Your Photo Is The Reason Your Passport Application Was Denied

Your Photo Is The Reason Your Passport Application Was Denied

Issues with passport photos are the primary reason applications are denied, which sucks if you need a passport quickly, already booked that trip or don’t want to deal with the headache of applying again. Here are four things you can do to make sure your passport photo gets accepted.

Like with any application, you only want to have to go through submitting it once, so here’s what you can do to cut down on the likelihood your passport application will get denied because of your photo.

  • Look natural, from your expression (which should be neutral) to your outfit to even the amount of makeup you wear in the picture, aim to look as you would day-to-day rather than more dressy.
  • Don’t wear thick-rimmed or tinted glasses. While glasses are acceptable in Australian passports, anything that obscures the face is not.
  • Use a white or off-white background, and keep the background simple and flat.
  • Submit a photo taken in the last six months. If you’ve cut your hair recently, use a photo with your new hairstyle.

These might all sound easy to do, but they’re also easy to mess up.

The Main Reasons Your Passport Application Will Be Denied [Conde Nast Traveller]


  • Are you serious? These are clearly listed on the application form. If you can’t follow the instructions on the form you shouldn’t get a passport. You’re the ones that hold up the lines at checkin/immigration/customs/security or delay take-off because you’re on your phone or stand up and go through the overhead luggage while the plane is taxiing!

  • If you go to one of the bigger post offices in the capital cities to send through your application/get your picture taken, they usually have a look at the pictures right then and there and let you know if they might cause an issue.

  • I took a picture at home and presented it at the post office. The counter person said there was a slight shadow under the chin and rejected it, so I paid to let them take their own. Their photo was underexposed, skin colour was not correct and even slightly off focus. Chalk and cheese but they stuck their own in anyway.

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