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Frequently Asked Questions
Making the decision to travel to North Korea should not be taken lightly. If you do decide to travel there for tourism purposes, prepare to face severe limitations. You can book a holiday in North Korea as part of a guided tour since independent travel is not possible. American citizens are banned from visiting North Korea, and if you do want to go, you must get approval from the US State Department. At the same time, keep in mind that if you are eligible for an ESTA and you have been to North Korea before, the ESTA will be denied, and you must go to the nearest US embassy or consulate to apply for a visa.
Basically, traveling to North Korea is possible under severe restrictions. You cannot visit what you want when you want, you do not enjoy freedom of expression, and your behavior must fall under the North Korean standards. If you fail to comply with the strict rules of North Korea, the punishment may include imprisonment, torture, and even death. So, if you really want to go to North Korea, make sure that you are prepared for it.
As you can imagine, the entry requirements in North Korea are pretty strict. The country’s visa policy allows only Chinese nationals who want to visit Tongnim City to enter North Korea without a visa. All other nationalities must apply for one. An authorization from a travel agency registered with the State General Bureau of Tourist Guidance must be obtained as well.
When it comes to tourism, do not think that you can explore North Korea like any other country. All tours are organized by a local or government travel agency, and it is they who decide what you can and cannot see. A guide will be in your presence from the moment you leave the hotel. And that is not all they do. They are also in charge of inspecting all the photos you take, and all the pictures that do not meet a certain standard will be deleted. The point is to portray North Korea in the best possible light. There is no point in arguing with a guide about your pictures, so if you do not wish to have any problems, it is best you just listen to them. It is also advised to agree with your guide because any uncomfortable questions about the political regime in North Korea can end up in evasive answers, or even worse, interrogation.
When in doubt about the places where you can take pictures, you should always ask first. But not all guides are the same. Some of them are more relaxed than others, and you may be allowed to photograph what others refuse. You will not know until you are on the tour. If you think that a particular subject would be embarrassing for North Korea, it is best to not take the photo at all.
What we can tell you right from the start is that you are prohibited from taking any pictures of the military personnel. At times, it would seem impossible for you to take a photo of a site without capturing some officers, but in that case, you should ask your guide if you are allowed to take out your camera.
Keep in mind that if you go inside the Friendship Exhibition, where you can see on display gifts sent from all around the world to Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, you are not allowed to take any photos at all. The same rule applies if you go to Kumsusan Memorial Place.
If you want to do some sightseeing, there is not a whole lot you can see. There are several war memorials that you can visit, as well as monuments erected to honor the Great Leader and the Workers Party of North Korea. You will find a few museums too, but they are mostly filled with statues and monuments related to the war.
What is important to remember when visiting North Korea is that the general idea is that Americans are the ones to blame for the Korean War. You should never say anything that may disagree with that. It will get you into trouble, as well as create problems for your guide. Remember that the two Koreas are still at war, with merely a cease-fire in place.
Panmunjom is called the ‘peace village,’ and you are free to take photos there as you like. This location is the home of the world’s third tallest flagpole.
Another thing you should expect is that while you are on your tour to museums and monuments, you will be bombarded with propaganda. Most of them are harmless and tell the stories about what Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-Il did for their great nation. However, you will hear things that are downright ridiculous and amusing. Under no circumstance should you laugh or make funny faces. You must at least give the appearance that you take everything seriously. After all, we all know that North Koreans did not put a man on the sun. You should just listen, keep a straight face, and move on.
Just like there is not much to see in North Korea, there is not much you can actually do either. However, as funny as it may sound, North Korea does have three amusement parks. Two of them are out of order because of the lack of electricity and interest, but the third is operational and may provide a little bit of fun while in North Korea. The rides are quite modern, and they are not dangerous. At least according to North Korean standards.
The official language in North Korea is Korean, but the guides speak reasonably good English. They will translate everything for you.
One thing that you should know before interacting with the locals is that you may get them in trouble for no reason. If you travel to North Korea during the holidays, you may have a chance to chat with one or two, but they are taught that foreigners are usually up to no good, and they will avoid talking to you because they do not want trouble. You should respect that and move along.
North Korea is not a country you want to visit unless you are well prepared for it. There are a lot of rules in place, and not following them can get you in a lot of trouble. If that happens, keep in mind that diplomatic affairs are not something you can rely on in North Korea, and nobody may actually know that you need help. The best course of action is to follow the rules and mind your own business. Unless you are willing to do that, you should not travel to North Korea.
