Three Outdoorsy Locations for Indoor People

Traveling can be tough when your a homebody. We understand, however as technology has improved, some brilliant entrepreneurs had a series of great ideas. This group of like-minded individuals pondered if it was possible to bring all the great aspects of the outdoors indoors… And it looks like they’ve succeeded.

Today we’ll be going over 4 outdoorsy locations for indoorsy people! What do I mean by outdoorsy locations for the indoorsy? Why of course I’m talking about large scale resorts and theme parks that one would typically find outside… But instead it’s inside. This may seem like something out of Pauly Shore’s Biodome, but we have the pictures and sources to prove these places exist. Keep in mind we’ll be browsing through a selection of locations outside of the USA, so if you’re currently a US resident you’ll have to obtain a new passport in order to attend.

The Tropical Island Resort in Germany, visit it now when you get a new passport!

The Tropical Island Resort, Krausnick, Germany

Located just south of Berlin is our first stop on today’s adventure. The Tropical Island Resort feels out of place in landlocked Germany. The resort features a beach, that’s right, a massive indoor beach that generates its own waves to simulate the actual experience of being at a beach. On top of that, this tropical paradise is also chock full of tropical foliage and fauna, making it the largest artificial tropical rain forest in the world as well as the largest indoor beach! That’s what I call a two-for-one. The park was created by a Malaysian investment group who assumed that the people of Germany deserved a beach despite not living in a country with one. The investment group assumed right, and this park now sees almost 1 million visitors each year!

Now, most people who would be interested in attending such a place are going to be German since that’s the target audience, but don’t let that stop you from checking out this spot! In addition to a massive indoor beach and artificial rain forest Tropical Island Resort also has a zip-line. Why go to Costa Rica to zip line through the jungle and get your wallet stolen by monkeys when you can just as easily go to Germany zip line through the artificial jungle and get your wallet stolen by a pickpocket? Hard to think of a good reason, we know. Do keep in mind that if you’re traveling to Germany in the winter and want to escape the typically cold weather you can always head to this resort. Be wary however, you may find it harder to get a slice of this tropical paradise when the locals are attempting to escape the cold as well. Either way, you’ll need to obtain a passport if you plan on entering Germany, and some rumors about future EU laws may require US citizens to acquire a visa as well.

The slopes at Harbin Wanda Ski and Winter Sports Resort. Visit now when you get a new passport and Chinese visa.

Harbin Wanda Indoor Ski and Winter Sports Resort, Harbin, China

If the cold is your thing and you’re wondering if there’s anywhere– ANYWHERE in the world that can satisfy your 24/7 need for a place to roll around in the snow, do we have some news for you. The Harbin Wanda Indoor Ski and Winter Sports Resort is the exact opposite of our first entry. Built in the Chinese city of Harbin, which coincidentally is known as “The City of Ice” and is also the location of the world renowned “Harbin Ice and Snow Festival,” this massive indoor sky resort is the largest in the world! The total cost to complete this complex came out to about $4.6 billion dollars. The first thing you should expect to find in this winter wonderland is ski slopes, which thankfully the resort has many of, six to be exact. The slopes vary in length and width so there’s something for beginners to experienced skiers!

If skiing is too much of an outdoors activity for your indoorsy lifestyle you’ve got nothing to worry about. The resort provides much more than just slopes and snow. If you’d like, you can always slide over to the ice hockey rink for a quick game or just to practice your ice skating skills. If neither of those activities suit you, or if you’re just being difficult, you can always check out the mall or movie theater… Or one of the several restaurants the resort has to offer. Essentially the Harbin Wanda Indoor Ski and Winter Sports Resort has everything you need in a large scale ski resort, that being said before writing this article I wasn’t sure if anything other than snow and skis was needed.

If you do plan on heading to Harbin to visit this resort you’ll need a China visa. If you’ve never been to a country that requires a visa and don’t know what that is, don’t worry! We have plenty of resources on our sister website for first time travelers to China. It should be stated that you need a valid passport before you can attain a visa to ANY country. So before booking a trip with the hopes of leaving the states, apply for either a new passport or passport renewal if you already have one.

IMG Worlds in Dubai, visit now when you apply for a new passport.

