Rejected Infant Passport Photo – Acceptable Easily

January 7, 2024

3 min. read


us passport baby photo rejected


You might have heard that sometimes parents get rejected infant passport photos. As passport photo experts, we come across specific cases one might not consider when getting a baby passport photo. Let’s dive in and clear that out.


In Focus

What makes a rejected infant passport photo?

The US Department of State does say that the baby passport photo requirements are as they are for adults. A baby’s passport photo can be rejected for the same reasons as an adult’s one. They also explain that there are a few exceptions for the infant passport photo. And the most significant one is that the infant’s eyes may not be fully opened. Even with their eyes slightly closed and partially neutral expression, it will still make it a valid passport photo for an infant. Additionally, it states that such exceptions refer to newborns in particular. Do a passport photo for a baby correctly from the very start.

Baby’s passport photo rejected

We doubt, knowing these rules alone is enough to take an acceptable baby’s passport photo. So, not to get a rejected child’s passport photo, let’s form a complete list of all doable pro tips that will help you to submit your baby’s passport photo to a US passport office at your first shot. And hopefully, with our takeaways, you will not need to have a SPA day off after an infant passport photo session.

21 Pro tips against rejected infant passport picture

us passport baby photo rejected

The general rule for all:

  1. The standard US format picture of 2 x 2 inches.
  2. The baby’s head is centered and sized between 1 and 1 3/8 inches (25 and 35 mm).
  3. No grainy picture.
  4. An infant passport photo should be printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper.
  5. Clothing for a passport photo will be what your child wears every day. Avoid too light colors not to fuse together with a white background and give the no-clothes effect.
  6. A fully visible infant’s face.
  7. Straight look into the camera.
  8. Bear-headed, no headbands. Headwear is allowed for medical or religious circumstances. You’ll need to provide a written statement from a specialist or yourself accordingly.
  9. Long hair or bangs should not hide the face and leave it visible for a passport picture.
  10. Provide no shadows or glare. You can achieve it easier when taking a picture in a room with natural light. Put the baby on a bed with its head towards the streaming light. To avoid shadows thrown from you or your camera on a sunny day, make the light distribute evenly with transparent shades or curtains.
  11. For no red-eye effect, turn off the camera flash.
  12. No under-exposed or over-exposed infant passport photos. Look out for extremely light or dark photos.
  13. Go for a non-patterned plain white background that you can easily accommodate by placing a white sheet, blanket or cover under the baby’s head and upper body.
  14. Do not digitally modify your child’s passport photos in order not to get a rejected pic.
  15. No stress-out mode. Do not stress over the thought of how to dress a baby for a passport photo. Keep in mind, your lovely baby does not have to look like a full-glam advert image in the passport picture. Leave that for a family photo shoot with no strict official rules to adhere to. Try to make it easier for yourselves. Your uttermost goal here is compliance — and then you’re on the same page with passport officials.

passport photo rejected baby

Acceptable or rejected infant passport photo

Perfect passport photo per infant passport photo requirements:

  1. Neutral expression or mouth closed is not obligatory. Passport officers understand we do not have a magic wand to make an infant-neutral expression. However, make sure your child is not strongly smiling, crying, or laughing in passport photos not to end up with a rejected infant passport photo.
  2. Smudges on the child’s attire are not forbidden.
  3. Hands of an infant, if appeared in the newborn passport photos, are not forbidden as long as they do not interfere with the visibility of an infant.
  4. No other objects, like toys, pacifiers, or other accessories, should be present in passport photos that you can use to get a child interested.
  5. The right mood and timing are key to success. The best stress-free snapshots are the ones after feeding or sleeping.
  6. No other people, their shadows or parts of the body must appear in a baby’s passport photo. And it’s some rule to obey! How are you supposed to hold a child for a passport photo without hands?

Here is a lifehack.

You can take an infant’s passport picture in a car seat covered with a white sheet. Or you can put an infant on two pillows in between, so they would snugly hug their head and keep it in place for a passport photo (the face, ears, and jawline should be still clearly visible). This way, you do not need two people for a photo shoot or hold a child with your hands.

The help tool for non rejected baby passport photo

We understand, it takes your ninja agility and Zen calmness and acceptance to go through the baby’s passport photo process stress-free. It’s only natural that you’ll need help with passport photography.

It’s good to know that you can always rely on PhotoBooth Online for an acceptable passport photo for your infant or older child. We pay close attention to the official guidelines of a baby’s passport photo. With us, it’s a no-limit agenda! You can take as many photo shots as you need.

Our passport photo online tool will serve you as the most reliable, patient, and assiduous personal professional photographer. It’ll provide a perfect biometric passport photo size picture of your infant. Automatically cropped and sized, AI and manually verified for all tiny discrepancies.

What a relief when you don’t need to take your baby anywhere crowded! Follow the list of pro tips above and get the most out of the tool.

Summing up

Passport photos for an infant as well as for babies of older age is quite a task. Just be patient and use all the advanced tools and tips you’ve got at your fingertips. Thankfully, we’ve got both to ease your mission. Got any questions, just drop us a line.


How strict are baby passport photos?

The Department of State advises following official guidelines for an acceptable photo for minors and points out that they are just the same as for adults. The exceptions are made for smaller children.

The general criteria for passport photos for infants and adults are plain background, the baby’s head not tilted and entirely visible, everyday clothing, and other major rules you should obey. Please read the rules above for the best result.

What happens if baby passport photo is rejected?

If your baby’s passport photo has been rejected, you’ll get an email clarifying the fact that the two identical passport photos were rejected and that you need to provide the new ones within a certain period of time. You’ll have to submit a new photo with a white background, the child facing the camera, and no shadows. Follow all the rest of the rules for the baby’s passport photo issued by the Department of State.

What if US passport photo is rejected for too small size of baby?

If you got a rejected infant passport photo, you’ll have to provide another pair of photos. When taking a passport photo of your newborn, follow the same rules as for an adult’s passport photo: 2 x 2 inches with the baby’s head between 1 and 1 3 /8 inches (25 and 35 mm). In case of doubt, you can consult a passport officer or a passport photo service you trust.