How to Avoid Rejected Passport Photos and Other Tips

Passports are one of the most commonly falsified documents. This, along with various terrorist threats that have hounded different countries of the world, has led to the implementation of more stringent requirements for passport photographs. Compared to other identification documents and cards, passports impose one of the strictest requirements when it comes to photographs.

To make sure that your passport photograph does not get rejected, you have to ensure that the photograph adheres to the specific passport photo requirements of the country you will be visiting.


There are basically three passport photo requirements that are employed worldwide. These photo requirements are necessary no matter where you will be going. These include the following:

1. The subject of the photo should be facing front.
2. The subject should be photographed clearly, with a clear focus and visible eyes and ears.
3. The subject should not smile in the picture.

The no-smile rule is a new requirement implemented by all countries. This is necessary when implementing measures of biometrics.


Additional photograph requirements may be imposed by specific countries. Thus, before traveling to any country, research on the specific passport photograph requirements that is the country imposes.

For example, when traveling to the United States, specific passport photograph requirements include that the passport should have been taken within the last 6 months. Also, if you typically wear a medical equipment, such as prescription glasses or hearing aids, you will also have to wear them for your passport photograph. Dark and non-prescription glasses with colored lenses should also not be used in the passport photograph.


When taking a passport photograph, there are certain principles you have to make sure you follow.

The typical size of a passport photograph is approximately 2 x 2 inches. The photograph is colored, and is printed on photo paper. The printing is clear, and has a continuous quality. No enhancements or editing may be done on the photograph. Retouching the photograph is also not allowed.

The entire head of the subject should fit within the borders of the photograph. The eyes of the subject should lie 1 1/8 to 1 3/8 inches from the lower edge of the photograph.

The background used for a passport photograph should be white in most formats. That is, unless your hair is white. Your hair should not blend in with the background or your clothing. You will also not be allowed to wear anything on your head, such as hats or caps.

When taking a passport photograph, most places will require you to wear a plain top with a collar. Also, you cannot wear a top where the logo of the clothing will be visible on the photograph. Uniforms are not allowed, unless they are religious clothes that you wear on a daily basis.

When submitting a passport photograph, it is also important to not let anything get in the way of the subject’s face, such as staples. If the staples are too near to the face of the subject, a new photo will have to be submitted again. Some experts suggest that instead of using staples, the subject’s picture can be glued.


Passport photographs should be able to represent the owner of the passport accurately. If you’re traveling to a specific place, it would be a good idea to inquire what their passport photograph requirements are. Call the Embassy in your country and inquire. If you follow specific passport photograph requirements, you will not have to go through the hassle of getting your photograph rejected and being forced to submit a new one. Source:

Vaskevich Studios specializes in Passport Photography, Video Production, CD, DVD and Blu-Ray Duplication and Business Printing. For more information, please visit

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