Central America - Tourist Card for El Salvador
Jul 22, 09, 11:18 pm
I will be going to El Salvador the 27th aka Monday to be with my wife who was recently deported.
I have a valid US passport with atleast 6 months left and all blank pages. I understand all I have to do is get on a plane and go and then ... I can purchase a tourist card when I get to El Salvador for US 10 dollars.
My questions: How long does this tourist card last for? Is it 30 or 90 days?
Also: someone mentioned for some countries you need to have proof of a "return" ticket when you ask for a visa card. I don't want to do that because I might not stay long or I may stay the max time they allow me. I also don't want to have to pay to change it, etc. So I figured it'd be easier to just buy it when I decide to return.
Will immigration ask me for my return flight and if I do not have one will they deny me entry?
(I am an american citizen w/ valid passport as formentioned).
Also, how is the process? When I get off the plane I just goto a line for tourist cards or... ? Any idea what questions they will ask me? I speak fluent spanish.
Jul 23, 09, 4:54 am
I doubt that immigration at SAL will ask you anything at all. Its more likely that the airline may ask you if for a return ticket (American Airlines when flying to Miami is very prone to that)
you can always buy a fully refundable ticket (if they ask you for that) and be done with it
the entry requirements say "Visa required, except for A stay of max. 3 months, for
nationals of U.S.A.."
So that tells me that your max stay is 3 months, normally (although I cant be sure for SAL) you can simply exit SAL for 72 hours to a neighboring country , come back and get another 3 month stay (but I remember hearing that in Honduras the 72 hour exit couldnt be to Salvador, Guatemala or Nicaragua so they had to go to Belize, so you would have to recheck those facts if you use that option)
Jul 23, 09, 6:11 am
I have never had a problem anywhere is S. America...if your holding a US passport they have always been happy to see me.
Jul 28, 09, 4:09 pm
The $10 tourist card has a blank space for the authorized stay time. The immigration official that processes you in El Salvador has the authority to provide you up to 90 days on that $10 card. My last visits to El Salvador have been for 6 to 24 hours, and I have always been assigned 30 days on the tourist card. THe official will ask you how ling you plan on staying while he processes you. I would tell hime that you are planning to staying 2-3 months and see if he gives you the max 90 days allowed. You could leave El Salvador for Nicaragua, Honduras or Guatemala and return on the same tourist card. But if you go out of the CA-4 region to say Costa Rica or Mexico, you will need a new card upon return to El Salvador.
The return ticket is more of an airline thing. They are required to verify that you have proof of onward travel if your are not a resident of El Salvador. Some never ask, others always do. Be prepared to purchase a fully refundable onward ticket as Wolfie_cr suggests.
Jul 29, 09, 6:31 am
I don't have access to TINS at the moment -- this is the system the airlines use to verify entry requirements. But the TINS for all CA-4 countries says something along the lines of: proof of return and/or continuing travel or proof of sufficient funds for return/continuing.
Twice I have had to argue with AA regarding the lack of a "return" ticket - once in MIA and once in ATL. The airlines can be fined ~$10,000 for boarding someone who does not meet entry requirements but the TINS page for CA-4 countries is pretty clear.
Jul 29, 09, 11:15 pm
National U.S.A. (US) /Embarkation U.S.A. (US)
Destination El Salvador (SV)
El Salvador (SV)
- Passport and/or passport replacing documents must be valid 6
months on arrival.
- Nationals of U.S.A. may enter with passports valid on
Visa required, except for A stay of max. 3 months, for
nationals of U.S.A..
Visa required, except for Holders of a Birth Certificate
showing place of birth in El Salvador.
Visa required, except for Children born outside El Salvador,
whose parents are nationals of El Salvador, provided holding
Birth Certificate proving that parents are nationals of El
- All foreign visitors must hold return or onward tickets and
all documents required for next destination;
- except for those, irrespective of nationality, whose
passport states that they were born in El Salvador.