Experts reveal the unexpected ways your passport renewal could be rejected amidst UK backlogs
From wearing sunscreen to having too many facial piercings, here’s how your passport photo could be declined…
New data from passport-photo.online reveals that Google searches for “fast track passport appointment” have increased by a staggering 600% since April, when the UK government declared there was an unprecedented demand for passport applications, with a backlog of over five million from COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Searches for “passport delays” have also increased by 500% in the last 90 days, further indicating Brits are becoming increasingly concerned that their application will be held up – and they may miss their summer holiday.
Government guidelines currently state that UK residents should allow up to 10 weeks for their passport application to be completed or renewed, which is three times higher than the pre-covid average turnaround time of just three weeks, according to recent data.
However, if you’re about to send your passport documents off, there are some things you should know before you hit submit – as these unexpected things in your new photo could see your application rejected.
From facial piercings to wearing sunscreen, here’s what to avoid when taking your passport pictures.
1. Wearing winged eyeliner
While it may be a huge beauty trend, wearing winged eyeliner could see your photo rejected when it reaches the passport office.
According to experts at passport-photo.online this is because it attempts to alter the shape of your eye, especially when using a dark shade such as black or brown, which make your eyes look unnatural.
The experts also state glitter is a no-no. A spokesperson said: “Our main piece of advice for this is not to wear any glitter or sparkly eyeliner at all, as this will definitely result in you needing to take a new photo, the reason being that not only will it distort how your eyes look, but it will cause glare in the photo itself, which will render it unreadable to the AI.”
If you do want to wear eyeliner, try to keep the eyeliner in the very edges of your eyelids and go for a lighter colour, one that doesn’t stand out so much, such as light brown or one that most closely matches your skin tone. If you do use eyeliner on the inner corner of your eye, be sure to only apply a small amount. This way you can wear makeup and try to go for the look you use daily, albeit more understated if you usually wear heavy makeup.
2. Facial piercings
The Passport Office will be willing to accept ear or facial piercings such as nose rings or lip rings, however there are limitations. Ear piercings need to be small and minimalist, as larger earrings may affect the picture by covering the side of your face, creating reflections or casting shadows.
Our experts state that too many facial piercings may also change your face’s biometrics, which could cause problems when you come to have your passport checked at the border. The Passport Office, therefore, recommends that you remove as many of your piercings as you can before taking your photo.
3. Wearing sunscreen
This may seem strange, however wearing sunscreen when you take your passport photo could also lead to delays at the passport office.
As it’s a flash photograph, any shine on the skin will create too much reflection and will potentially distort the photo.
You should also avoid wet skin effect makeup or anything with a shimmer effect including highlighter. With a flash, these would create too much reflection. Even when the SPF is as low as 15, there is a risk it will create a white cast, making you look pale, as well as causing reflections. Avoid particularly light tones when choosing concealers and setting powders.
4. Showing your teeth
A biometric photo is designed to make facial recognition easier. The facial recognition software reads your passport photo as well as scans your face at the airport, comparing the two based on very precise measurements of your facial features.
A smile, especially one where you show your teeth, can impair that recognition making it difficult for customs officers and facial recognition software to identify you based on your picture. This can translate to delays, missing your flight, or being declined to board a plane altogether. The only country in the world today that does allow its passport holders to maintain a smile (with the teeth showing!) is the United States. Of course, this smile cannot be an exaggerated one and must be natural.
5. Wearing fake tan
An important guideline for passport photo makeup is to pick products for your complexion that will closely resemble your skin tone. Jackie adds that it is very important that your face, neck, and chest match in colour if you wear foundation. Avoid applying any self-tanners before you take your passport photo, as your photo needs to look like you with your natural skin colour.
6. Styling your bangs
If you have a fringe, bangs, or any hair on your forehead when you take your passport photo, it’s likely to face rejection when you send it off as UK guidelines indicate that your hair should not obscure your face. The golden rule is to make sure make sure that your eyebrows are still visible in your photograph. Our experts also recommend that if you have long hair that may obscure your features, you should tie it back to ensure it doesn’t fall across your face. This will also eliminate the risk of shadows being cast on your photo, too.
7. Wearing your glasses
When you are taking your new photo for your passport, you should only wear glasses if they are medically necessary, e.g., after surgery. Even then, you must check your photo once you’ve taken it to ensure that your glasses’ frames are not obscuring any part of your face, causing shadows, or creating reflections. You should also avoid sunglasses and tinted glasses, as these will obscure your eyes entirely, resulting in your photo being rejected.
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*Article provided by https://passport-photo.online/en-gb
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