How to Apply
Nonimmigrant Visa Application Process
The MRV fee for tourist and student visas, including visa types B-1/B-2, C, C1/D, F, J, I, T and U, is now $140. The MRV fee for petition-based work visas, H, L, O, P, Q, and R, is $150; and the MRV fee for K visas is $350.
Every applicant for a nonimmigrant visa must present a fully completed electronic visa application form(DS-160). You must answer every question on the application in order to be admitted for your visa interview.
Electronic Application form (DS-160) is available free of charge at the CEAC website: http://ceac.state.gov/genniv.
The application must be filled out online. After filling out the online application, make sure to print it out the confirmation page, and bring it with you on the day of your interview.
Nationals of some countries do not need visas to visit the U.S. for less than 90 days. Click here to see which countries qualify.
Nonimmigrant visa applicants (tourist, transit, student, temporary work visas- such as H1B, J1, L) must pay the nonrefundable visa application fee in advance at any main branch of Banco Citibank de El Salvador (not at mini-banks).
Scheduling an Interview Appointment
To schedule an interview appointment, the applicant must call our regional U. S. Visa Information Center (VIC) at 900-6011 from any Telecom line. Callers to the 900 number are charged by the minute; the cost is USD$1.87 per minute plus IVA, and will be included in the caller’s phone bill.
Note: The number is not accessible from public phones, cellular phones and some businesses that have 900 numbers blocked. Visa applicants do not need a calling card to use the new 900 number service.
As an alternative to the 900 number, the applicant can buy a special Telefónica calling card, VISAS USA, available at any branch of Telefónica in El Salvador.
The customer service representative will require the applicant to provide information such as the passport number and the name as it appears on the applicant's passport.
If the applicant has an urgent need to travel, the applicant should request an expedited appointment. Click here for more information about emergency travel.
Children under age of eighteen must be accompanied by both biological parents at the interview for their child's visa. The only exceptions would be death, divorce, birth certificate showing father unknown or legal custody due to other circumstances (e.g. adoption). In each exception, a legal document would be required to show cause for the other parent's absence. In the case of remarriage, the child's mother/father must appear with the current spouse (child's stepparent). The parents will also be required to submit original birth certificates for the minors.
Please note that applicants must bring the following documents to be admitted to the Embassy.
- A valid passport and ALL prior passports.
- DS-160 Confirmation sheet with application barcode
- One photograph (click here to learn about the photo requirement)
- Payment receipt for the application fee.
Student and exchange visa applicants must bring either their I-20 or DS 2019 issued by the educational institution.
We collect electronic fingerprints of all applicants, aged 14 through 79. Click here for more information.
The applicant will be interviewed by a bilingual American Consular Official. The short interview will clarify and add to the information on the visa application, so the application should be completed carefully.
Documents which may be requested during the interview to support claims on the application include, but are not limited to job letters, birth and marriage certificates, other family members' passports with valid visas, bank documents, tax documents (Declaración de Renta y de IVA) and titles to property such as cars or houses. This is not an exclusive list nor does it guarantee that the visa will be approved.
Delivery of Visas via Courier
Except in very rare emergency circumstances, all approved nonimmigrant visas are returned to applicants only via the courier service.
We have arranged for a courier counter just outside the Consular waiting room. Approved nonimmigrant visa applicants must stop at the courier counter to arrange for the return of their passports with visas.
This service costs between US $5-$15 and must be paid in cash immediately after the applicant’s interview.
Passports are normally delivered to the applicant's home or office, or a local branch of the courier service.
Most visa denials are made under section 214b of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) because the applicants have not convinced the interviewing officer that they have sufficiently strong ties to El Salvador to compel their return after a limited visit.
Refusals under section 214b INA are not permanent. Applicants may reapply whenever they believe their circumstances have changed sufficiently, or if they have new evidence to present. People refused under section 214b INA who wish to reapply must pay the nonrefundable visa application fee.
Some cases are refused under section 221g INA and requested to return with additional information to assist in the adjudication. Persons refused under section 221g INA will be given a letter explaining what additional information is needed and when to reappear before the consular officer. These applicants do not have to pay another application fee.
Click here to learn more about visa denials.
Visa applicants may now get immigrant or nonimmigrant visa information by dialing 900-6011* using any Telecom line.
*USD$1.87 per minute plus IVA
All questions on Form DS-156 must be fully completed by applicants regardless of near or future travel. It is mandatory that all applications received be fully completed without any question left blank. If an applicant presents to the interviewing consular officer an incomplete application, the officer will return it for completion. No incomplete application will be reviewed/processed.