For those who have never been to North Korea. The prospect of entry might seem quite daunting. First timers often assume that obtaining a visa to enter the country must be a difficult and immensely bureaucratic process with an endless chain of security hoops to jump through. Guess what? That’s a myth! Contrary to these beliefs, obtaining a North Korean visa is probably one of the easiest tourist visas you can get. In fact, it’s far easier than even the Chinese one. Visit North Korea’s quick guide will now give you the lowdown on the North Korean visa process and, hopefully, edge you one step closer towards booking your adventure!
First of all, a North Korean tourist visa can be obtained in two ways, but both of them nonetheless require the support of your travel company (i.e us). The first and most simple way is that we get it for you. As part of your tour package we can include the price of a visa if you wish. You send us a passport style photograph, basic passport details (number, issue expiry, etc), your DOB and profession and we forward it onto them. This will produce you what is known (pictured) as a North Korean tourist card. This will be a blue folded paper document which we hand to you in China. Instead of stamping your passport, North Korean customs will instead stamp this tourist card. Whilst this is advantageous (if you really don’t want a record of North Korea in your passport) the drawback is you do not get to keep it when leaving the country; they take it away.
The other method of obtaining a DPRK visa, if you do want a keepsake, is to receive documents from us and head to your local DPRK consulate/embassy to get one. Now this sounds daunting, but actually, it’s very easy to do. You simply contact them to make an available appointment and they’ll be happy to serve you. This will produce, however, a different kind of visa, not a card, but a stick in passport page one. This looks remarkably different to the tourist card as you can see and it is a good keepsake, thus it will get stamped accordingly on entry and exit.
A North Korean In-Passport visa
Although as mentioned above some people worry about having a record of North Korea in their passports, there are currently no countries which ban people from entry for having visited the DPRK. Disqualification from the United States visa waiver program only includes the following countries in the Middle East and North Africa: Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. So that certainly shouldn’t worry you!
Now believe it or not, when it comes to North Korean visas that’s all there is to it! It’s very quick, it’s simple and compared to other country’s tourist visas it’s also relatively cheap. For a country that is known for its secrecy and seclusion from the outside world, their barriers to entry are actually relatively low! Happy travels!