Visas

Service Availability:  The United States Embassy in El Salvador is resuming certain immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services, including appointments for IR/CR1s, IR/CR2s, IR/IH3s, and IR/IH4s, K-1 fiancée immigrant visas and F-1, M-1, J-1, E, I, O, P, and C1/D nonimmigrant visas.  While the Embassy aims to process cases as soon as practicable, there is likely to be increased wait times for completing such services due to substantial backlogs.  If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided at www.ustraveldocs.com/sv  or 2113-3122 to request an emergency appointment.

The U.S. Mission to El Salvador understands that many non-immigrant visa applicants have paid the visa application processing fee and are still waiting to schedule a visa appointment. We are working diligently to restore all routine visa operations as quickly and safely as possible. In the meantime, rest assured that the U.S. Mission will extend the validity of your payment (known as the MRV fee) until September 30th, 2022, to allow all non-immigrant applicants who were unable to schedule an appointment as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations an opportunity to schedule and/or attend a non-immigrant visa appointment with the already paid fee. Please continue to monitor this site for information on when we will return to routine visa operations.

The purpose of your intended travel and other facts will determine what type of visa is required under U.S. immigration law. As a visa applicant, you will need to establish that you meet all requirements to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.

See our Directory of Visa Categories on usvisas.state.gov to determine which visa category might be appropriate for your purpose of travel to the United States.

Urgent information for visa applicants regarding novel coronavirus:

Any individuals with pending consular appointments who (1) were physically present within the People’s Republic of China, excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, within the last 14 days, (2) are experiencing flu-like symptoms, or (3) believe they have may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, are strongly encouraged to postpone their appointments by at least 14 days.  There is no fee to change an appointment and visa application fees are valid for one year in the country where the fee was paid. For questions about rescheduling a pending consular appointment, please send an email to support-elsalvador@ustraveldocs.com for specific guidance.  Information concerning rescheduling a pending consular appointment is also available at  https://ustraveldocs.com/sv/sv-niv-appointmentschedule.asp

Nonimmigrant Visas

Travel to the United States on a temporary basis, including tourism, temporary employment, study and exchange.

Immigrant Visas

For foreign citizens who want to live permanently in the United States.

A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States generally must first obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport, a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship.

Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel. The Visa section of this website is all about U.S. visas for foreign citizens to travel to the United States.

(Note: U.S. citizens don’t need a U.S. visa for travel, but when planning travel abroad may need a visa issued by the embassy of the country they wish to visit.).

If you have a question regarding the visa process or a visa case, you may contact our Visa Information Center free of additional cost. Our customer service representatives are able to assist you Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Schedule provided in Central Time) via the following means:

  • Telephone: From El Salvador call 2113-3122, from the United States call (703) 745-5476;
  • Email: Write to the Visa Information Center electronic address support-elsalvador@ustraveldocs.com; or to SanSalVisaInquiries@state.gov to contact the Consular Section directly.
  • Skype: You may contact our representatives via their Skype account; add this account to your contact list: ustraveldocs_centralamerica;
  • Online Chat: You may also chat live with one of our representatives, click this link:
  • Website: You can learn about the visa process and schedule your visa appointment at any time visiting the Visa Information Center official website ustraveldocs.com
  • Victims of Scam: If you feel you have been a victim of a visa scam, or would like to know if a temporary work visa offer is legitimate, please contact our Fraud Prevention Unit at DenunciasSV@state.gov or call 2501-2636. Our staff speak Spanish and all calls are confidential.

The Department of State manages the visa process strictly but fairly in order to best protect the United States.  We are committed to the essential openness for which the United States has always been known.  Travel to the United States is welcomed and encouraged.

We promise to you, the visa applicant, that:

  • We will treat you with dignity and respect, even if we are unable to grant you a visa.
  • We will treat you as an individual and your case as unique.
  • We will remember that, to you, a visa interview may be a new or intimidating experience and that you may be nervous.
  • We will use the limited time available for the interview to get as full a picture as possible of your travel plans and intentions.
  • We will use our available resources to fairly assist all applicants to get appointments to allow travel in time for business, study, and other important obligations.
  • We will post detailed and accurate information on visa requirements and application procedures on every Embassy and Consulate website.
  • We will provide information on non-immigrant appointment waiting times at every Embassy and Consulate posted on https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html.
  • We will explain the reason for any visa denial to you.

Furthermore, if you are a:

  • Student, we will make every effort to ensure that you get an appointment and, if qualified, a visa in time to start classes.
  • Medical and humanitarian emergency traveler, we will expedite processing for those dealing with life threatening emergencies.
  • Business traveler, we will establish appropriate mechanisms to facilitate business travel and expedite cases of particular concern to American business.

At the same time, we expect you, the visa applicant, to:

  • Plan your travel and visa application as far in advance as possible.
  • Complete your application fully and accurately.
  • Be forthcoming about your purpose and plans.
  • Prepare for your interview by being able to clearly and concisely describe your intentions.