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Department of State Launches September Passport Awareness Month

Passport in handThe Department of State will celebrate passport awareness month in September with the launch of the #PicturePerfectPassport campaign to improve the quality of passport photos submitted by applicants. 

Poor quality photos are the number one reason that passport applications are delayed during the application process. In 2015, more than 200,000 applications were delayed for inadequate photos. When a poor quality photo is received, the Department of State must notify applicants and request that a new photo be sent by mail. Passport applications submitted with photos that do not meet the requirements could delay applications and interfere with travel plans.

Here are the top five reasons passport photos are rejected:

  1. Glare on glasses – Glasses should be removed for a photo.
  2. Photo is too light or too dark – Photo must be clear to reflect true skin tone.
  3. Old photo – The photo must have been taken within six months of submitting a passport application.
  4. Improper head size – A photo taken too close or too far away will be rejected.
  5. Low-quality image or paper – The photo should be high resolution. The photo cannot be blurry, grainy, pixilated or printed on the wrong paper.

The Department of State expects a record high passport demand from 2016 through 2018. To avoid delays in passport applications, applicants should submit a complete passport application with a photo that meets all requirements.

To see examples of incorrect passport photos, please click here.

If you have questions on immigrating to the United States, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!