U.S. Embassy San Salvador, El Salvador - SNS

Please follow the steps below before your immigrant visa interview at the U.S. Embassy in San Salvador, El Salvador.

Step 1: Create your Online Profile

All applicants need to register your appointment online with our Visa Information Center (VIC) prior to thier appointment. The online registration process is completely free and to register you will need: your passport, your case number, your date of birth and the category of visa for which you are applying.

It is important that you provide Salvadorian phone numbers and an updated email address because this contact information will be the one that we will use throught the process in case we need to contact you. Also this step provides us with the necessary information to be able to return your passport once your interview is over.

The VIC will give you a registration number called a "UID", which is going to be requested by our Panel Physicians to scheule your medical appointment. Keep this number handy for Step 2 and to pick up your passport after your visa interview.

In order to start the process you must click on the "Register" button located at the bottom.

Register >>

Step 2: Schedule a medical exam in El Salvador

As soon as you receive your appointment date, you must schedule a medical exam in El Salvador at least three weeks (3) prior to your interview. Please schedule and attend a medical exam with one of these doctors before our interview.

Click the “Medical Exam Instructions” button below for a list of designated doctors’ offices in El Salvador. 

Medical Exam Instructions >>

Step 3: Complete your pre-interview checklist

The embassy will review your immigrant visa case file before your interview. If anything is missing, we will send you an email using the address you listed on your Form DS-260 and in your VIC registration (see Step 1 above). In our email, we will tell you which items on the below checklist you need to gather and bring with you on your interview day. 

The email we send will have the subject line: "Preparación del Caso” and your case number, which begins with the letters “SNS.”


Pre-Interview Checklist >>

Step 4: Review interview guidelines

Read our interview guidelines to learn about any special actions that you need to take before your visa interview.


Interview Guidelines >>

Medical Exam Instructions

All immigrant visa applicants, regardless of age, require a medical examination prior to the issuance of a visa. Only a physician accredited by the U.S. Embassy can perform this exam. It is your responsibility to schedule a medical exam with one of the doctors listed below at least three (3) weeks before your visa interview appointment at the U.S. Embassy. Medical examination results from other physicians will not be accepted.

Any medical examination fees, including x-ray and blood test fees, must be paid directly to the examining physician. The prices established are the same for all Panel Physicians: the basic exam fee is approximately $275 per person. Any required vaccinations, additional x-rays, or follow-up tests will be charged separately and require additional fees. Costs can be as high as $695 per applicant. Any fee in conjunction with further tests or examinations will be at the expense of the applicant.  The total cost of the medical examination will depend on your personal medical condition.

Authorized Physicians:

Edificio Avante, Nivel 9, Local 03-A, Santa Elena
Antiguo Cuscatlán, La Libertad
Phone: 2263-9884, 2101-1275, 2519- 1070, 7661-8813

Blvd Orden de Malta No.6, Bosques
de Santa Elena 2, contiguo a la Plaza
Monte ElenaAntiguo Cuscatlán, La Libertad
Phone: 2246-1541, 2508-3716, 7786- 9565

Edificio Madre Selva, 5to nivel, Urbanización Madre Selva 4ta Etapa,
intercesión El Almendro y Ave. el Espino,
Antiguo Cuscatlán, La Libertad.
Teléfono: 2523-1139, 2524-5680, 7291-7418

Edificio Avante, Nivel 9, Local 13, Santa Elena
Antiguo Cuscatlán, La Libertad
Phone: 2246-0724, 2100-1088, 2100-1445, 2246-0722, 2246-0723

Edificio Avante, Nivel 9, Local 03-B, Santa Elena
Antiguo Cuscatlán, La Libertad
Phone: 2246-1241, 2246-1242


Items to bring to your medical examination

Bring the following items to your medical exam:

  • Your UID number from your registration with the Visa Information Center (see Step 1),
  • Your passport plus one photocopy of the passport’s biographical page,
  • Your visa interview appointment letter showing your case number,
  • Five (5) recently taken color photographs sized 2x2 inches on a white background,
  • Your vaccination records and a copy. If you do not have vaccination records, the physician will work with you to determine which vaccines are medically necessary for you. Note: Presenting counterfeit or falsified vaccination records may result in the denial of your immigrant visa.
  • DS-260 confirmation page.
  • Medical records and prescription information for any medical conditions you currently have, and
  • A white sheet of paper with the following information:
    • Current home address,
    • Address in U.S. where you plan to reside
    • Contact email
    • If the patient is a female and has children, the dates of birth of all children.
  • Applicants under age 14: If the mother or father does not accompany the applicant to the medical exam, the person accompanying the applicant must bring a legal power of attorney giving him/her authorization to accompany the minor to the exam and for the minor to take the exam.

