July 3, 2022

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Passport photo of seven-year-old disabled girl who can’t sit has been rejected twice

3 min read

On the left, a black girl with black hair and a yellow dress rests behind her with a white scarf.  This is a passport style photo.  On the right, the same image but a meter below that with the arrow pointing to the left, at a 10 degree angle, in the red area meaning 'bad'.

Two passport photos of 7-year-old Kamila Amir were rejected because one was ‘blurry’ and the other an ‘object in the way’ (Picture: MyLondon/BPM Media)

A seven-year-old girl’s passport renewal has been rejected twice after her family sent medical evidence about her disability.

Kamila Amir, from Southwest London has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, which means she struggles to sit in a specific position or keep her eyes open for long periods of time.

Her 28-year-old sister first applied for a new ID on April 6, but made 20 calls to the passport office for clarification, calling the process “difficult”.

He said mylandan: ‘I got an email saying the photo had been rejected and they said there was an object in the way.

‘Then, from April 25 till today, I have been calling them every day to get further information on what they mean.

‘I called 20 times giving me just the same information, they said “we will update the system with everything you mentioned” and still my question on photo rejection was never answered.’

Kamilla wore glasses for the first image, which was rejected on April 25. While the rules state that people should have nothing to cover their faces – they can wear glasses without tint if necessary.

Kamila’s family continued to be duped for calling the passport office (Picture: MyLondon/BPM Media)

Following the rejection on April 25, the family was informed by email on May 23 that the application would be closed if another photograph was not uploaded.

He continued: ‘At this point I was trying to understand why it was denied, and it didn’t ask for medical evidence to be sent anywhere.

‘It just says specify below if you think you can’t meet the requirements for religious or medical reasons – which I did – but it only gives you 250 characters to explain.’

After meeting a consultant at the passport office, who asked her to send medical evidence despite having done so a few days earlier, Kamila’s sister then spoke to another agent who suggested uploading another photograph.

‘It makes us wonder if they discriminate or even look at medical notes’ (Picture: MyLondon / BPM Media)

He also confirmed that details of Kamilla’s disability would be added to the notes on her application to specify that she cannot look at the camera.

Then, after taking a second passport photo – in which Kamilla is lying on a sheet because of her condition – the family was told it had been rejected because the photo was ‘blurry’.

His sister said: ‘It clearly wasn’t. It makes us wonder if they discriminate or even look at the medical notes.’

The passport office eventually accepted a photograph of Kamila on the third attempt, giving the image its approval at 11 p.m. Tuesday.

The passport photo rule says people can wear glasses if they are required to do so (Picture: MyLondon / BPM Media)

Her mother, Kamari Ibrahim Amir, said: ‘Children with severe cerebral palsy cannot communicate, but they understand what is going on around them, and my daughter may feel the discomfort of taking multiple pictures.’

Kamila’s sister said: ‘We know it wasn’t ruled out because of blurriness etc., it’s because of her disability.

‘We need to come together for the Home Office to have better customer service for people with disabilities.’

A spokesperson for Her Majesty’s Passport Office said: ‘We have a number of measures in place to help people with disabilities apply successfully for passports, including enabling applicants to provide additional medical information when submitting their photograph.

‘These measures are constantly reviewed and we will always try to improve this process where we can.’

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