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

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

What is the ESTA Visa Waiver Program?

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

What does this mean for me?

Can I still visit the US after visiting North Korea?

I am Canadian, does the ESTA Visa Waiver Program change affect me?

 

What is the ESTA Visa Waiver Program?

ESTA stands for 'Electronic System for Travel Authorisation'. The ESTA Visa Waiver Program is a US government program allowing citizens from 39 countries to go to the US visa-free for up to 90 days. Travellers from these countries can enter the US for either business or tourism purposes without having to first apply for a visa. This means that for nationals of these 39 countries, you can travel to the US visa-free. The ESTA Visa Waiver Program is an online platform where travellers will first fill in an application form online with various personal details to get approval for the ESTVA Visa Waiver Program. 

The official list of the 39 countries

ESTA Visa Waiver Application page. 


 

ESTA Visa Waiver: 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. 

This affects only those within the 39 countries that are eligible for the ESTA Visa Waiver Program. 

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 the ESTA Visa Waiver. Instead, it is necessary to get a visa for the US before travelling. 

The US updated its list of countries travellers had visited that means the traveller is no longer eligible to apply to the ESTA Visa Waiver Program.  Not just North Korea, but there are also other countries on this list. 

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.


ESTA Visa Waiver: What does this mean for me? 


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

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



ESTA Visa Waiver: 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 39 country nationals permitted to use the ESTA program, you will no longer be able to use this to travel to the US. 


ESTA Visa Waiver: I am Canadian, does the ESTA Visa Waiver Program change affect me? 


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

Can American Citizens Travel To North Korea? 

Can I Travel To North Korea? 


 

For more North Korea FAQs visit our North Korea FAQ page

Share

info@koryogroup.com | + 86 10 6416 7544
27 Bei Sanlitun Nan (East Courtyard).
Chaoyang District. Beijing 100027. P.R China

中国北京市朝阳区北三里屯南 27 号 (东侧院),
邮编:100027
Download contact card