IMG Worlds of Adventure, Dubai, UAE

If neither sand nor snow tickles your fancy perhaps something more commercial might appeal to you. IMG Worlds of Adventure located in Dubai is the world’s largest indoor theme park, the complex is in fact so large that it’s classified as the single largest temperature controlled environment in the world. Enjoy all the fun of trouncing about as if you were in Orlando in the summer except you don’t have to wear any sunscreen until you step  out into that sweet sweet desert sun at the end of your day. IMG Worlds features a variety of activities and rides as one would expect a theme park to. The park was created by the IMG Group, the park currently features five distinct sections. Two of these sections are based off the American enterprises of Cartoon Networth and Marvel comics, the properties included in these areas were essentially leased out to be used for the theme park. The remaining sections include a “main street” style strip call Img Boulevard, a Jurassic Park inspired section call “The Lost Valley” and finally a large movie theater with 12 screens called the Novo Cinema.

Like any theme park worth its salt, IMG Worlds has a variety of activities to do. There are currently 17 attractions in the park, some are winding roller coasters for thrill junkies and others, such as LazyTown located in the Cartoon Network section (though I could have sworn that show aired on Nickelodeon in the states), are aimed at a much younger audience. If theme park attractions aren’t your thing you’re also welcome to stop by one of the 37 shops and restaurants to pick up some grub and some themed plastic souvenirs. Conversely, if you’ve had enough walking for the just stop by the Novo Cinema and catch a flick, with 12 screens there’s bound to be something playing that you’ll like.

If none of the activities currently offered interest you then perhaps you’ll only need to wait a few years before something new crops up in IMG World. There are already talks about expanding the park to include a variety of other zones, including areas dedicated to (but not limited to), Nickelodeon, Pokemon, Disney, Mattel, Sabban, Anime World, Ubisoft, TV Tokyo, and Legends of Arabia. As well as all of the just mentioned zones, this expansion would also include a new Cartoon Network and Lost Valley area. The new areas would be located in a large complex adjacent to the already existing one. This new park extension will be called IMG Worlds of Legends and you can see a concept image by clicking here. No doubt that once construction is complete it’ll be decades before another indoor theme park comes in close to the size and scope of IMG Worlds of Adventures.

But what if you don’t want to go to any of these places?

Now you might not have plans to travel to any of the locations we’ve mentioned thus far, not because the crazy indoor locals don’t impress you, but because you have no plans to visit the country it’s located in. That’s fine! As mentioned in each individual entry, these are the “largest” in the world of their particular kind. That means there are others sprinkled about the world that might not be as large but might scratch the itch you’ve been trying to for years. For example, the Harbin Wanda Indoor Ski and Winter Sports Resort is only one of many in China, there are actually an alarming 27 indoor ski slopes in China, including some that are currently in development. And that’s just in China! Several countries in Europe also have indoor ski slopes such as: Belgium, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the UK. Two are currently in development here in the states as well, so don’t experience FOMO if you aren’t planning on traveling out of the country soon!

As far as indoor beaches go those are a bit tougher since several countries already have beaches. However there are still a few to be spoken for! Naturally China has once in Chengdu, this one rivals the one in Germany as it also features a beach with wave pool. There are also locations in Japan and Kazakhstan. Finally, while it isn’t as luxurious as it’s counterpart in Germany, The Fallsview Indoor Waterpark in Canada is a good option if you live in the Northern USA and want to see what all this indoor beach nonsense is about. Fallsview is located close to Niagara Falls which makes it only a short distance from the US-Canada border. This makes Fallsview your go-to assuming you have either a US passport or passport card to cross the border.

Finally we have indoor theme parks. You can actually find  few of these sprinkled throughout the states. No, I’m not talking about Chuck-E-Cheese’s or Dave n’ Busters, those don’t count. The Adventuredome in Las Vegas, Nevada offers many of the amenities that IMG Worlds does, and all without leaving the country! However, if you want to go all out on your US indoor theme park vacation, we’d have to recommend the one located inside of The Mall of America. Located in Bloomington, Minnesota, is the largest mall in America when you account for the theme park attached to it known as ‘Nickelodeon Universe”. While Nickelodeon Universe is no IMG Worlds, it’s still the largest indoor theme park in the States and it has three unique roller coasters. The best park? When you’re done riding those three roller coasters five times each, you can easily spend the rest of your day  browsing through the biggest mall in the country.

