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US bans glasses in visa, passport process


The US Department of State has placed a ban on wearing sun glasses while taking photos for Passport and Visa applications effective November 1, 2016.

In a media note by the Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC on October 14, 2016, US said beginning November 1, 2016, applicants for U.S. passports and visas must remove their glasses for their application photos.

“This change will help eliminate glares and shadows that can lead to delays in processing visa and passport applications.”

It said applicants may wear glasses only in rare circumstances of documented medical necessity during urgent travel.

The change will ensure consistent photo standards for passport and visa services, the department said.

The Department expects a record-high of more than 20 million passport applications in Fiscal Year 2017.

Last year, more than 200,000 passport customers submitted poor quality or otherwise non-compliant photos, which delayed processing their passport applications.

“The change will prevent many such delays, ensuring more passport and visa applicants have travel documents when they need them.”

Last year, more than 200,000 U.S. passport customers submitted poor quality photos which couldn’t be accepted.

The first problem was glasses.

“We had to put their passport applications on hold because we couldn’t clearly identify them from their photo.”

Many U.S. visa applications have been delayed due to the same problem.

“If the photo of you in your unexpired U.S. passport or U.S. visa has glasses, don’t worry about it. You don’t have to get a passport or visa now. Next time you renew your passport or apply for a new visa, though, you’ll have to take your glasses off.”

It added: “If you must wear eye glasses for medical reasons, you will need to obtain and submit a signed statement with your U.S. passport or U.S. visa application from a medical professional or health practitioner.”

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