US bans eyeglasses from passport, visa photos

US Airways
In this image taken from video, US Airways flight 1939, the final US Airways flight, prepares to depart Philadelphia International Airport for Charlotte, N.C. on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015. (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department is banning passport and visa applicants from wearing eyeglasses in photos taken for the documents.

In a notice published Friday, the department says that effective Nov. 1, applicants must remove glasses for passport and visa photographs.

It says the step is being taken to “eliminate glares and shadows” that can cause delays in processing the applications and to ensure consistent photo standards.

Only in rare circumstances, if applicants have “documented medical necessity during urgent travel” will glasses be allowed.

The department says it expects to process a record number of passports — more than 20 million — in the current budget year that ends next October.

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