Applying for or renewing a passport is easier said than done; thanks to a high number of applicants at any given time and a rather cumbersome list of rules one needs to follow. However, you can take a few steps to ensure that your application adheres to all the rules so it won’t take even longer.
Know when to apply
While the most common reasons why people apply for a passport renewal are exhaustion of pages and damaged or lost passport, you must also apply for a new one if you’ve undergone any significant facial change due to weight loss or gain, surgery or even trauma. If you’ve made a gender transition, then that too calls for you to apply for a new passport. Also, know when your passport expires, and whether the country you’re visiting requires a specific passport validity.
Pay attention to your passport photo
Make sure to get yourself clicked with a neutral expression on your face, with both eyes open and a full front view of the face, in so as you are depicted realistically. Smiling too much is not a good idea for the passport photo. Other passport rules for your photo include a certain size, lighting, and a white or off-white backdrop. Also, removing the eye-glasses is a mandate for the picture.
Keep the supporting documents handy
Some passport renewal applications require you to submit supporting documents, such as citizenship evidence or a signed personal statement. This is especially for people who wear religious attire or those unable to remove glasses for medical reasons. Also, passport renewal requires applicants to mail in their old passport, though you’ll get it back with your new one.
Online renewal is your best bet
If you have internet access, the process of application and renewal will be much faster and easier for you. You can apply without having to send the documents to the passport office by post. Once you’ve scheduled an appointment, you can then take your documents along with the printed application receipt to the regional passport office.