Any tourist travelling to North Korea requires a North Korean visa. Contrary to popular belief, applying for, and issuing a visa to, North Korea is not that difficult but rather just a formality. Tourism is actively supported by the government, which makes it quite easy for tourists to get a visa in comparison to many other travel destinations. Only journalists, South Korean and US citizens (who are banned to travel to North Korea by their home country) are excluded from receiving a North Korean visa.
Visas for travel to North Korea are generally issued at all North Korean embassies. Here you will find a list of all locations around the world. In order to apply for a visa directly through the embassy, you will need confirmation of an existing travel application, which we happily provide for you. The visa fee usually comes to the equivalent of 40 to 60 euros, and is to be paid at the respective consulate. Please enquire in advance what the processing time is at your location. For instance, processing a visa at the North Korean embassy in Berlin, Germany, takes anything between one and three weeks – in urgent cases this may be handled in a shorter time.
If you would like to take advantage of the visa procurement service offered by our agency, we require your physical passport for a period of two to four weeks after successful travel registration in order to complete the visa formalities with the North Korean consulate. We recommend that you mail your documents (passport, passport-sized photo and completed visa form) by registered mail to us. You can download the visa application form from here. We will then return your passport by registered mail to you.
In addition to obtaining your North Korea visa in advance, either through our agency or own your own via a North Korean consulate, you may also pick up your visa in Beijing. We work closely with a Chinese courier service that will deliver your visa to your hotel on the night before leaving for North Korea. To do so, it is required that you plan to stay at least one night in Beijing. Your visa will be issued on a separate slip of paper to be carried in your passport, rather than the visa being stamped into your passport. If you choose this option, our agency will not require your physical passport. All we need is a scan of the photo page of your passport along with a digital passport-sized photo against white background. This option of obtaining your visa comes in handy when you are travelling abroad already and hence your passport becomes indispensable.
Travelers arriving in, or departing from, North Korea by train require a doubly-entry visa for the People’s Republic of China. It takes about one week to process that visa. We recommend you apply for your China visa approximately 5 to 6 weeks before your scheduled arrival in North Korea. Please visit www.visaforchina.org for further information on visa applications.
Travelers arriving in, or departing from, North Korea by plane may take advantage of the 72-hour visa-free transit in Beijing as an alternative to applying for a visa. As of January 1st, 2013, this programme allows air passengers from 53 countries (including most European countries) to transit and stay for up to 72 hours (3 days) in Beijing without a visa. You only need to be in possession of a confirmed onward ticket to a third country. Your onward flight must be within 72 hours of your arrival in China. This programme applies exclusively to air passengers and requires the arrival and departure from Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK). You may of course leave the airport transit area and move freely within the administrative area of Beijing (an area roughly the size of Belgium, much larger than the city of Beijing itself).
Please note that we cannot accept any responsibility for the information provided. We recommend that our customers check the conditions directly here as changes to the programme may apply. You may also refer to the FAQ page of Beijing airport. Of course, you can also contact us directly via the contact form with your questions about the 72-hour transit programme and the double-entry visa. However, it is the sole responsibility of each customer to ensure that they meet the requirements for entering China.