What Happens When Passport Photo Is Rejected?


Clicking a photo or a selfie when you go out or are just feeling good is such an easy task. If you like you can share it on your social media or leave it in your photo gallery. Most people like taking a lot of pictures, in different poses, at different angles, etc. This article will explain you the information about what happens when your passport photo is rejected.

What Happens When Passport Photo Is Rejected?

Passport photo

However, getting a photo for your passport is not the same in any way. You must be very careful and follow all the instructions to get a photo for your passport. If there is any problem with the photo, it will be rejected, and you wouldn’t want that.By reading this you will know what happens if your passport photo rejected.

If your passport photo is rejected,what happens is your application will be put on hold. The process to make your passport will be unnecessarily delayed. The NPIC does not share much information about the passport-making process. But, if the photo is the main issue, they will send you an email regarding the same. 

The email will contain details about the issues that are present. You will have up to ninety days to take a new photo and submit it again. If, however, there are other issues related to the passport application, you might have to submit a new application. 

Reasons why the photo might get rejected

Your passport photo should be nothing like your profile picture on various social media platforms. There are strict rules that you must follow while taking a photo for your passport. If you fail to follow any of these, chances are that your photo will be rejected. Some of the reasons why it can happen are listed below:

  • The size of the photo is wrong. 
  • Your head might appear too big. 
  • You are wearing a hat or a cap.
  • You are wearing many accessories.
  • You are wearing some garment that is covering some part of your face.
  • There are shadows in the photo.
  • You are wearing glasses. 
  • You are not looking in the right direction. 
  • The exposure is too high or too low. 
  • The background is not appropriate. 
  • The color of the photo is not right. 
  • The photo is edited or has filters. 
  • The photo is older than six months.

How to take the perfect photo for a passport?

If your application is correct and the photo is also correct, your passport will have no issues getting made. To ensure that no problem arises, you should go through all the instructions properly and follow every direction. To take the right photo for your passport go to a photographer or a shop where they develop photos and have an idea about the passport photos. Do not take the photo at home because it might not turn out perfect. 

  • Wear simple clothes that do not cover any part of your face.
  • Avoid wearing too much makeup.
  • Do not wear any heavy accessories that are objectionable in the photo. 
  • Take off your glasses.
  • Do not wear a hat, cap, or any headgear. 
  • Make sure the lights are perfect and no shadow falls into the frame. 
  • Have a neutral expression and do not smile eagerly. 
  • Look straight into the camera.
  • Do not tilt your face, keep it straight. 
  • Make sure the color balance of the photo is right. 
  • The background should be white or off-white, and without any patterns. 
  • The size of the photo must be 2 inches by 2 inches.
  • The bottom of your chin and the tip of your head should fit between 1 inch by 1 3/8 inches. 
  • The eyes should be between 1 1/8 inches by 1 3/8 inches from the bottom of the photo. 


1.Religious Reasons

If the hat or any kind of head garment that you wear is because of some religious reason, you should attach a letter which clearly states the religious practice that you follow due to which you must always wear the garment on your head when you are in public. Such cases are exempted. 

2.Medical Reasons

If the head cover is because of some medical reasons, you must attach a letter with the documents stating the same. In this case, you will also require a letter signed by your doctor, who prescribed this to you. 

Even if you always wear glasses, you must remove them while taking a photo for your passport. No matter what your power might be, the rules are the same for everyone. However, if for medical reasons, you cannot remove the glasses, you are advised to attach a signed letter from your doctor stating the reason for the same. In such cases, you will be exempted. 


A passport photo cannot be like any other photo. You must follow all the guidelines provided by the NPIC so that your passport application is accepted, and you can get your passport as soon as possible. However, there can be many reasons why your passport application might be delayed. One of them is, your passport photo getting rejected. In that case, you will have to resubmit the photo and this time make sure that the photo is appropriate. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What happens if the entire application is rejected?

You will receive an email regarding the issue and within three days, you must fix the issue. 

2. What other reasons can lead to the rejection of the application?

There might be some unsorted legal issues, some documents might be missing, or the photocopy of documents might not be clear. 

3. When can I re-apply for a passport after my application is rejected?

You can re-apply after three days. 

4. Does the government give the money back if the application is rejected?

Unfortunately, the US government does not give a refund if the application is rejected. 

What Happens When Passport Photo Is Rejected?

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