El Salvador

Frequently Asked Questions for U.S. and Canadian Residents


When will missionaries get their visa?

Missionaries will obtain their visa after arrival in El Salvador.

What Criminal Background check do missionaries need?

Statewide Criminal Background Check from the Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) or the state government (must be dated within the 5 weeks of the MTC date) from the state in which the missionary lives. The name on the background check must match exactly as it appears in their passport. This document will need an authentication attached to it. Instructions will be sent to missionaries.

Missionaries should contact their Bureau of Criminal Identification or state government to verify the process requirements, fees, and processing time. Missionaries can locate their state's bureau by searching online or contacting their state government.

A local city or county police record will not be accepted. Missionaries should not contact their police department for this report. (AZ, CA, and UT are exceptions; see below).

Utah: A few city police departments have authorization to access the BCI system. If a missionary's city provides the document, it MUST indicate it is a STATEWIDE Criminal History Report.

Arizona: Arizona does not issue statewide background checks. You will complete this part of the visa requirement after you arrive at the Provo MTC. (All you need to submit prior to the MTC is the copy of your passport.)

California: If missionaries live in California, they will need to do the Live Scan. Missionaries can go to the following website for more information: http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/pdfs/fingerprints/forms/BCIA_8016_visa.pdf

When can missionaries get their State Criminal Background Check?

The State Background Check must be dated no earlier than five weeks before missionaries enter the missionary training center or it will expire before the visa can be obtained in El Salvador.

When does Missionary Travel need to have the documents required for the visa?

The documents must be to Missionary Travel at least one week prior to the MTC date.

Why do I have a ticket from Guatemala back to the United States?

This is called an open return. It is there to show proof that a return from Guatemala can be funded. This is required for missionaries to qualify for a 90-day visitor’s visa.

When will I receive my travel instructions and itinerary?

An itinerary with travel instructions will be e-mailed to the missionary’s myldsmail.net account approximately two weeks prior to the missionary’s MTC date, provided the travel office has received all of the required documents.


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