SINGAPORE - The travel bug is back as the world's borders reopen, but those who have to renew or apply for their passports have seen the wait time stretching to six weeks from under a week previously.
Submitting a passport photo that adheres to the guidelines is crucial as a photo rejection would set your application back by another six weeks, said the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority.
Here are some tips on how to take the perfect passport photo:
Use your phone
- Shooting your own passport photo is perfectly doable: just use your mobile phone camera and a passport photo app.
- For mobile phones, download apps like IC Photo Singapore, Passport Size Photo Maker or Passport Photo ID Maker Studio - ID Photo Editor
- For desktops, try IDPhoto4You, which allows you to place your photo over templates according to different countries' requirements.
The dos and don'ts
Stand about 30cm away from the wall to avoid casting a shadow on the background. Artificial lighting casts shadows under your eyes and nose, so natural lighting is best.
Do not shoot outdoors under strong sunlight as that will make you squint. Use window lighting for a natural look and a white board to reflect light onto the darker side.
Put on some make-up if you want, even if the photo will appear in black and white in your passport.
A coloured photo is still required because the Singapore passport has a chip that encodes data and stores the passport holder's photo.
Based on the International Standards Organisation (ISO) and International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) guidelines, this photo in the chip has to be coloured.
To smile or not to smile?
- Ensure you are looking straight ahead with a neutral expression and not showing your teeth. These are stipulated in the ISO and ICAO guidelines and adhering to them ensures that the Singapore passport will be accepted by immigration authorities overseas.
- Your fringe should not cover your face. Keep your hair neat and wear it as you normally would. If you wear glasses, be sure that there is no reflection off the glass that might obscure your eyes.
- Shoulders and hair must be fully visible and not cropped off.
- The photo should be cropped to 3.5cm by 4.5cm and saved as a jpg, jpeg or png file extension. The file size should not exceed 2MB.
- Photos should be taken no more than three months before submission. The date is embedded in the file info of the photo and can be ascertained.
- Photos should be sharp and not pixellated.
For more details, go to this website.