If indoor locations aren’t your thing, maybe you should check out this article and learn about some places that may not be around in the next century.

If you do plan on traveling internationally to visit any of these groovy indoor attractions you’ll need to obtain a passport first. Lucky for you, we’re experts when it comes to passport. Whether you’re in need of a new passport, passport renewal, or if you’re just looking for some information, visit our main website here to get started today!

Places To Visit Before They Disappear

Paris, France. A city of beauty, art, music, and cuisine. Paris has been around for years and has cemented itself as the number one tourist spot in the world, and will probably hold that title for years to come… It’s nice, yeah, but it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. So what about all of those niche travel spots that might not be around in the future? They say that the polar bears will go extinct soon so may as well catch a glimpse so you can brag to the grandkids someday. Today we’ll be looking at some places that you can currently go to today but may not be able to in the future. We’ll also be going over how to attain a new passport or passport renewal at the end, so if you’re in need stick with us until the end!

Notre-Dame Cathedral

On April 15th the Notre-Dame Cathedral caught fire while undergoing various restoration projects. The fire was linked to the restoration attempts and as I write this the fires rage on. The verdict is yet to be out on whether the Cathedral will remain open following this disaster, or whether the monument will even survive. If you are currently in Paris I’d urge you to catch a glimpse of this architectural marvel on the off chance that things go south during future restoration attempts.

Komodo Dragons on Komodo Island. See them today when you apply for a new passport.

Komodo Island

Komodo Island is known for its large acid breathing lizards. No, not Godzilla, but the native komodo dragon. Unfortunately a few folks who like potentially deadly overgrown lizards decided they should smuggle a few off the island which has ignited a bit of a crisis in Indonesia which administers Komodo Island. The government of Indonesia has decided to place a temporary ban on entrance into Komodo Island beginning in 2020 while they implement measures to help preserve the endangered Komodo Dragon. Unfortunately for those of us who like to travel, this means we won’t be able to engage with one of Indonesia’s hottest tourist spots come next year. Fortunately for those reading this in 2019, you still have a few months to book a trip and get over there before the island is indefinitely closed to the public.

Should you make the trip this year you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the amount of ways you can approach the island. If you’d like to get more intimate with the island there are several Indonesian based tour companies that will take you to explore the entire island chain. That’s right it’s more than one island, three to be exact. These tours will take you through walking tours of the islands’ native flora and fauna, chances are you’ll even get with in walking distance of a komodo dragon. If walking isn’t your thing the islands are also a great place to dive, and most tours include this in the package. For those who just want a glimpse before moving on, a few cruise lines including Viking Cruises take a route which begins in Australia and has a day long stop on Komodo island for sightseeing.

The Great Barrier Reef

No fluff here, ocean pollution is a problem. Our ever rising population has led to record high levels of consumption which produces a load of pollution. Coral, those colorful rocks which dot reefs, are actually animals and not plants like some may think. Coral is more sensitive than a middle schooler who didn’t get asked to the dance, even touching coral can cause it’s structure to break down due to the natural acidity of the human body. With this in mind, the ever changing climate and acidity level of the ocean coupled with the trash collected in our oceans has led to massive coral die offs the world over. This includes one of the most iconic reefs in the world, The Great Barrier Reef. In fact, over half  of the reef has been reported to have died since as 2016. For those who aren’t familiar with the death of natural ecosystems; that’s fast. Unfortunately coral reefs take decades to form as the hard coral we think of is actually build up of the dead animal organism that actually is the coral.

