El Salvador is the smallest but most densely populated country in Central America. With a tropical climate, developing economy, and use of the US dollar as currency, the country is an attractive location for companies looking to establish a presence in that part of the world. However, there are challenges to global expansion, including how to get a work visa and permit in El Salvador for all foreign employees.
Types of Work Visas in El Salvador
All foreigners who enter El Salvador and want to stay for more than 90 days must obtain a visa. The country has a variety of visa types, including a tourist visa, long-term stay or permanent residency visa, consular or consulted visa, and business visa. Most of your employees will need a permanent residency visa as well as a work permit in El Salvador. Foreign nationals who frequently travel to the country for business can apply for a Frequent Traveler Card in the country.
Work permits are combined with temporary residency permits. Both are valid for one to two years but can be extended up to five years. Citizens from Central American countries can apply directly for permanent residency in El Salvador, and individuals from Spain, Latin America, and other Spanish-speaking countries can obtain permanent residence after one year of holding a temporary residence permit. All other foreigners can apply for permanent residence after renewing the temporary residence permit three consecutive times.
Requirements to Obtain El Salvador Work Visas
Applying for a working visa in El Salvador requires a passport that’s valid for at least six more months, proof of a yellow fever vaccine, and evidence of sufficient funds for the duration of the stay. Your employees may also need a letter from your business that invites them to work in the country.
A work permit and temporary residence permit have some of the same requirements, including:
- Police clearance certificates from El Salvador, the applicant’s country of residence, and their home country
- A medical certificate
- Proof of experience or a university degree
- Copy of passport pages with visa/entries stamped
- A certificate of residence
- A copy of the applicant’s last utility bill
- A registration form
- A provisional residence card
- A residency request form
- An original birth certificate
- A good conduct certificate
- Two recent photos
- HIV/AIDS test results
- A work contract
- A personal data form
- A letter requesting residency
Your foreign employees should apply for their visa at the El Salvadorian embassy in their country of residence. They should take the required documents above to their appointment and also pay the official visa fees, which will vary based on where they apply. They can get in touch with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for help understanding the requirements. After entering El Salvador, an individual can apply for their temporary residence and work permit through the Ministry of the Interior.
Other Important Considerations
After your employees obtain their working visa in El Salvador, they must prepare to move to the country. If they have pets, they may want to bring the pets along, especially if they’re working for your company long-term. Pets can also make the trip to El Salvador if your employees have an international health certificate for the pet approved by a licensed veterinarian, an import permit from the Animal Quarantine Department in San Salvador, and proof of a rabies vaccine.
Partner With Globalization Partners
Working with a global PEO will save you the money, time, and stress that generally go into a global expansion. By using our existing PEO in El Salvador, we’ll continue to be responsible for compliance, so you can focus your time on running your company.
Contact us today for more information about our solution.