Photo of John Hemming

John Hemming (Birmingham, Yardley, Liberal Democrat)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 24 November 2005, Official Report, column 2319W, on passports, how many of those whose passport photographs were rejected were under five-years-old; and whether he plans to change the categories of rejection for the passport photographs of the under-fives.

Photo of Andy Burnham

Andy Burnham (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Home Office; Leigh, Labour)

During the period 12 September to 27 November 2005, 15,441 child passport applications were rejected due to photographic standards for children five and under.

On 21 November 2005, the UK Passport Service (UKPS) simplified its photograph standards for children aged five and under. It remains important that the photograph shows a clear image that is a true likeness of the child, with all facial features clearly visible. However, photographs of children five years and under will be accepted if they show the child smiling or frowning, with their mouth open, their eyes looking away from the camera, and reflection or glare on their glasses. Babies under one year do not need to have their eyes open.

Work is in progress to communicate these simplified requirements to customers. On 22 November 2005 a notice was added to the UKPS website regarding passport photograph standards.

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