So, what’s a traveler to do with a rapidly dying ecosystem on the verge of collapse? Typically if you want to see the Great Barrier Reef you begin your journey in Australia which officially administers the reef. From there you’ll most likely have to join one of the many tours that visit the reef every year. Since the reef has been such a money maker for travel agencies over the years a litany of companies offer tours for everyone’s budget. Make sure you have your passport before booking your trip, as you’ll need it to enter Australia. If you have a passport but it’s running low on pages or is expiring soon, consider applying for a passport renewal. Regardless, once you do make it to the reef you’ll probably be looking at it in one of two ways. If you enjoy snorkeling/scuba, many tours will gladly provide you with diving gear to get intimate with the reef’s inhabitants. Be warned, the reef’s inhabitants include a few species of sharks, so if you watched Jaws as a child and are still scarred perhaps our next option is more your speed. For those who suffer from acute aquaphobia, you still have the option of viewing the reef from a glass bottom boat. These boats are exactly what they sound like, boats with a transparent glass bottom that allow it’s riders to look down and enjoy the sights of the reef without any close encounters with hammerheads. Either way, head to The Great Barrier reef before all of the once vibrant coral turns a bleached white.

Italy's Venetian canals. Enjoy the beauty of Italy when you apply for a new passport.

Venice, Italy

Italy itself is known for being a large tourist destination with a wide range of cities, From Rome to Venice– Oh yeah, Venice might not be around in the future. This is also linked to human pollution, and more importantly, climate change. With the increasing climate comes rising sea levels. For those of you unfamiliar with the Italian city of Venice, the locale is known for the canals that criss-cross through the city. The waterways make travel by boat in the city viable, and for many it’s actually the preferred mode of transport through the city as the entire city is actually located on a series of small islands which are connected by a series of bridges. Naturally, the combination of it’s scenic waterways and being in Italy has made Venice a popular tourist spot.

With the rising sea levels however, it’s likely that soon travel by boat will be the only method of travel in the future as the sea may soon overtake pedestrian walkways. Climate change may not be the only culprit however, some researchers site shifting tectonic plates as one of the reasons the lagoon may soon disappear. This makes the issue plaguing venice a combination problem; the island itself is sinking while the sea around it is rising. If the local government doesn’t begin to look into solutions the entire city is slated to be underwater by the year 2100. However if things are heading that way in the near future it’s entirely possible that the city is instead evacuated rather than an actual fix being implemented. With all of that taken into consideration, it may be a good idea to head over sooner rather than later. Trust me, a gondolier ride through the thriving city of Venice is a lot more romantic than a gondolier ride through the half sunken remains of Venice.

Island Power Hour

All this talk of sinking cities has got me thinking of all the small scenic islands that may go the way of the dodo once sea levels rise too much. Instead of going in depth with all of these individual islands I’ve decided to group them together for the sake of time. Let’s first start with a list of all islands at risk of being swallowed by the sea:

  • The Maldives
  • Micronesia
  • Tuvalu
  • Fiji
  • Seychelles
  • Torres Strait
  • Palau
  • Republic of Kiribati
  • Samoa
  • Nauru
  • Marshall Islands
  • Solomon Island

Now, some of these aren’t islands but rather a series of islands called an archipelago. Fiji, for example, is an archipelago that contains about 330 islands. Some, like Tuvalu are comprised of as few as 9 islands, all of which are slated to disappear within the next few decades. Those of you out there with particularly sensitive FOMO senses may feel a bit tingly right now. Worry not, even though Tuvalu is a prime candidate to join the “hello I’m underwater” club there is also some evidence to show that it’s growing as fast as it’s sinking which may save it if climate change efforts around the world strengthen within the coming years.

Don’t think you can rest peacefully with the knowledge that these islands will most definitely exist in the coming decades. So far Tuvalu appears to be the only island outgrowing the threat of rising sea levels. If you haven’t visited any of the locations listed above consider an island hopping adventure to cross off as many as possible in a single go, you don’t have much time after all. Like with most forms of international travel you’ll need an active passport. If you don’t have a passport you’ll have to apply for a new passport. If you currently have a passport but lack the pages to visit all the islands on this list consider you can apply for a passport renewal.

The Arctic Circle

Now we get to talk about polar bears! All water contributing to rising sea levels has to come from somewhere, and the arctic circle is one of those places. Rising temperature means the ice that usually sits quite comfortably up at the north pole is melting at alarming rates. Currently NASA is claiming that arctic ice is decreasing by an alarming 13% a decade. This has several unfortunate consequences in The Arctic Circle. For example, unlike its sister pole in the south, The Arctic Circle doesn’t sit on any land. For example, let’s say that all the ice in Antarctica melts… Well, for one, everyone living on an island is probably screwed. HOWEVER, the good news is that under all that ice is a solid piece of land, so species like the penguin may not go completely extinct should a mass melting happen simply because they’ll have somewhere to be.

