Guidance

Apply for a UK visa in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Published 18 February 2014

To apply for a UK visa in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, you must complete your visa application form.

You must then:

  • get a tuberculosis test if you’re applying for a visa for more than 6 months
  • go to the British Embassy in Pyongyang to submit your form and documents, pay your fee, and have a photo and fingerprints taken

1. Get a tuberculosis test

If you are resident in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and would like to apply for a visa to come to the UK for more than 6 months, you must be tested at an approved clinic and be free from tuberculosis (TB) before you apply for a visa.

If you are coming to the UK for less than 6 months you do not need to be tested for TB. This includes people applying for 2, 5 and 10 year visitor visas, because the maximum stay in the UK at any one time is still 6 months.

Read the guide to TB testing in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

2. Go to the British Embassy in Pyongyang

Go to the British Embassy in Pyongyang website to find the location, contact details and opening hours.

When you attend your appointment, you will:

  • need to arrive no earlier than 15 minutes before your appointment (if you are late you will need to reschedule)
  • submit your visa application form and your supporting documents
  • pay your visa application fee
  • have a photo and fingerprints (known as ‘biometric information’) taken

Security

The only people who are admitted are:

  • the visa applicant
  • a responsible adult, if the applicant is a child
  • a carer, if the applicant is disabled
  • an interpreter, if the applicant is hearing-impaired

For security reasons, you cannot bring the following items or store them on the premises:

  • all battery operated or electronic gadgets such as cameras, compact discs, MP3s, tablets, laptops, or portable music players
  • all bags such as travel bags, back packs, briefcases, suitcases, leather, jute or cloth bags and zip folders. Only a plastic bag containing your application-related papers would be permitted
  • sealed envelopes or packages
  • any inflammable item such as matchboxes/ lighters/ fuel etc
  • any sharp objects such as scissors, pen knives or nail files
  • weapons or weapons-like objects or explosive material of any kind

Other items may be prohibited, at the discretion of security staff. There are no facilities to store prohibited items. You should make alternative arrangements to store your belongings.

What should you bring with you?

You must bring:

  • your completed visa application form, signed by you
  • 1 recent passport-sized (45mm x 35mm) colour photograph of your face, which meets the requirements in our photograph guidance
  • the correct visa application fee, in cash in euros
  • if you are applying under the points-based system, a completed self-assessment form, signed and dated
  • any supporting documents that are relevant to your application and a photocopy of each document (including English translations)
  • your passport – you are not legally required to have 6 months’ validity on your passport at the time you apply for your visa but your passport must be valid at the time you apply and at the time you arrive in the UK

Your passport must contain at least 1 page that is blank on both sides, so that your visa vignette (sticker) can be inserted. You should also bring any previous passports which show evidence of foreign travel.You can’t send your application form or supporting documents by post. You must come to the the British Embassy in Pyongyang in person. If you do not provide all the necessary information and supporting documents with your application form, we may refuse to give you a visa.

Paying your fee

You must pay the visa application fee in cash in euros at the British Embassy in Pyongyang. You should ensure that you get a receipt. We cannot accept payment by any other method.

When will we return your passport?

If you need to collect your passport before a visa decision has been made, your visa application will be withdrawn. The visa fee is non-refundable, and if you would like to reapply for a visa you will need to start another application, submit your biometric data, and pay the visa fee once again. When you pay your visa application fee, we will give you a receipt. We will not refund the fee if your application is unsuccessful. We will retain your passport until we have made a decision on your visa application. You should remember this when you make your travel arrangements, particularly if you plan to visit other countries before going to the UK.

Urgent and compassionate cases

You should inform a member of staff if your application is urgent and there are compassionate reasons for travel. We only accept urgent and compassionate cases in very few circumstances and you must provide evidence.

We only accept applications as urgent and compassionate in the following circumstances:

  • serious illness or death of an immediate family member (the applicant’s mother, father, brother, sister, husband, wife, son or daughter)
  • emergency medical treatment which includes people who need to travel with you for support (for example, a parent caring for an ill child)

4. Collect your documents

if your application is successful, we will contact you by email or phone to advise when your documents and visa are ready for collection. You can then collect your documents from our visa application centre. You will need to show your receipt. Documents can be collected from the British Embassy in Pyongyang from Monday to Thursday, 10am to midday and 2pm to 4pm).

If you want us to return any documents to you, you must photocopy them and submit the photocopies with the original papers when you attend your appointment at the visa application centre. We will not return any papers that have not been photocopied.

A nominated person can collect your documents on your behalf. They will need to provide an authorisation letter signed by you, your receipt and proof of their identity. If you are collecting a visa, you should check, before leaving the Embassy that it:

  • contains your correct personal details
  • correctly states the purpose for which you want to come to the UK
  • is valid for the date when you want to travel

If you think there is anything wrong with your visa, speak to a member of staff immediately.

4. Contact us

To make a general enquiry about UK visas, or enquire about the progress of your visa application, contact the British Embassy in Pyongyang.

Comments and complaints

If you are in the Democratic Republic of Korea, you should write to:

UK Visas and Immigration
British Embassy
Munsu-dong Diplomatic Compound
Pyongyang
Democratic People's Republic of Korea

We only accept complaints in writing. Please include as much information as you can in your complaint letter, including:

  • what went wrong
  • when and where it happened
  • who you dealt with
  • details of any witnesses
  • your full name and address
  • any relevant reference numbers or papers

If you are a visa applicant, you should also provide:

  • your date of birth
  • the type of application you made
  • any application reference number(s)