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International Travel

International Travel News

North Korea Travel Restriction

August 2, 2017 

Effective Friday, September 1, 2017, U.S. passports are invalid for travel into, in, or through North Korea/Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Persons who wish to travel to North Korea on a U.S. passport must obtain a special passport validation under 22 C.F.R. 51.64, and such validations will be granted only under very limited circumstances. Please see Passport for Travel to North Korea for more information.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can people travel to North Korea on a U.S. passport?

No. Effective September 1, 2017, U.S. passports are invalid for travel in, through, or to North Korea without a special validation. 

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Are there special circumstances under which people can travel to North Korea?

In extremely limited circumstances described in 22 C.F.R. 51.64, the Department of State may provide a special validation in a limited-validity U.S. passport permitting one-time travel to North Korea. Please see Passport for Travel to North Korea for more information.

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What about persons currently in North Korea on a U.S. passport?

Persons currently in North Korea on a U.S. passport should depart North Korea before the travel restriction enters into effect on Friday, September 1, 2017.  Persons, including those currently in North Korea, who believe they meet the criteria for a limited-validity U.S. passport and special passport validation under 22 C.F.R. 51.64 should apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate.  

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What happens if someone travels to North Korea on a U.S. passport?

The Department of State can revoke a passport for misuse under 22 C.F.R. 51.62(a)(2).  

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Why is the Department of State restricting travel to North Korea?

The Secretary of State imposed a travel restriction on the use of U.S. passports to travel in, through, or to North Korea, due to mounting concerns over the serious risk of arrest and long-term detention under North Korea’s system of law enforcement. 

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Under what authority will this restriction be imposed?

The Secretary of State acted under the authority of 22 U.S.C. 211a, Executive Order 11295, and 22 C.F.R. 51.63(a)(3).  Pursuant to existing law, the Secretary may impose a geographic travel restriction on the use of U.S. passports to a specific country if he determines that any of three conditions exist:  the country or area is at war with the United States; armed hostilities are in progress in the country or area; or there is imminent danger to the public health or physical safety of U.S. travelers in the country or area. 

The Secretary determined that there is imminent danger to the public health or physical safety of U.S. travelers in the area. 

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How long will the GTR be in place?

The GTR will be valid for one year with the ability for the Secretary of State to renew, if warranted.

Applying for a Special Validation Passport for Travel to North Korea

As of September 1, 2017, U.S. passports are invalid for travel in, to, or through North Korea. However, in limited circumstances, applicants may be eligible for a Special Validation Passport that will allow them to travel for specific purposes. Please see Passport for Travel to North Korea for more information.