Polar bears may not be so lucky. Under the massive ice sheets of the north pole is… Nothing but ocean. While some land masses like Greenland and some of Canada’s northern territories extend into The Arctic Circle, they don’t make up a large part of the Polar Bear’s habitat. In other words, once all the ice up north melts the polar bears will either go extinct or be forced to move further south. Unlike their more common relatives like the black bear, polar bears are massive, about two to three times more massive than a black bear. So while the black bear has thrived in human inhabited areas due to it’s relatively small and non-threatening stature as well as its ability to scavenge, it’s unlikely the much more aggressive polar bear will be met with much acceptance if it’s forced to enter human cities to find food.

As far as visiting The Arctic Circle goes you’ll probably be heading there via boat or cruise ship. Cruises typically include excursions such as polar bear and whale watching. Naturally there are no airports located in The Arctic Circle because it’s mostly ice, hardly anyone lives there, and hardly any able bodied tourist wants to go there. There are some fly over tours that begin in Alaska and then head north to give passengers an aerial view of The Arctic Circle. Unfortunately no matter how you approach an arctic tour it’s going to cost you in the thousands, so maybe skip this spot and catch a polar bear in the zoo if that’s out of the realm of possibility for you.

That’s All! But What If You Still Need A Passport?

That’s all folks! I hope you enjoyed the read. Perhaps you noticed that all locations listed are outside the USA, this doesn’t exclude the USA from losing land to the sea however, in fact everyone’s favorite state Florida may lose a large portion of land to the sea in the future. However, if you’ve been to Florida and want to explore outside of the country you’ll need a passport! Lucky for you we’ve been helping travel lovers acquire passports for years, click here and check out our website for more info. Whether it be new passport, passport renewal, or replacing a lost/stolen passport, we’ve got you covered.

The Top Honeymoon Destinations for Every Type of Traveler

When it comes to exploring honeymoon locations, the possibilities are endless. Whether you’re a cold weather person and love the snow, or you prefer tropical temperatures and laying by the beach, there is no shortage of international destinations to consider.  

So, where should you start? How about applying for a new passport before your trip; what does that process involve? We’re diving into several exciting honeymoon destinations for every type of traveler. Whether you prefer fun adventures or total relaxation, we’ll let you know exactly what to expect when it comes to the passport process.  

Let’s get started!         

#1. The Adventure Seekers 

Costa Rica 

Calling all adventure seekers! If you and your significant other love the thrill of outdoor activities like backpacking through the wilderness, zip-lining and/or horseback riding, consider a honeymoon in Costa Rica. The warm weather makes nonstop outdoor activities possible almost every day of the year! And in Costa Rica, there is simply no shortage of things to do, from exploring volcanos, exotic rain forests, to visiting a local outdoor market.    


Alternatively, Guatemala also offers incredible adventures! If you and your beau prefer a more diverse option that isn’t a traditional destination for honeymooners, consider this beautiful country. Although there are plenty of bustling bars and restaurant options for you to explore, there are also pristine lakes, historic landmarks (be sure to see San Pedro!), and many hiking trails to discover as well.  

#2. For the Nature Lovers 

Bora Bora

Looking to spend most of your time outdoors, soaking up as much time in nature as possible? Then consider a trip to the small island of Bora Bora. Located approximately 160 miles away from Tahiti, Bora Bora is only 6 miles long but full of incredible scenic views, and jaw-dropping beauty. The small island includes tropical jungles, a dormant volcano, warm ocean water on all sides and much more.     

Sydney, Australia 

If you’re located in the U.S., Sydney, Australia requires a full day of flying but it’s absolutely worth it. If your ideal honeymoon includes gorgeous white sand beaches and amazing marine wildlife, this is the place for you. Additionally, the city has a state-of-the-art aquarium, botanical gardens, and the Taronga Zoo to also visit.    