Items to take into consideration on the day of your exam:

  • Access to the clinic is limited to the applicant. A parent/legal guardian or escort may accompany a minor or an applicant with a special need.
  • It is not necessary to fast on the day of your appointment.
  • All applicants must arrive at the physician’s office before 10:00 a.m. in order for the results to be completed on the same day.

Scope of the Examination:

Please be advised that all immigrant visa applicants are required to submit themselves to a thorough examination conducted by an approved panel physician. Examinations are conducted in conformity with technical instructions issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and will include:

  • A mental status examination which includes, at a minimum, assessment of intelligence, thought, cognition (comprehension), judgment and mood, and behavior
  • A physical examination that includes, at a minimum, examination of the eyes, ears, nose and throat, extremities, heart, lungs, abdomen, lymph nodes, skin and external genitalia (visual and palpation)
  • And, all diagnostic tests required for the diagnosis of the diseases identified as communicable diseases of public health significance and other tests identified as necessary to confirm a suspected diagnosis of any other condition that may affect the applicant’s eligibility for an immigrant visa.

Applicants should bring their vaccination records to the examination, along with any medical records the applicant believes might be relevant to their particular medical history, including current prescription drug names, doses, and frequency of use.

During the medical exam

The medical examination will include a medical history review, physical examination, and chest X-ray, gonorrhea test, and blood tests (for applicants 15 years of age or older). The United States also requires tuberculosis (TB) testing for all applicants two years of age and older. The embassy-approved physician will give you a referral to an approved x-ray clinic and/or serologic testing laboratory if required for you to take these tests. The approved clinics are:

Healthcare X Ray Clinic
Calle Llama del Bosque, Edificio Valencia,
1er Nivel, Local No. 1 & 2 Antiguo
Cuscatlán, La Libertad
Phone: 2246-1524
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:00am - 6:00pm

Healthcare Laboratorio Clínico
Calle Llama del Bosque,
Edificio Valencia, 1er Nivel, Local
No. 1, Antiguo Cuscatlán, La Libertad
Phone: 2246-1527 or 2246-1528
Hours: Monday-Friday, 7:00 am – 6:00 pm

Please be prepared to discuss your medical history, medications you are taking, and current treatments you are undergoing. More information on general medical requirements for U.S. immigrants is available here.

U.S. immigration law requires immigrant visa applicants to obtain certain vaccinations prior to the issuance of a visa.

Current immigrant visa vaccination requirements are available here. You can also read Frequently Asked Questions about our medical examination requirements online.

Special Cases

Physicians authorized by the Embassy of the United States, based on the results of their evaluation, may indicate follow-up with a psychologist, a psychiatrist or other types of studies for certain health conditions. These processes can last for 3, 6, 9 or 12 months. These additional processes could mean that additional payments have to be made and that your immigrant visa process can be delayed. Also, there is a possibility that medical exams may have to be re-performed because the validity of the former may have expired.

It is necessary to clarify that in the aforementioned cases your interview in the Consular Section will be canceled but your process will continue. The authorized doctor or the Consular Section will inform you when you can reschedule your appointment. Please wait to receive your doctor's instruction to schedule a new appointment through the Visa Information Center (VIC).

After the medical exam

When your examination is completed, the doctor will either provide you with exam results in a sealed envelope or send them directly to the U.S. Embassy. IF GIVEN AN ENVELOPE TO CARRY TO YOUR INTERVIEW, DO NOT OPEN THIS ENVELOPE. Instead, bring it to your visa interview. Any x-rays taken will be given to you. You DO NOT need to bring the x-rays to your visa interview unless you suffer from tuberculosis. However, you must carry the x-rays with you when you travel to the United States for the first time. The medical report must be less than six (6) months old when you enter the United States as an immigrant.


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Pre-Interview checklist

Below is a list of documents the consular officer needs to see during your visa interview. Please review the checklist and prepare your documents according to your visa category and if they are applicable on your case. The embassy will send you an email titled “Preparación del Caso” if any of these documents are missing from your case file, you will need to gather all mention documents and bring them to our interview.


Also, during the performance of your medical examination you will be given a list with the necessary documents for the day of your interview according to your visa category. This list is also available here.

