Passport for Travel to North Korea

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

  • We may grant an exception to qualified applicants by issuing a passport with a special validation.
  • Most special validations let you make one round trip to the DPRK in the next 365 days.
  • In certain cases, we may approve a special validation to make multiple trips to the DPRK during a two-year period.
  • We only issue special validations on a limited basis. 

If you do not have a special validation on your passport and travel to, in, or through North Korea, we may revoke your passport (22 C.F.R. § 51.62(a)(3) or you may be prosecuted for a felony (18 U.S.C. § 1544).

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 requirements for a passport. 

Your trip might be in the national interest if:

  • You are a professional journalist and the purpose of your trip is to make information about the DPRK available to the public.
  • You are a representative of the Red Cross traveling on an official Red Cross mission to the DPRK.
  • You are traveling for compelling humanitarian considerations.
  • It is otherwise in the national interest.


Steps to Request a Special Validation and Apply for a Passport

1. Collect the Required Information

For a single-entry special validation passport, 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 a temporary license or learner's permit). Provide a front-and-back copy of the license.
    • Naturalization certificate
    • Military identification
    • Federal, state, or municipal government employee identification card
  4. Statement explaining the reason your trip is in the national interest or why you are eligible for a special validation passport. Include proposed travel dates and your role on the trip. In group requests, each traveler must provide this statement.
  5. Documents to support your request, such as a letter from the organization sponsoring your trip(s).

For a multiple-entry special validation passport, you must submit all of the materials above and:

  1. Documents showing you or your organization has a well-established history of traveling to the DPRK,
  2. Your draft itinerary, including proposed dates of travel and work you will do on each trip, and
  3. Documents showing your humanitarian work requires that you make multiple trips to the DPRK in the next two-year period. 

2. Submit your Request

Email the required information to or send 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


3. Notification of Approval or Denial

After you submit your request:

  1. We will let you know if we approve or deny your request. If we deny your request, we will not further review this decision.
  2. If approved, we will send you a letter or email certifying your eligibility for travel to the DPRK.
  3. You must then use that letter or email to apply for your special validation passport. 
    1. Follow the steps to apply in person using Form DS-11 or renew by mail using Form DS-82.
    2. Email if you have questions about applying.
  4. If you are approved for a special validation passport that is good for multiple entries to the DPRK, you must send a final itinerary detailing dates and purpose of travel at least five days before each trip. Email these documents to or send them by mail to:

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


Frequently Asked Questions

Who may be approved for a multiple-entry special validation passport?

You may be approved if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • Your special validation is in the national interest as described on this page.
  • You or your organization has a well-established history of traveling to the DPRK.
  • You have itineraries and documents showing that you must make multiple trips to the DPRK in the next two-year period.

If I am approved, what form should I submit for my special validation passport?

If we approve your request for a special validation, you may be eligible to apply in person using Form DS-11 or renew by mail using Form DS-82. Please email if you have questions about applying.

Paperwork Reduction Act Information

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

Last Updated: May 22, 2024