The US Department of State issued an update on November 1st which restricts glasses from being worn in any passport or visa photos. Non-expired document holders who have glasses on in their photos do not need to take any action until renewal time.
Last year, more than 200,000 U.S. passport customers submitted poor quality photos which we couldn’t accept. The #1 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.
This policy change helps us and it helps you. We can see you more clearly now and you will experience fewer U.S. passport and U.S. visa application delays and can move faster through U.S. ports of entry. Don’t get us wrong, we love your glasses, but take them off for your U.S. passport or U.S. visa photo.*
*If you must wear eye glasses for medical reasons, you’ll 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.