El Salvador

Premier Areas of Coverage

  • San Salvador

Country Details

El Salvador is located in Central America, between Guatemala and Honduras. With an area of 21,000 km2 and a population of approximately 6 million people, El Salvador is known for its hospitality, spectacular local food, and beautiful sights.  The local currency is the USD and the main export product is coffee. It is the smallest country in Central America, yet with its local charm, beautiful beaches and breathtaking sites it´s one of the favorite locations of foreigners coming to the region.

Important things to know when renting a property in El Salvador. 

Common expat areas are Escalón, San Benito, and Santa Elena. Most lease agreements are signed for 1 or 2 years. A local guarantor is needed, preferably a multinational firm.

Q&A:
•    Who pays the rental commission?  Landlord
•    How much is the rental commission? 1 month´s rent
    Is an advance rent required? Yes, 1 month´s rent
•    What is the standard lease term? 1 to 2 years
•    What is the frequency of payments? Monthly
•    Is there a security deposit?  Yes, 1 to 2 month’s rent
•    Who holds security deposit? Landlord
•    What language is the lease written in?  Spanish
•    Who is the lease normally prepared by? Lawyer and the fee is paid by the tenant
•    Is a business release clause accepted? Yes, if multinational firm is guarantor


UTILITIES
Utilities are paid separately from the rent. Some examples include electricity, cable, internet, telephone, water, maintenance, gardening fees, and gas. 

The following companies provide phone, internet and cable services.  The most common telephone companies in El Salvador are:  
•    Tigo El Salvador - www.tigo.com.sv
•    Claro El Salvador - www.claro.com.sv
•    Telefonica, El Salvador - www.telefonica.com.sv 

For satellite services, the most common provider is:
•    SKY - www.skyelsalvadortv.com  

There are a variety of cell phone companies that offer good service.  Most of the companies have corporate contracts and your company will provide your phone, unless you purchase a pre-paid package.  The pricing and services vary based on the promotions the company is running at the time you purchase your cellular phone and service.  The most common companies are:
•    Digicel - www.digicel.com.sv  
•    Tigo El Salvador - www.tigo.com.sv
•    Claro El Salvador - www.claro.com.sv
•    Telefonica, El Salvador - www.telefonica.com.sv 

Banks are strict when it comes to opening accounts (checking, savings, etc.).   Using the bank your company manages their corporate banking with may facilitate this process.  The requirements to opening an account are  
•    Copy of your employment offer letter
•    Passport
•    Two (2) references from previous bank
•    Initial deposit (each bank has different deposit amounts)
•    Nit Number

The most common schools for expatriate children are below. Elementary grades are Kindergarten through 5th grade, middle school grades are 6th through 8th grade, and high school grades are 9th through 12th grade. Please note, public schools are not recommended in El Salvador

These schools follow the American School Calendar:


The following schools follow the El Salvador School Calendar (January – October)

German School:

French School:

Pre-school: 
Day Care Centers and Pre-schools operate either all year round or during the school year from January to October.  Full or part time services costs may vary between $80 USD and $150 USD per month. The following are Day Cares/Pre-school are the most common for expatriate children.


Registering your Child/Children
Non-Spanish records need to be officially translated. Some schools will not require translation of these records or may translate them for free; this requirement will be determined based on the school your child/children will attend.

Required documentation: 
Requested certificates or documentation must be legalized by the Ministry of Education from the home country.  You will need the following documentation:
•    School records from the  home country
•    Original Birth Certificate
•    Letter submitted by the school from your home country presenting the family members.

All private schools will require an entry test as well as the documentation mentioned above.

Local Documentation
It is recommended that you register at your local Embassy or Consulate to inform them of your residence in El Salvador.

Drivers License
Upon receiving your immigration card we can begin the driver’s license process.  You must have your original driver’s license validated at the country consulate of which your license was issued. We will then take the validation to the Ministry of Public Relations and obtain signature authenticity.  This usually takes 24 to 48 hours.  Once this is completed we can then take you to the offices of Sentracen, El Salvador ( www.sertracen.com.sv) to obtain your Salvadorian driver’s license.  A vision and hearing test will be performed; however a driving test is not required. This process will take about 1 hour to complete. You will need the following documents:
•    License, validated and authenticated  documentation
•    Immigration card
•    Blood test which indicates your blood type (proof must come from a laboratory test)
•    $40.00 USD license fee
•    Nit number
Sentracen’s hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and Saturday from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Furniture
Should you need to purchase any household furniture, there are several major furniture stores throughout such as: 

•    Kalea El Salvador - www.kalea.com.gt/el-salvador
•    Siman Stores - www.siman.com/elsalvador 
•    Sears - www.sears.com

Hospitals
Private health system in El Salvador is excellent, the major hospitals/clinics are:

•    Hospital De La Mujer - www.hospital-mujer.com
•    Hospital de Diagnostico - www.hospitaldiagnostico.com
•    Hospital Centro Ginecologico  - www.centroginecologico.com.sv

Malls

•    Multiplaza Mall - Located: Antiguo Cuscatlan
•    Gran Via Mall - Located: Antiguo Cuscatlan
•    Galeria Mall - Located: Colonia Escalon
•    Metro Centro Mall - Located: next to Intercontinental Hotel

Supermarkets

•    Super Selectos - www.superselectos.com 
•    Walmart - www.walmartsv.com/v1
•    La Despensa De Don Juan  - This supermarket belongs to the Walmart chain and has home delivery.