Effective August 5, 2019,  North Korea is added to the list of countries for which the travel restrictions under the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 (VWP Improvement Act) currently apply.

Nationals of VWP countries who have traveled to or been present in North Korea on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited exceptions for travel for diplomatic or military purposes in the service of a VWP country) or dual nationality with North Korea are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the VWP.   These restrictions do not bar travel to the United States, but they do require a traveler covered by the restrictions in the law to obtain a U.S. Visa.


To apply – Official ESTA website:

Eligible VWP travelers are strongly encouraged to file their applications through the Official ESTA website, and avoid phishing scams and excess fees charged by third party websites.  An approved ESTA is $14 USDIf your ESTA is denied, you are only charged $4 USD for the processing of your application.  The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is not responsible for any third party fees for the transaction.

Apply early!  Please apply your ESTA as early as possible – at least 72 hours before your international flight is scheduled to depart. Don’t risk arriving at the airport without an approved ESTA.

Technical difficulties? Please ensure that your computer meets the minimum configuration requirements.  We recommend using Internet Explorer (Windows) for submitting an ESTA application online.

ESTA question? If you have any questions or inquiries about ESTA, you can visit the CBP Info Center website for information, or contact CBP’s Travel Communications Center – ESTA Helpdesk: +1 (202) 344 3710.  The ESTA helpdesk operations hours are 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except closure on U.S. federal holidays.