You must present the following documents on the day of your interview:

  • A copy of your NVC interview letter (does not apply to Diversity Visa, fiancé(e), adoptive, or asylee/refugee applicants).
  • Unexpired passport. Please also bring any unexpired passport and any previous passports used to travel to the United States, including all U.S. visas previously issued to you.

  • One (1) color photograph of each person applying for a visa (5 cm x 5 cm, or 2 inch x 2 inch).  Please review our online photo requirements.

  • All applicants must present their original birth certificate.

    NOTE: If the petitioner is your parent, sibling, son/daughter:  If you, your sibling, or your son/daughter were registered months after your/their birth or you/your parents made a change one year after your/their birth, you must present your/their infant footprints that were taken in the hospital when you/they were born and the baptismal certificate (only if the parent's name appears in the document). You can also include photos.

  • If you are petitioned by your spouse: You must present your original marriage certificate.

  • If you are petitioned by your spouse: You must present any original divorce decree for your petitioner or yourself if applicable.

  • If you are petitioned as an Unmarried son or Daughter: You must present any original divorce decree if you have been married before.

  • If you are the petitioner’s stepchild:  The original marriage certificate of the petitioner and your biological parent, and original divorce records for any previous marriages of either parent.

    NOTE: If the previous relationship ended due to the death of a spouse: You must present the ex-spouse’s original death certificate.

  • All applicants 18 years old and above must present the Police Certificate named: Solvencia de la Policía Nacional Civil.

    NOTE: If you lived in another country for more than one year: You must present the Police Certificate from that country. 

  • Financial documents: c  I-864 form version as applicable, (I-864, I-864 A, I-864 EZ I-864W), W2 and/or 1099 forms as applicable, (1099-G, 1099-R, 1099-SSA, 1099-INT, 1099-DIV, W2G), IRS transcripts.

    • Financial documents must be from the most recent year and for petitioner and/or Joint Sponsor. (If applicable).

    • If the petitioner does not declare taxes, you must present a letter explaining the reason why he/she does not declare and MUST be signed by the petitioner.

  • If you are under the age of 14:  You must be accompanied to the interview by your biological mother or father, a legal guardian or a special attorney. They must present proof of legal custody or personal care of the minor or a special power that entitles them to accompany the minor to the interview given by the biological father or mother.

  • If you have served in any country’s military: You must present your military history

  • For employment-based visa applications: You must present your employer's letter with the job offer.

  • If you are adopted:  You must present the original documents of the adoption process.

  • If the petitioner is your father:  If you were registered months after your birth or your parents made a change one year after your birth, you must present your infant footprints that were taken in the hospital when you were born and the baptismal certificate (only if the father's name appears in the document). You can also include photos.

  • If you have been detained in or deported from the United States at any time:  If you have ever been detained or deported from the United States: you must attach all documents related to your immigration processes, including the deportation order, the voluntary deportation order, and any court documents.

  • If you were in the United States illegally and were granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or political asylum:   You must submit all applications for TPS/asylum, any approval or denial documents, and cards issued to the applicant. Claims of TPS or political asylum will not be acknowledged without complete documentation – the burden of proof of legal status in the United States is on the applicant.

  • Original or certified copies of birth certificates for all children of the principal applicant (even if he or she is not accompanying).


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Interview Guidelines

Sending documents to the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador

If you need to send us any documents, please DO NOT mail them to us directly. Instead, visit our online Visa Information Center and ask for information on courier services.

Rescheduling or cancelling your interview

If you are unable to attend your appointment,go to our online Visa Information Center to select a new appointment date There may be a significant wait before the next available appointment, so please attempt to attend the date already assigned. For some family-based and employment preference visa categories, a visa became available within the month you have been scheduled by NVC. There is no guarantee that a visa will still be available on the date of your rescheduled interview. Please carefully consult the Visa Bulletin before you decide to reschedule your interview.

Please note: Rescheduling is only possible on a date after your assigned appointment.

Security screening procedures

All visitors to the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador must follow certain security procedures. Any visitor who declines to be screened by U.S. Embassy security personnel will be unable to enter the embassy. To avoid delaying your entry and that of those in line behind you, please bring only what is required for your interview. There is no parking area at the embassy for visa applicants. Please arrive no earlier than 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.

