How To Attach a Photo to a Passport Application?

Booking a flight to another country? You’ll have to get your passport approval first.  Attaching a photo to a passport may sound like an effortless task, but getting a photo approved by the US state department is not an easy task. In this article we’ll discuss about How To Attach a Photo to a Passport Application?

There are a lot of rules that you need to follow before submitting your passport application.

How To Attach a Photo to a Passport Application

If we look at some data, in 2019, the US state department rejected more than half a million applications due to some errors in photos or due to wrong personal information provided.

If your application gets rejected, you will have to go through the entire process again, which will cause you a lot of trouble and delay your travel plans.

To avoid this stressful situation, we are going to explain the entire procedure in this article and hope that your application gets approved in the first attempt itself.

Let us dig into the steps involved. 

Photo Requirement In The Passport

Attaching the right kind of photo to your application is one of the most critical steps in this procedure. The US State Department has a list of rules regarding the photo. They are mentioned below:

1. Photos taken more than 6 months ago are not allowed 

It might be easy for you to just attach an old photo because it will save you the trouble from going out and getting a picture clicked. But submitting an image more than 6 months old is not allowed. The department is going to check it, and if you don’t look the same, it is possible that your application will be rejected. 

2. Overexposed or underexposed photos are not allowed

Most of us are in the habit of using filters on our pictures, the social media culture may like it- but the US state department won’t. Photos that are too bright or photographs that show a shadow on your face are not allowed. The photo needs to be a clear image of your face.

3. Image size should be appropriate 

Photos that are taken from too close or too far are not a good idea for your passport application. Also, never take a selfie for putting in your application. The size should be 2-by-2 inches. 

4. Low-quality image or paper is not allowed

If your photo is blurry, granulated, or pixelated, there is a good chance that it will be rejected. The images should also be high resolution. 

5. Glasses are not allowed

In 2016, the US state department said that the use of glasses in passport photos is no longer allowed. Make sure to remove your glasses before you take a picture of your passport. Also, the facial expression should either be neutral, or a slight smile is allowed. 

How To Attach A Photo To A Passport Application?

Now that the above step is sorted let us understand how to attach the photo to the application appropriately. You can either attach your photo through glue or a stapler. The guidelines of the US department say the best way to attach a photo on the application is through a stapler.

The steps to attach photos in the application are:


  1. Place the photo in the photo-square of the application, and it is either on the upper right or upper left side.
  2. Make sure to keep the photo in an upright position with all the four corners of the photo inside the photo square. (or right on edge)
  3. In the final step, staple the photo vertically. Make sure you pin it on the corner.

These are the steps to keep in mind while attaching the photo and choosing a picture for your application. Let us move ahead and know where to submit this application. 

Where and How to Send the Passport Application?


The tough part about this process is covered above, and the easy part is sending the passport application. The steps involved are:

  1. After you have attached the photo, make sure to put it in a thick envelope which is durable.
  2. Make sure your application is not bent on any corners. 
  3. For added surety, add another spare photo inside the envelope. 
  4. In the final step, make sure to mail the application to your nearest passport office. If the location is not too far away, you can also take it in person.

Some Essential Tips

These are a few tips from our side, just in case, things don’t go as smoothly as you anticipate.

  • If you have any questions or queries, visit the website or call the helpline number 1-877-487-2778.
  • If the photos you have selected do not meet the requirement doot send them. This will just delay your process and your plan. 
  • To get accurate photos, make sure to visit a professional photographer. 

We hope that these tips and the information given in this article helped you in attaching your photo in a better way. If you follow the tips and steps mentioned above, the chances of your application getting approved in the first go will be much higher. We wish you to travel on time and travel safely. 

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