British and looking to move to El Salvador

My fiance and I are in our twenties and thinking about moving to El Salvador in a couple of years or so. We are going to visit this August for a couple of weeks and see how it goes.

Although I am British I was born and lived in ES till I was 9 - My dad and his family still live there and it is he who has been trying to persuade us to re-locate. Given the weather in England, we are very tempted!

However, I have a couple of questions. Having been born in ES, how easy will it be for me to gain citizenship? And for my British-born fiance?

Secondly, how easy will it be to find work? I have a degree in Forensic Science and currently work in product safety and legislation, my fiance has no degree but works as a carer. I speak near-fluent spanish, he speaks near-fluent french.
I wouldn't be able to write in spanish very well (my grammar is awful), but I reckon I'd pick it up quick enough especially with help of my dad.
Although my work is science-based, I do have an interest in starting up something in councelling, no idea how this would work in ES though.

Thirdly, what is life like there, money-wise? Are houses cheap? Cars? Bills? Food? What about flights themselves, back to Britain? I get the impression flights to Britain are more expensive there than flights to ES are from here. I could be wrong though.

Being foreigners, will we have health insurance? What other kind of insurance will we need? Having the NHS here, I've never had to pay anything major for my health, so I am not sure what things are like there.

Also, any general advise would be much appreciated!

Thank you!

I just bought a restaurant in San Salvador called Mango's my wife is from there stop by when your in town (503)2223-0050


Hi there. Hope you enjoy your trip to El Salvador. It is probably a good idea to see if you like life here and if you can get a job before deciding to move here.
I have lived here for about 4 years now and I love it. Great weather, great pace of life, and lots to do.
Regarding your immigration status, you should either speak to a lawyer here or go to the main immigration office. They are very helpful regarding the type of status you can obtain here. I think you should be able to get some kind of family sponsorship for temporary residency that can be converted to permanent residency after 4 or 5 years.
Cost of living here is pretty cheap compared to other countries. Nice apartments in nice neighbourhoods rent for about $600 to $800 (although you can pay less or more depending on location and furniture). Cars and insurance are quite cheap. Health insurance including a repatriation flight is pretty cheap at about $100 a month. Food and entertainment are cheap although petrol and electricity are expensive.
The toughest part for you will be finding a job. Your background sounds like it would be government related and they don't pay that well. In fact, most jobs in El Salvador don't pay very well. Minimum wage is about $200/m, average would be $500/m, and a good job pays about $1,000/m and a very good job $1,500/m. For English speakers, there are a lot of call centers that pay from about $600 to $1,000 a month although hours can be long. If you have teaching experience, you might want to try getting a job at the British or American schools.
Good luck!

Seems like your parents wish you to move to ES perhaps to take care of them, part of the culture, I have known many El Salvadorans living in USA and Canada who felt they had to return here, giving up their jobs up north, to take care of relatives, of course as a native born Salvadoran you will have to obtain certified copy of birth certificate here, plus all kinds of beauracracy in Immigration and Ministry of foreign Affairs in order to obtain your El Salvadoran DUI or National Identity Card and El Salvadoran Passport, which you use for travel with in Central America, wages are low here compared to UK, work week is 44 hours, 6 days, if you are a certified teacher in UK, The British School or other high end International Schools will hire you if you have teaching experience and equivalant of a University Bachelors Degrees, otherwise try the many bi lingual high schools and private secular and christian schools in San Salvador,starting pay ranges average $500 to $600 USD a month with deductions for El Salvadoran 'Social Security' and income taxes, there are also the many call centers, if you are fluent in English with basic computer skills and a Salvadoran citizen with no criminal record, will hire you, starting pay about $600 USD after training (customer service on phone banks, basically), you are able to take Spanish classes here as well as living with your family, within a year you will be at least intermediate in the language, many young people I know who have returned regret it, and if you are an independent person, used to living on your own, the culture shock will hit hard when having to live with family low wages, rents and food and petrol are sky high in relation to wages, the USD is legal tender here, you may decide as many have to return to US or Canada or UK, work and continue education there and send remittances home nif your family is not well off, you shall aLso need an automobile to get around and yes, parts of San salvador are dangerous, so if your parents live in a marginal area, with no inside parking, take care, people will speak to you in Spanish of course, do not get too personal with strangers. It will not be easy, the transition, and you and only you may decide, I am a US Citizen retired here many years, would be more than happy to meet up with you after your arrival and give you some tips. In demand now in El Salvador are mechanics, service workers and bi lingual engineers and IT specialists, advanced spanish required. Best visit and assess your situation very carefully, the British community has shrunk here in the last 10 years, the UK Embassy now in Guatemala, if you require services. There is a 'class' system here and one really requires good 'cuello' or connections to land a good job. those that do not work freelance or live on savinga at relatives homes. buena suerte, good luck. El Salwizard.

I realize your question was posted a number of months ago but I was curious how things worked out for you.
I happen to be returning to E.S. next month. I have been working in the Forensics lab for the national police on and off for the past few years. I'm in ballistics, I provide technical support for a product which they use. I work for a distributor, not as an employee of the government, there's no money in that.
  Anyway, I happen to be friends with the head of the police laboratory for the country. If you are still planning on moving or have moved, I believe I may be able to at least introduce you to the right person to advise you in securing a job in forensics in ES.
Let me know, I'll be down there at the end of April if not sooner.

Hi and welcome to timh :)

Thanks for helping ;)


@wsp44  still have your restaurant?