DOS Consular Affairs will no longer accept visa applicants wearing eyeglasses on their visa or passport photos. The "No Eyeglasses Policy" will go into effect November 1, 2016.
Under this policy, Consular Affairs (CA) will no longer accept photographs of visa and passport applicants wearing eyeglasses, except in rare, medically-documented circumstances. CA will implement this policy with a soft one-month enforcement period from November 1 to November 30, 2016, after which they will not accept photographs with eyeglasses. Photographs with eyeglasses that passport and visa applicants submit during this one-month grace period, which are not processed until a later date, should be accepted.
CA decided to prohibit photographs of applicants wearing eyeglasses to enhance the performance of CA's facial recognition (FR). This prohibition increases the overall accuracy of the FR software and decreases the likelihood of misidentifying an applicant. Under the No Eyeglasses Policy, an applicant may wear eyeglasses in a visa or passport application photograph in rare circumstances of medical necessity, for example, when an applicant has had recent ocular surgery and eyeglasses are necessary to protect his/her eyes during urgent travel. Applicants must provide a medical statement signed by a medical professional/health practitioner in these cases.
For assistance with consular processing for an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa, please contact Inland Empire Immigration Attorney Ted Huang.