North Korea Travel Update:
Travel to the US & the
ESTA Visa Waiver Program

What is the new rule regarding travel to the US after travelling to North Korea?

What is the new rule for travel to US on the ESTA Visa Waiver Program?

The United States has introduced travel restrictions on foreign nationals who have visited North Korea. 

As of Tuesday 6th August the US government announced that anyone who has been to North Korea since March 2011 would no longer qualify for ESTA (the visa-free entry scheme used by citizens of many countries). 
Until yesterday north Korea was not on this list and there was no announcement made ahead of time that it would be added. More information can be found online here.

This means that people from countries that are normally eligible for the Visa Waiver Program, using the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) will now have to apply for a US visa in order to visit the United States if they have visited North Korea since 2011.

What does this mean for me? 

This does not mean that if you have visited or are planning to visit North Korea that you can't go to the United States.

It just means that you have to apply for a US visa, which you have to pay for. 


Can I still visit the US after visiting North Korea? 

Yes. As mentioned above, you can still travel to the US after visiting North Korea. However, you will need a US visa. 

If you were one of the 38 country nationals permitted to use the ESTA program, you will no longer be able to use this to travel to the US. 


I am Canadian, does this affect me? 

No. Canadians citizens never used the ETSA Visa Waiver Program. Therefore, the new laws will not affect you. 


For more North Korea FAQs visit our North Korea FAQ page

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