Man Waited 2 Months for Passport Renewal Only to Later Realise His Photo Was Rejected

With pretty much everyone renewing their passports these days, there’s no doubt that the wait for them to be processed by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has been painful for most people.

And while the six-week-or-so wait is already excruciatingly difficult for most people, some end up being faced with an even worse nightmare: that their application didn’t get processed due to various reasons.

Well, that just happened to one unlucky man who failed to realise that his passport photo did not meet ICA’s requirements, and only found out about it almost two months later when he headed down to the ICA building.

Speaking to Shin Min Daily News, the man surnamed Chng explained that he and his wife had intended to travel for leisure after border restrictions were relaxed.

Since his passport had expired, Chng submitted an application for a new passport in April.

He took his passport photo at a photography studio at Bedok before heading down to a Community Club (CC) where the staff there helped him to submit his details online.

Chng, 53, and his wife had intended to book plane tickets for 24 June, but as we all know, you need a passport that is valid for at least six months to book a plane ticket.

Did not Receive Any Notice for Two Months Due to Not Using Singpass Application

He claimed that he waited for almost two months, but did not receive any notice or information from ICA.

Chng then decided to travel to the ICA building on Wednesday (25 May) to enquire about his passport, and only then was he told that his passport application was rejected as his passport photo did not meet the requirements.

After that, Chng could only take his passport photo again at a nearby photography shop before submitting another application.

He will only receive his passport in around a month’s time, causing his initial travel plans to be delayed.

He then urged those renewing their passports to install the Singpass mobile application and check it for any updates regarding their passports.

According to him, the reason why he did not receive any updates or information was that he did not install the application on his phone.

Current State of Renewing Passports: How Many People are Renewing Theirs & Waiting Time

ICA revealed that they are currently receiving an average of 7000 passport renewal applications from Singaporeans every day.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, they only received around 2000 applications every day.

Currently, it will take at least six weeks on average for individuals to get their passports renewed.

If unforeseen circumstances such as the increase in the number of people submitting applications or errors with the application occur, the process may be further delayed.

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According to Shin Min, an ICA spokesperson explained that the passport photo guidelines are in accordance with the requirements set by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Adhering to the guidelines will ensure that Singaporeans do not run into issues with their passports when they travel overseas.

And if you’re renewing your passport soon, the guidelines for passport photos in Singapore are included on ICA’s website.

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Featured Image: Tang Yan Song /