5 things that could get your passport photo rejected

Passport applications are stressful. There are so many forms to fill out perfectly and there are strict specifications you have to adhere to if you want your passport to be approved. However, the biggest cause of passport rejections isn’t improper countersignatures or misspelt names, it’s actually the passport photo. There are a lot of rules surrounding passport photos and one small mistake could delay the processing of your passport; here are five picture errors that could get your passport application rejected:

1. Your face displays too much emotion

We’ve been told all of our lives to smile big for the camera but this is something you need to forget about for your passport photo. Your expression needs to be completely neutral with eyes facing forward and lips pressed together; if you try and pose like a model, your photo will likely be rejected.

2. The background isn’t neutral

Passport photo booths aren’t the only way to take a photo; you can take one for yourself. However, the same rules apply to your photo and you have to make sure the background is neutral and a pale colour. Any wallpaper embellishments or shadows behind you will nullify your photo.

3. You chose to accessorise

A hat or extravagant hair clip might pull your outfit together but you shouldn’t wear them if you want a successful passport photo; you can’t wear anything that can disguise your features or hair. Even reading glasses should be avoided as these can cause camera flashback and cover up your eyes.

4. You’re holding your child

Getting the perfect passport picture for infants isn’t an easy task. They might not sit still for the picture and getting them to pose with a neutral expression can be extremely difficult. It might be tempting to sit your child on your lap for the photo, but if any of your body is in the shot, the photo won’t meet the specifications

5. The passport photo has touch-ups

There’s no doubt that Photoshop has revolutionised our Instagram feed and a quick filter can instantly improve the appearance of any photo. However, passport photos should not be touched up or augmented in any way.

Photo: Passport by seantoyer licensed under Creative commons 4

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