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Are photos with rounded corners accepted for US passports (or other forms asking for passport size photos)?

Example:

enter image description here


What I have found so far is inconclusive:

I tried to email the US passport services, but they referred me to the website requirements, and mentioned that in the end of the day it's up to the discretion of the agency who receives my application (a.k.a. question closed as primarily opinion based):

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: NPIC, Passport
Date: 28 June 2016 at 22:59
Subject: RE: Are photos with rounded corners accepted for US passports?
To: me

Thank you for contacting the National Passport Information Center.

For passport photo requirements, visit:
http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/photos/photos.html

The acceptance of your photo is at the discretion of the U.S. passport agency where you apply for a passport or U.S. embassy or consulate where you apply for a visa.

For further information, please refer to our website www.travel.state.gov or call (877) 487-2778, for TDD/TTY users 1-888-874-7793 (Mon-Fri 8:00AM to 10:00PM ET; excluding federal holidays). If you need to contact us again by email, please include all prior messages/correspondence in your reply so we can review what has previously taken place.

Thank you.
National Passport Information Center
Agent #[retracted]




-----Original Message-----
From: me [mailto:f@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2016 3:51 PM
To: NPIC, Passport
Subject: Are photos with rounded corners accepted for US passports?

Hi,

Are photos with rounded corners accepted for US passports or I-485?

For example:

enter image description here

Thanks,
Me

I tried calling the US passport services ((877) 487-2778), they didn't know.

I tried https://www.uscis.gov/'s chatbot, it wasn't useful either:

  • Hi, I’m Emma. I’m here to help you with your questions about this site. What would you like to ask me?
  • Are photos with rounded corners accepted for I-485 applications?
  • Certain processes require that you submit two standard, passport-style color photographs with your application. Acceptable photographs must have been taken within 30 days of the date they are sent to USCIS and be unmounted and printed on thin paper, on a white background, with a full frontal view of your face. Your head should be bare unless you are required by your religious beliefs to wear a headcovering. In all cases, your facial features must be visible.

(I'm trying to determine whether I have to go back to see the photograph who gave me the pictures and ask her to redo with square corners.)

2

I think you need to be careful if you plan on submitting a rounded corner passport photo. The Social Security Administration RM 10210.555 provides guidelines for reviewing US passports. According to these guidelines, a valid machine readable Passport will have "rounded photograph corners".

I interpret this to mean that the 2x2 inch passport photo that you submit will be slightly cropped/trimmed to provide the exact rounded corners. I would assume that the corners of the photo do not need to be perfect (as I think that is impossible with a paper photo), but can only have so much curvature. As the response you got said, how much is too much depends on the individual who reviews the photo.

  • My two most recent passports appear to have square-cornered photos. – phoog Jul 1 '16 at 23:49
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My guess is that the amount of rounding you have here is probably ok but frankly I wouldn't take the risk of additional delays or fees for the cost of a photo. I'd just get it done to spec: square corners according to the examples in https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/photos/photo-composition-template.html

One thing I found is that testing the boundaries with with USCIS is just asking for trouble. All the examples in the spec have square corners, so why don't you just do that? My advice is to print a photo with square edges and choose another battle to fight. But if you want to risk wasting your time and/or application fee to test the acceptable rounded corner policy, go right ahead.

  • The specifications do not specify the shape of the corner. – Franck Dernoncourt Jun 29 '16 at 19:26
  • You could also scan and reprint yourself with a good color printer. – qoba Jun 29 '16 at 20:59
  • Scanning lowers the quality. Also, it cannot be printed on any paper, and I don't have a guillotine. – Franck Dernoncourt Jun 29 '16 at 21:10
  • 1
    Photo paper is a bit more expensive, but if you don't have any (I always make sure I have a few sheet at home, just in case I need them) you could simply scan the picture in high resolution (since the picture is fairly small, scan it in 600 DPI or even 1200 DPI), then save it as PNG (as well as JPG with highest quality setting), save it to a USB stick and take it to Walmart and print. Shold cost you just a dollar or two. You can make straight cuts with scissors, just use a longer one. Or use an Xacto knife and a steel ruler. – Karl-Henry Martinsson Jun 30 '16 at 14:20
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The picture I got taken by the passport agent has rounded corners.

But - it was rejected because the head size was too large. So I am submitting my own this time, without rounded corners.

I would assume that since the original taken by a certified passport agent had rounded corners, that it would be acceptable.

  • I have had picture taken by certified photograph booth in my home country that got rejected that my home country authorities so I don't trust certification :-) – Franck Dernoncourt May 8 '17 at 17:44

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