Reasons for residency´s cancellation in El Salvador

Residency status in a foreign country is a matter of vital importance for those seeking to settle and build a life in a new place. In El Salvador, understanding the grounds for cancellation of residency is essential for foreign residents, as any non-compliance can have significant legal repercussions.

The legal framework that regulates residency status in El Salvador is mainly established in the Special Law on Migration and Foreigners and its respective Regulations. This law defines the rights and duties of foreigners residing in the country, as well as the conditions for obtaining and maintaining legal residency status. It is important to note that failure to comply with these conditions may result in the cancellation of residence and possible expulsion from the country.

There are different grounds for cancellation of residency, among them we find non-compliance with requirements. Failure to comply with legal requirements to maintain residency status may be grounds for cancellation. These requirements may include the periodic renewal of the residency, compliance with specific conditions related to the type of residency granted, and respect for the laws and regulations of the country.

Likewise, participation in criminal activities, both in Salvadoran territory and internationally, may lead to cancellation of residency. Participation in illegal activities, such as drug trafficking, human trafficking or any form of serious crime, may jeopardize the legal stay in the country.

On the other hand, providing false or misleading information during the residency application process is grounds for cancellation. Immigration authorities verify the veracity of the data provided, and any attempt to mislead may result in the cancellation of the residency and other legal consequences.

Similarly, residency may be invalidated if the presence of a foreigner is considered a risk to national security. This may include cases where there are founded suspicions of terrorist activities, espionage or other acts that endanger the stability and security of the country.

According to Art. 49 of the Special Law on Migration and Aliens, the authorization of permanence and residence of persons shall be cancelled upon the occurrence of any of the following listed:

    • Failure to comply with the conditions imposed by the General Directorate of Migration and Aliens or failure to comply with the requirements taken into account at the time of authorizing their entry or legal stay in the country.
    • b) Failure to comply with their tax obligations, taxes, fees and other contributions in cases in which the law does not exempt them, in accordance with the applicable legislation.
    • Entry or exit through non-authorized posts, without being subject to immigration controls, except in exceptional cases established in our legislation.
    • In the case of definitive residents who are absent from the country for more than the time determined by the present Law, except in exceptional cases duly proven for health, education, family, or other reasons.
    • In the case of temporary residents, under the assumption that they are absent from the country for a period exceeding three consecutive months or four months accumulated in the same year, unless there are exceptional causes duly proven for health, educational, family, or other reasons.
    • Have obtained the authorization of legal stay by means of false or altered declarations or the presentation of false or altered visas or documents.
    • Perform paid work without being authorized to do so.
    • It is demonstrated that the residence was granted based on a marriage with a Salvadoran citizen, carried out with the sole purpose of receiving migratory benefits.
    • That they have been condemned for serious fraudulent crimes.
    • Endangers or jeopardizes national security, health, security, public order, rights and liberties of Salvadorans or foreigners, according to the report of the competent authorities in these matters.

In conclusion, the article details the causes for cancellation of residency in El Salvador, underlining the importance of understanding the legal implications for foreign residents. The Special Migration and Alien Law establishes the conditions and requirements to maintain the legal residency status. Failure to comply with these conditions, such as not renewing residency or engaging in criminal activity, can lead to cancellation. Providing false information during the application can also result in cancellation, as can prolonged absences without justified reasons.

For additional information or counseling, please contact Gustavo Vega ( or Pablo Sorto (, our specialists in these topics.