By: Hugh C. Talley
When moving to El Salvador I found out very early on that I would need to apply to become a resident of the country in order to use the banks and for most other business transactions. I have listed here the process that I went through to apply for my resident status in El Salvador. I would recommend you hire a lawyer here in El Salvador, the whole process will cost about $1500.00 but I think it is well worth it. You can go to the U.S. Embassy El Salvador web site and see a list of lawyers.
The information provided here is intended to explain the general requirements for an American Citizen to become a legal resident in El Salvador, these requirements are for an American Citizen married to a Salvadoran spouse, for other cases you should contact Salvadoran Immigration. You may contact the Salvadoran Immigration at:
Dirección General de Migración (DGME) – Centro de Gobierno
9ª Calle Poniente / 15 Avenida Norte (Alameda Juan Pablo II)
Edificio de Migración
Tel: 2213-7700, Fax: 2271-1850
1. Application filled out by the interested party.
2. Apostille birth certificate (translated into Spanish, following Salvadoran regulations).
3. Apostille police records (translated into Spanish, following Salvadoran regulations).
4. The records should reflect residence of the applicant for the past two years in the country where he/she lived.
5. Sworn statement from the Salvadoran spouse stating that he/she has the means to assist his/her spouse economically or applicant’s evidence of income (pension, etc.).
6. Medical report from a Salvadoran physician stating that the applicant does not suffer from a contagious disease.
7. Two copies of the applicant’s passport or evidence of the applicant’s citizenship.
8. Fee, which will depend on the type of residence the applicant, is approved for.
American citizens should be aware that any documents (i.e.: birth certificate, marriage certificates, divorced decrees, police record checks, etc) presented to the Salvadoran government (GOES) must be “Apostille” from the country of origin, also all types of documents must be issued within the last sixty (60) days otherwise they are consider invalid.
I started my resident application in November of 2011, I received my temporary resident card in December 2011. I was issued another temporary card in January of 2013 and was issued my permanent card which is good for 4 years last week. After being a resident for 5 years you can apply for Salvadoran Citizenship if you wish or you can renew your resident status.
I hope this information is interesting and/or helpful to my followers. Please leave your comments, questions or suggestions and I will be sure to get back to you.
By: Hugh C. Talley