Marrying and Sponsoring a North Korean Citizen

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Marriage to a North Korean Citizen

Every country has its own laws that apply to its citizens marrying a person from a different country. Getting married to a North Korean citizen with the goal of eventually bringing them to Canada to live is a process with many steps. The North Korean government imposes strict requirements on foreigners who marry North Koreans as an indirect way of discouraging North Korean citizens from moving to other countries.

Foreigners must apply for official permission from the North Korean government to marry a citizen of North Korea. You must demonstrate to North Korean officials that they are not currently married to anyone else – either you have never been married or all divorces are finalized – that your identity is proven, and that you have never committed any crimes in North Korea. This is done by providing various documents including an Affidavit of Single Status to the North Korean government either in North Korean or via a North Korean embassy.

If you want to bring your North Korean spouse or partner to live in Canada, you must then file a sponsorship application for them to become a permanent resident. If they would like to visit you in Canada while their application is in process, they must also apply for a visitor visa. For more information, please see our family sponsorship page and our visitor visa page.


North Korean Marriage Basic Requirements

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is special case in the world as it is one of the most diplomatically isolated countries. Please contact us if you are trying to marry in North Korea and want to sponsor your spouse to Canada.


Visa Requirements:

  • Passport size photo
  • Valid passport
  • Photocopy of the first page of the passport
  • Visa application form


Family Members

If your North Korean spouse has dependent children, this does not affect the sponsorship process.

If you have dependent children, they have no effect on sponsoring of a North Korean citizen.


Calling North Korea from Canada

Calling the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is difficult as most international calls must go through an operator:

Dial 001 – 850 – 2 – 18111, where

  • 001 is the exit code from Canada
  • 850 is the country code for North Korea
  • 2 is the area code for Pyongyang
  • 18111 is the international operator number

This procedure is followed because the North Korean telephone directory is considered top secret government information.

There are a few phone numbers that can be dialled directly – mostly fax numbers – and these numbers begin with 381. For example, to dial one of these numbers in Pyongyang, you would dial:

001 – 850 – 2 – 381xxxx

These international numbers cannot call domestically unless they are calling another 381 number.

Official North Korean Area Codes as of 2011

2 Pyongyang
2 Pyongyang
2 18 Pyongyang
2 381 Pyongyang
2 771 Pyongyang
2 772 Pyongyang
2 880 Pyongyang
2 881 Pyongyang
2 882 Pyongyang
2 883 Pyongyang
2 885 Pyongyang
195 Pyongyang
31 Pyongsong
39 Nampo
41 Sariwon
45 Haeju
49 Kaesong
53 Hamhung
57 Wonsan
61 Sinuiju
67 Kanggye
73 Chongjin
79 Hyesan
85 29 Rason


Calling Canada from North Korea

Calling Canada is virtually impossible unless you have access a special phone line allowed to make international calls. If you have one of these numbers, dial

Dial 00 / 99 – 1 – area code – local number, where 00 or 99 is the exit code from North Korea.

You may be prevented from making this call.

Area Codes of Canada

Province Code Province  Code
Alberta 403 / 587 (southern Alberta)

587 / 780 (central and northern Alberta)

Nunavut 867
BC 236 / 250 / 778 (majority of BC)

236 / 604 / 778 (Metro Vancouver)

Ontario 226 / 519 (southwestern Ontario)

249 / 705 (northeastern Ontario)

289 / 365 / 905 (Greater Toronto Area)

343 / 613 (eastern Ontario)

416 / 647 (Toronto)

807 (northwestern Ontario)

Manitoba 204 / 431 PEI 782 / 902
New  Brunswick 506 Quebec 418 / 581 (eastern Quebec)

438 / 514 (Montreal)

450 / 579 (Greater Montreal)

819 / 873 (remainder of Quebec)

Newfoundland and Labrador 709 Saskatchewan 306 / 639
Northwest Territories 867 Yukon 867
Nova Scotia 782 / 902


Time Difference

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is on Korean Standard Time (GMT+9), just like the Republic of Korea. North Korea does not observe Daylight Saving Time.

Canadian Time Zone # of Hours North Korea is Ahead # of Hours during DST
Pacific (BC, Yukon) 17 hours 16 hours
Mountain (Alberta, western Nunvaut, Lloydminster, Saskatchewan) 16 hours 15 hours
Saskatchewan 15 hours 15 hours
Central (Manitoba, Northwest Territories, central Nunavut, northwestern Ontario) 15 hours 14 hours
Eastern (most of Ontario, most of Quebec) 14 hours 13 hours
Atlantic (Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, eastern Quebec) 13 hours 12 hours
Newfoundland 12.5 hours 11.5 hours


Emergency Information for Canadians in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

There is no Canadian diplomatic mission in North Korea. For assistance contact the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang or the Canadian Embassy in Seoul.

Please note that the numbers listed below for the Swedish Embassy can only be called internationally or form other 381 numbers.

Embassy of Sweden in Pyongyang

Munsudong, Daehak Street
Taedonggang District, Pyongyang
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Telephone: 850 (2) 381-7908, 381-7904, or 381-7485*
Fax: 850 (2) 381-7663*
Email: [email protected]

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Embassy of Canada in Seoul

21 Jeongdong-gil (Jeong-dong)
Jung-gu, Seoul (100-120)
Republic of Korea

Telephone: 82-2-3783-6000
Fax: 82-2-3783-6112
E-mail: [email protected]

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Please note

Canadian Government’s Travel Alerts for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

For travel alerts, click here

Sponsoring Your Korean Spouse to Canada

Sponsoring a Korean from the Democratic People’s Republic is more difficult than the average sponsorship application. To learn about average sponsorship applications, click the button below.

Learn More

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