Accompanying persons

Attorneys are not permitted to accompany clients into the waiting room or to their interview. Only the following persons may accompany a visa applicant to their interview:

  • If the petioner is the spouse or fiancé of the applicant (Visas IR1 and K1), is recommendable that he/she accompanies the applicant the day of the interview. Please be aware that only the beneficiary and the petitioner will be allowed to enter the Embassy.
  • Interpreters: Applicants may bring ONE interpreter if theywho do not speak English or Spanish well enough to participate in an interview., may bring ONE interpreter.
  • Special Needs Visitors: Applicants may bring ONE person to help if they are elderly, disabled, or a minor child.

Immigrant visa fees

If you have not paid all required fees to either the National Visa Center or via the appointment website, please be prepared to pay these fees on the day of your interview. All fees may be paid in U.S. dollars. We accept cash and credit cards only (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and Diners Club). We do not accept personal checks. Please note that if you are found ineligible to receive a visa, the application fee cannot be refunded. A complete list of fees can be found here.


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After Your Visa Interview

A consular officer can make a decision on a visa application only after reviewing the formal application and interviewing the applicant. There is no guarantee that you will receive a visa. Do not sell your house, car or property, resign from your job or make non-refundable flight or other travel arrangements until you have received your immigrant visa.

Do not make travel plans outside of El Salvador

If your visa is approved, we will keep your passport at the embassy while we prepare your immigration packet and print a visa for your passport. We will return your passport to you later via the method you selected when you registered online (see Step 1). If you have to travel within El Salvador while your passport is still with us, please make sure you have a valid picture ID other than your passport.

If more information is needed

Sometimes a consular officer is unable to make a decision on a visa application because he/she needs to review additional documents or the case requires further administrative processing. When additional documents are requested, the consular officer will give you a refusal letter or sent to you in email that asks you to submit additional documents. The letter will include instructions on how to send those documents to the Embassy.

Administrative processing takes additional time after the interview. Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days. However, the timing varies based on the circumstances of each case. Before inquiring about the status of administrative processing, please wait at least 60 days after your interview.

What happens after visa approval?

Passport, Visa, and Sealed Immigrant Packet – We will place your immigrant visa on a page in your passport. Please review your visa to make sure there are no spelling errors. We will also give you a sealed envelope containing documents that you must give to U.S. immigration authorities when you arrive in the United States for the first time. If you receive X-rays during your medical examination, carry those with you and give them to the U.S. immigration authorities. 

Do not open this envelope. You must carry it with you; do not put it in your checked luggage.

USCIS Immigrant Fee – All individuals who are issued immigrant visas overseas must pay an Immigrant Fee of $220 to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) prior to traveling to the United States. This fee is for processing your residency status and printing your Permanent Resident Card, the payment is online and the instructions will be sending to you among your passport and visa packet.

The only people exempt from paying this fee are: children entering the United States under the Hague Process, returning residents, and people traveling on a K visa.


When You Should Travel – You must enter the United States before the expiration date on your visa, which is usually six months from the date of printing. Your visa cannot be extended and all fees are nonrefundable. The principal applicant must enter before or at the same time as other family members with visas. Unless they are eligible for benefits under the Child Status Protection Act, children who are issued a visa before turning 21 years of age must enter the United States before their 21st birthday to avoid losing their immigrant status.

Getting a Green Card – Your Form I-551 Permanent Resident Card, also known as a green card, will be automatically mailed to the address in the United States that you write in your visa application form. This is a very important document that proves you have permission to reside in the United States. If you plan to travel outside the U.S. before your green card arrives: Please consult USCIS’s and CBP’s websites for rules about what documents you need to re-enter the country. We also recommend you check with the airline to ensure you are in compliance with their rules. Once your card is issued, you should not stay outside of the United States for more than one year. If you do, you will lose your status as a Lawful Permanent Resident.

Children’s Issues – In the United States, children are required to have certain vaccinations before they can enroll in school. We recommend that you bring your child’s complete vaccination records with you to the United States. If your child is adopted, you have full custody as a result of a divorce, or you share custody with another parent, you should bring a copy of all applicable adoption or custodial papers from the authoritative court in your home country. You will need these papers (translated into English) for issues such as school enrollment, medical care, and eventual citizenship.

Information for New Immigrants – Please visit the USCIS web page for helpful information on moving to the United States. You can read their publication “Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants” online.

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Last Updated: 3/31/2020

Contact Information

U.S. Embassy San Salvador

Boulevard Santa Elena
Antiguo Cuscatlan
San Salvador, El Salvador

From El Salvador: 2113-3122
From the U.S.: (703) 745-5476
Cancel and Reschedule:

Email for Attorneys: