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Message for U.S. Citizens:  Photo Requirements for U.S. Passport Applications
October 23, 2020

United States Embassy Manila, Philippines

October 23, 2020

Message for U.S. Citizens:  Photo Requirements for U.S. Passport Applications

 Poor-quality photos are the number one reason passport applications are delayed. When we receive a passport photo that does not meet U.S. Department of State standards, we must stop processing the application, contact you to request new photos, and wait for the new photos to arrive at our office before we can issue your new passport. As a result, you may be forced to cancel or delay your travel plans.

Here are the top five reasons passport photos are rejected at the U.S. Embassy in Manila and ways to avoid these pitfalls:

1.  –Photo is digitally edited or retouched – Do not alter or edit your passport photo. This includes airbrushing the background to make it appear whiter (as this sometimes affects the shape of the head) and photoshopping of attire. Your passport photo should be the best likeness of you; do not use filters commonly used on social media.

2.  –Eyeglasses – Please remove your glasses for your passport photo, even if you normally wear them. If you cannot remove your glasses for medical reasons, please include a signed note from your doctor with your application.

3.  –Photo is more than six months old – Your photo must have been taken within six months of submitting your passport application.

4.   –Head size is incorrect – Often, the photo has been taken from too close or too far away.  The head should be centered in the photo and sized between 1 inch and 1.4 inches (2.5 cm and 3.5 cm).

5.   –Poor-quality image or photos – We cannot use blurry, grainy, or pixelated photos, or photos that are not printed on photo-quality paper. Your photos should always be clear and as high-resolution as possible.

You can find more details about the passport renewal process and photo requirements on our website.


For further information:

-See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Advisories, Alerts, and the Philippines Country Specific Information.

-Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.

-Contact the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines, located at 1201 Roxas Boulevard, at +(63) (2) 5301-2000, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +(63) (2) 5301-2000.

-Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

-Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.