#3. Looking for Total Relaxation?  

Cayman Islands 

If the inside of a spa or the umbrella above your beach chair is the only thing you’re interested in exploring on your honeymoon, we have you covered. Consider a trip to the Cayman Islands and fill your days with exploring the islands many beaches, exquisite spas, and yoga studios. If you feel like being adventurous one day, there are plenty of opportunities to charter a local boat to see the turtles and dolphins who frequent the area.     

Bali, Indonesia 

Bali is an ideal honeymoon spot for couples looking for lowkey fun. From its renowned resorts that overlook the beach, to the beautiful walking trails, there is no shortage of activities to take part in. Bali offers visitors animal sanctuaries to explore, yoga studios, serene beaches and much more, all for a relatively inexpensive cost compared to other international destinations.      

#4. The Ultimate Cultural Experience   


If you prefer to use your honeymoon as an opportunity to experience new and exciting cultures, consider a trip to Paris, France. Few things are more romantic than seeing the Eiffel Tower at night or walking the historic cobblestone streets of the city with your significant other. The Luxembourg Gardens are another great place to explore during your trip, as well as the Arc de Triomphe. Between the incredible tourist opportunities and French cuisine, there’s a chance you may never want to return home again.    

Rio de Janeiro Brazil 

Rio de Janeiro may not be the first place that comes to mind when you consider honeymoon destinations, but you’ll want to add it to your list. Known for its gorgeous beaches, incredible scenery and the Carnival celebration, Rio de Janeiro has many landmarks to explore. Brazil is also home to the Maracanã football stadium, one of the largest in the world and a tourist favorite. The spectacular cuisine, outdoor farmer’s markets, and all the bright colorful buildings make for a fun and exciting trip.      


Tips on Getting a New Passport Before Your Honeymoon

Before you’re able to start packing your suitcases, it’s important that you’ve properly planned for your honeymoon trip. For example, have you considered getting a new passport? If you’re planning on changing your last name immediately after your wedding ceremony, you’ll need to take into account that you’ll be required to get a new passport that reflects your new last name.   

If you’re wondering how to change your name on your passport, don’t worry, getting a new passport and dealing with a passport name change is incredibly simple if you know where to turn to for help. 

1). First, be sure that you’ve left yourself enough time to have your new passport processed before your trip. If your updated passport isn’t ready, you most likely will not be able to travel internationally. Please note, it can take anywhere between a few days up to 6 weeks to receive your new passport. This depends on how quickly you choose to have your passport processed, whether or not you properly submitted your paperwork and required documentation, and if there are any issues during processing.   

2). If you’re worried about the timing of obtaining a new passport in relation to your honeymoon, opt for expedited passport services. This will significantly cut down on the amount of time to takes for you to receive your new passport!  

3). To save yourself time, stress and hassle, consider turning to a professional passport agency. Chances are, after planning your wedding, you’re ready to let someone else handle the details of the passport process.  

The Passport Office specializes in helping people with the passport process, from start to finish. Whether you need a new passport or are trying to navigate the process of a passport name change, we can help. We offer both in-person and online passport services, for your convenience.  

Online, getting a new passport is just three easy steps. You start by filling out an application with several questions. Once submitted, you’ll receive detailed instructions on what to do next. From there, The Passport Office staff will prepare your documents for processing. And that’s it!  

Grab Your New Passport and Explore These Top Honeymoon Destinations This Year

Don’t let the idea of getting a new passport dampen your excitement for an incredible honeymoon trip. By hiring a professional and experienced team to handle the passport process for you, you’ll be able to focus on which destination best suits you and your beau, rather than which travel spot allows you to avoid the passport process.  

If you’re in need of name change services, help with how to change a name on a passport, or getting a new passport, we would love to assist you and your significant other. Begin the process online or schedule an appointment at one of our locations.  

8 New Passport Photo Do’s and Don’ts

When planning an upcoming trip, chances are you have researched the hotel, necessary flights, and travel activities. Have you checked to see if your passport is up to date? If it is time to renew your passport, that could mean a new passport photo, too.  

