Passport for Travel to North Korea

OMB Control Number #1405-0228
Expiration Date 9/30/2024
Estimated burden: 45 minutes per response

Travel Restriction

As of September 1, 2017, U.S. passports are not valid for travel to, in, or through North Korea (also known as Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or DPRK). 

The U.S. Department of State may grant an exception to qualified applicants by issuing a passport with a special validation. Most special validations will permit the bearer to make one round-trip to the DPRK. In certain qualifying cases subject to additional requirements, the Department of State may approve applicants for a multi-entry special validation, permitting the bearer to make multiple trips to the DPRK during the special validation passport's period of validity of no more than one year. Special validations will only be issued on an extremely limited basis. 

Travel to, in, or through North Korea on a U.S. passport without this special validation may justify revocation of your passport for misuse under 22 C.F.R. § 51.62(a)(3) and may subject you to felony prosecution under 18 U.S.C. § 1544 or other applicable laws.

Who Can Get a Special Validation Passport?

We will only issue a special validation passport if your trip is in the national interest, and you meet all other passport eligibility requirements.

Your trip might be in the national interest if any of the following are true:

  • You are a professional reporter or journalist and the purpose of your trip is to collect, and make available to the public, information about the DPRK.
  • You are a representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross or the American Red Cross traveling on an officially-sponsored Red Cross mission to the DPRK.
  • Your trip to the DPRK is justified by compelling humanitarian considerations.
  • Your trip to the DPRK is otherwise in the national interest.

Who May be Approved for a Multiple-Entry Special Validation?

Effective September 3, 2021, you may be approved if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • Granting your special validation is in the national interest consistent with 22 C.F.R §§ 51.63-51.64.
  • You or your organization has a well-established history of traveling to the DPRK to work on well-monitored projects with compelling humanitarian considerations. 
  • You have draft itineraries and sufficient documentation showing that your humanitarian work requires you to make multiple trips to the DPRK in the next 365-day period. 

How Do I Apply for a Special Validation Passport?

If your trip falls into one of the above categories, you may be eligible for a special validation passport. By providing the following information, you are acknowledging the Privacy Act Statement published on this webpage. We must first verify your eligibility for a special validation passport.

Send the following information by email to or by mail to:

Office of Adjudication, Passport Services, U.S. Department of State
44132 Mercure Circle, P.O. Box 1243
Sterling, VA 20166-1243
ATTN: Special Validations

In your email or mailing, please provide:

  1. Your full name
  2. Current contact information including phone number, mailing address, and email address
  3. Copy of valid government-issued photo ID that includes your signature and date of birth. Examples include:
    • Current U.S. passport book or card
    • Driver's license (not temporary license or learner's permit). Provide a front-and-back copy.
    • Naturalization certificate
    • Military identification
    • Federal, state, or municipal government employee identification card
  4. Statement explaining the reason you think your trip is in the national interest (see criteria above) and/or are otherwise eligible for a special validation passport, including proposed travel dates and your role and responsibilities on the trip. In group requests, this statement must be written by each traveler.
  5. Any documentation to support your request, such as a letter from the organization being represented explaining in detail the purpose and intended work to be performed on your trip(s).

If you are seeking a multiple-entry special validation, you must clearly indicate so in your request. Providing a proposed itinerary documenting multiple trips, without indicating you are seeking a multiple-entry special validation, is not sufficient. You must also submit the following:

  • Documentation showing you or your organization has a well-established history of traveling to the DPRK to work on well-monitored projects with compelling humanitarian considerations;
  • Your draft itinerary, including proposed dates of travel and the intended work to be performed on each trip; and
  • Documentation that shows your humanitarian work requires that you make multiple trips to the DPRK in the next 365-day period. 

After you submit your information by email or mail:

  1. You will receive notification if your request is approved or denied. According to 22 C.F.R. § 51.70(b)(4), if your request is denied, there is no further review of this decision.
  2. If approved, we will send you a letter at the mailing address or email address you provided certifying your eligibility for travel to North Korea.
  3. You must then use that letter to apply for your one-time-use special validation passport and submit all applicable fees. We will include application instructions in your notification of approval.
  4. Only for applicants issued a multi-entry special validation passport: You must also send a final itinerary detailing dates and purpose of travel at least five days prior to each trip to the DPRK while using your multi-entry, special validation U.S. passport. You must send these documents by email to or by mail to:

U.S. Department of State
Harry S. Truman Building
2201 C St. NW, Washington, DC 20520

Failure to comply and follow these requirements could be grounds to deny future special validation passport requests.         


Privacy Act Statement

AUTHORITIES: Collection of this information is authorized by 22 U.S.C. 211a et seq, 8 U.S.C. 1104, Executive Order 11295 (August 5, 1966); and 22 C.F.R. parts 50 and 51.

PURPOSE: We are requesting this information in order to determine your eligibility to be issued a U.S. passport containing a special validation.

ROUTINE USES: This information may be disclosed to another domestic government agency, a private contractor, a foreign government agency, or to a private person or private employer in accordance with certain approved routine uses. These routine uses include, but are not limited to, law enforcement activities, employment verification, fraud prevention, border security, counterterrorism, litigation activities, and activities that meet the Secretary of State's responsibility to protect U.S. citizens and non-citizen nationals abroad. More information on the Routine Uses for the system can be found in System of Records Notices State-05, Overseas Citizens Services Records and Other Overseas Records and State-26, Passport Records.

DISCLOSURE: Providing information is voluntary. Be advised, however, that failure to provide the information requested on this form may cause delays in processing your request and/or could result in the refusal or denial of your request.


Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 45 minutes per response, including the time required for searching existing data sources, gathering the necessary data, providing the information and/or documents required, and reviewing the final collection. You do not have to supply this information unless this collection displays a currently valid OMB control number. If you have comments on the accuracy of this burden estimate and/or recommendations for reducing it, please send them to:

U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Passport Services, Office of Adjudication (CA/PPT/S/A)
Special Validations
44132 Mercure Cir, P.O. Box 1243
Sterling, Virginia 20166-1243

Last Updated: March 10, 2023