How to get El Salvador Citizenship by Descent

Article Breakdown

If you are looking to obtain El Salvador citizenship by descent, there are a few things you need to know.

In this article, we will discuss the process of obtaining El Salvador citizenship through ancestry, as well as the requirements you must meet in order to be eligible. We will also provide some helpful tips on how to get started.

At least one parent from El Salvador

First and foremost, it is important to note that in order to obtain El Salvador citizenship by descent, you must have at least one parent who is a citizen of El Salvador. If you do not have any parents who are citizens of El Salvador, then you will not be able to obtain citizenship through this process.

In addition, you will need to provide proof of your identity and relationship to your parent or grandparent who is a citizen of El Salvador. This can be done by providing a birth certificate, along with other supporting documentation. Once you have gathered all of the necessary documentation, you will need to submit it to the nearest consulate or embassy of El Salvador.

The El Salvador Citizenship Test

Once your application has been processed and approved, you will be required to take a citizenship test. This test will assess your knowledge of El Salvador and its history, as well as your ability to speak and write in Spanish.

There are a few things you should know before taking the citizenship test for El Salvador. For starters, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old. You’ll also need to have lived in the country for at least two years, and you’ll need to be able to speak, read, and write Spanish.

As for the test itself, it will cover topics like El Salvador’s history, geography, and culture. You’ll also be expected to demonstrate a basic understanding of the country’s Constitution.

Once you have passed the citizenship test, you will be officially recognized as a citizen of El Salvador.

El Salvador Passport Rank

The El Salvador Passport ranks fairly high for a Central American nation, at #37 on our SovSpot Passport Ranking Index. El Salvador passport holders can visit 102 visa-free countries, 34 visa-on-arrival countries, and 1 eTA destination.

Does El Salvador allow dual citizenship?

El Salvador’s dual citizenship policy is governed by Articles 91 and 92 of the country’s Constitution, which states that

Salvadorans by birth have the right to enjoy dual or multiple nationality. The status of Salvadoran by birth is only lost by express resignation before the competent authority and is recovered by request before the same. – article 91

In the case of applying for citizenship by descent, you would effectively fall under “Salvadoran by birth”.

Foreigners must also renounce any other allegiances or loyalty oaths to foreign countries, but do not have to renounce those citizenships. As a result, el salvador does allow dual citizenship under most circumstances.coat-of-arms-of-el-salvador.png

El Salvador citizenship by naturalization

For foreigners that wish to acquire Salvadoran citizenship today but do not have the option of citizenship by descent, there are some conditions that must be met in order for an individual to obtain and maintain Salvadoran citizenship.

There are 4 different paths (depending on your background) to obtain Salvadoran citizenship without investment or ancestry:

  1. Spaniards and Hispanic-Americans of origin who have resided in the country for one year;
  2. Foreigners of any origin who have five years of residence in the country;
  3. Foreigners who, due to notable services rendered to the Republic, obtain this quality from the Legislative Organ;
  4. Foreigners married to a Salvadoran who can prove to have resided at least two years in the country, before or after the celebration of the marriage.

Can I lose my El Salvador citizenship?

For Salvadorans by birth (people that obtained El Salvador citizenship by descent are also Salvadorans by birth), the only way they can lose their citizenship is by expressively renouncing their citizenship.

For foreigners that obtained Salvadoran citizenship by naturalization (and potentially by investment in the future), there are 2 ways in which they can lose Salvadoran citizenship:

  1. For residing more than two consecutive years in the country of origin or due to absence from the territory of the Republic for more than five consecutive years, except in the case of permission granted in accordance with the law;
  2. By enforceable sentence, in the cases determined by law. Whoever loses nationality in this way will not be able to recover it.

El Salvador Citizenship by Investment

There has been much talk at the height of the last crypto bull market (November 2021) of El Salvador offering Citizenship by Investment and Residency by Investment, either through by paying in Bitcoin, USD o by buying government bonds. So far, we have not seen any details about this and it seems the Bitcoin bonds have been postponed to a later date (not sure if they will launch).

In the video below Andrew Henderson explains a bit more what it would mean if El Salvador did start to offer the direct option of Citizenship by Investment:

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