the beauty buzzing in this country.
There are tons of tourist-friendly destinations like La Libertad, Suchitoto, La Palma, Santa Ana, the Punta Roca, the best and most popular destination in the world for surfers.
El Salvador has the second-largest American Embassy in the world and even adapted the US Dollar as its official currency. This is proof that the country has good diplomatic relations with the US.
Best of all, you can start a company in San Salvador with just $2,000. If you are not interested in starting a company, there are a lot of profitable industries that you can invest in.
Tourism, agriculture, and manufacturing are some of the most vibrant industries in the country. Besides, the policies adopted by the government were placed to favor small businesses.
Education is free from elementary to high school. After nine years of basic education, students can decide if they want to go to university by obtaining a high school diploma after two years or enter the workforce after completing three years of high-school education.
One of the most popular cities for expats living in El Salvador is San Salvador. San Salvador is the capital city and the second-largest city in all of Central America. Located in the central plateau, it is a beautiful suburban city filled with culture and energy.
With a population of around 700,000 people, San Salvador is within an hour’s drive from the international airport. It is the perfect urban environment to live in. The most popular places for expats living in San Salvador are San Benito and Colonia Escalon. San Salvador is an excellent place to move to. It will cost more compared to other parts of the country, but it’s worth it.
La Palma is another exciting city that is famous for being the place where the national artist, Fernando Llort taught his first students. This renowned artist has turned the city into a nationally recognized artistic hub.
The beautiful city of La Palma is one of the best places to live in this South American Country. The traffic and cost of living here are way better than those of larger cities like San Salvador or Santa Tecla.
Suchitoto is amongst the few cities in this country that remained nearly unchanged for more than 100 years. This city retained its colonial architecture and ancient beauty. Suchitoto is also one of the cleanest cities in Central America.
One of the most popular places in Suchitoto is the Museo de Los Recuerdos Alejandro Cotto. It is a great place to call home and the cost of living here is very affordable.
Visa requirements for Tourists
Unless you qualify for visa-free privileges, you need a visa or a one-entry tourist card before you can travel to El Salvador. Travelers with a visa automatically obtain temporary citizenship that will allow them to live in the country for up to 90 days.
However, citizens of the United States, Australia, Britain, Canada, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and other European nationals can travel without a visa. While citizens from other countries must have a travel visa before they can visit the country.
A tourist card works perform the same function as a transit visa. You can get your tourist card from any Salvadorean immigration officials upon arrival at the port of entry.
This document allows the beneficiary to stay in the country for up to 90 days. If you want to extend your stay, you can apply for a multiple-entry visa: it is issued free of charge. Citizenship is granted after 5 years of temporary citizenship.
If you have a visa, you can open a bank account with any bank in the country. You’ll have to submit a copy of your passport, an NIT, and a utility bill as proof of residence.