An e-Visa is an official document permitting entry into and travel within a certain country. The e-Visa is an alternative to visas issued at the ports of entry or visiting an embassy/consulate to obtain traditional paper visas. e-Visas are linked electronically to the traveler's passport.
Our service starts with information. You can use our up-to-date visa requirements tool to search if you need a travel visa. It's as simple as telling us where you are from and where you are going. Based on this information we will tell you how much the visa costs, the number of entries, the start date and give you an action step such as applying directly on our site!
It depends on the country issuing the visa. For many countries such as Australia ETA and Turkey e-Visa, the process can be done in 15 minutes through our rush service. For other countries such as the India tourist Visa, the process usually takes 24 hours. The exact time can be found on each application form. What we guarantee is that your application with iVisa will be the fastest way to apply anywhere.
The documents must be printed on a sheet of blank A4 white paper. Double-side or reduced printing will not be accepted.
We help you get your travel visa in the simplest and fastest way possible. Through easy-to-use online application forms and world-class 24/7 customer service, we make the whole visa process quick and simple! We also use best practices when it comes to protecting your data and credit card.
iVisa offers two types of Visa: Electronic visas (e-Visas) and traditional paper visas, based on your destination. In addition, we also offer the following services/documents that are required by certain countries: ETA (electronic travel authorization), Tourist Cards, Visa on Arrival pre-registration/approval form, Tourist Invitation Letters, and Embassy Registration service.
- Select the country to which you are requesting the visa
- Select the type of visa and read the instructions carefully.
- Select Apply Now
- Fill in the application form
- Pay using a Visa Card, Mastercard or other debit card.
- Await approval via email, then download and print the e-Visa from your account.
- Present your printed e-Visa to the immigration officer at the port of entry.
Please note most countries offer the ability to process a travel visa without a service fee. The main reason we process thousands of travel visas per month is we save you time and frustration. Our service includes an easy to use website and application form. It is much easier to process your application with us especially for mobile users and large groups. We send all of our clients the visa days before travel. This is especially helpful for those passengers who purchase the visa months in advance. We also have a 24-hour customer service with professionals that are based in the United States and speak English. We accept multi-currencies and our website can be translated into over 20 languages. We believe our fee is worth your time and sanity but please note all governments do have their own "free" service.
If you have already applied on our site, please log in to your account and look for your order/application. An account is generated for you automatically after payment is received. Click the link in your confirmation email to set up a password or visit the log in page to set up the password and enter the account. Please note in most cases your visa will be delivered to you via email and can be found in your account after logging in.
If your visa application is not approved by the government agency, we will provide a full refund of all service fees under our approval guarantee. We cannot refund the visa fee (if applicable) since this is a third party fee that is paid directly to the government agency. If a mistake is made on your application, we will process your visa again at no cost. Please note refunds are credited back to the same credit card used.
If we have not processed your visa, we can make changes without a problem. We do check your information for mistakes as well. If you have already processed your visa, If we have submitted your application to the appropriate government agencies, some will allow to make changes, while others do not. Please contact us immediately (preferably through chat) if you notice an error on your application.
Some countries may require proof of yellow fever vaccination if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever. You can see more info here: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list It's the passenger´s own responsibility to verify these regulations before traveling to the chosen country.
In order to download your invoice, please log in to your account and download it directly from there.
You may reprint the e-Visa in your email account. Alternatively, you may retrieve and reprint the e-Visa by using your iVisa account.
Yes. The iVisa system does not retain your credit card information after the transaction is processed.
All visas grant travelers the permission to travel to a country's port of entry. Whether you are granted entry or not will be at the discretion of the Immigration Officer at the entry point.
If your visa application has not been submitted for processing you will receive a full refund. However, if your application has been submitted, then we will not be able to provide a refund.
When the visa has to be shipped to you, the processing times do not include this shipping time. It is from when we receive your application to obtaining the approval. Most visas (e-Visas) are sent via email upon approval so shipping times will not apply.
No, we are not affiliated with any government agencies. We are a private company that specializes in processing travel visas for travelers worldwide.
Unfortunately, we are not able to, since the government agencies do not inform us of the reason(s) behind the decisions.
If your visa is not approved, we advise that you contact the nearest embassy/consulate for more information on what your options are.
We accept Visa, Master Card, American Express, and PayPal.
All citizens from these territories applying through our website will have their application processed with the nationality/citizenship specified in their passport. As an example, a traveler from Puerto Rico will have their request processed as USA nationality. This does not apply to the travelers under the BOTC (British Overseas Territories Citizen) category according to the British Overseas Territories Act of 2002.