Most adult’s passport photos are valid for ten years, however, there are some exceptions to this rule. To ensure your passport is ready to go for your next international getaway, find out when you need a new passport photo, as well as eight passport photo do’s and don’ts. Let’s dive in!   

When Do You Need a New Passport Photo? 

There are several reasons to get a new passport photo taken. First, anyone under the age of 16 is required to apply for a child passport. For someone older than 16, here are four factors that may require a new passport photo being taken:  

  1. A significant change in your appearance due to extensive plastic surgery, severe facial trauma or facial deformities.  
  2. A large amount of weight loss. If serious weight loss has affected the appearance of someone’s face or facial structure, they may need to take a new passport photo.  
  3. A gender transition. If an individual has changed their gender from male to female or vice versa which has led to a significant change in their appearance, a new photo is mandatory.    
  4. The addition or removal of extensive facial tattoos. Additional tattoos on a person’s face or the removal of significant facial tattoos often requires a new passport photo.  

If you are unsure if the changes to your appearance constitute a new passport photo, contact the Department of State for further clarification. Next, let’s explore eight common passport photo do’s and don’ts to prepare for your next passport photo session.  

#1. Use Clear Photos Only 

One of the biggest reasons a new passport photo is not accepted is because the photo is not clear. Be sure the photo is in focus, not grainy and is in color. Additionally, check that you are not too far away in the photo and that all of your facial features are seen clearly. Specifically, the bottom of your chin to the top of the head should be between 1 -1 3/8 inches.  

#2. Check Your Photo’s Light Quality  

Another common mistake when it comes to new passport photos is ensuring the picture features adequate lighting. Passport photos cannot include shadows, particularly over a person’s face or head. Furthermore, the picture should not be overexposed, discolored or too bright. Red eyes should also be avoided.   

#3. Keep Your Eyes Open 

Although it may seem obvious, your eyes need to be fully open in your passport photo. For the best results, focus on the person’s nose who is taking your passport photo. This will ensure your eyes are not tilted too far up or down. Unfortunately, if you blink and your eyes close during your photo, you will need to retake it. Additionally, both of your eyes need to be included in your photo, meaning side profile photos are not accepted.  

#4. Your Face Must be Uncovered

Passport photos require that your face is not covered by hats, hair or eyeglasses. As of 2016, eyeglasses can no longer be worn in U.S. passport photos. According to the U.S. State Department, if you are unable to remove your glasses temporarily due to medical reasons, you will need to include a signed note from your doctor with your passport application. Additionally, jewelry that hides your face as well as headphones and other electronic devices are prohibited in passport photos.  

#5. Know the Correct Photo Dimensions 

When submitting a new passport photo, be sure it is the correct dimensions. Photos should be 2 x 2 inches. The picture should be printed on a matte or slightly glossy paper. Ensure that your photo does not have any holes, significant creases or smudges on it, as well. These factors may result in your passport photo being denied.   

#6. Strike the Appropriate Pose 

Unfortunately, selfies are not allowed when it comes to passport photos. It is required that someone else take your photo for you, or you use a tripod and a photo timer. In terms of your facial expression, your face should appear neutral or with a slight smile. As a rule, you should not smile with your teeth in your passport photo. Additionally, you want to ensure your head is centered in the picture frame and not tilted. 

#7. Pick the Right Attire   

Although it is tempting to dress up for your new passport photo, your picture should be taken in your everyday, normal clothing. Uniforms, as well as clothing that resembles a uniform, are not acceptable. Additionally, clothing featuring a camouflage pattern are also prohibited. To ensure you are following the passport photo rules, stick to basic clothing items such as jeans and a t-shirt.  

#8. Learn the Rules for a Child’s Passport 

The passport photo requirements for children and babies differ slightly than the requirements for adults. In an infant’s photo, it’s acceptable if their eyes are not fully open or looking straight forward. However, toddlers and older children are expected to be in the center of the photo, with their eyes facing forward and open.   

In order to take a passport photo for an infant, the U.S. State Department suggests laying the baby on his or her back on a plain white or off-white sheet. If possible, ensure there are no shadows across the baby’s head or face when taking the photo. For additional help, visit the U.S. State Department’s website to see example photos for a child’s passport.   


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