Getting ready to apply for your U.S. passport renewal can be frustrating especially if you are wearing a headscarf as a practicing Muslim. There are several requirements for the passport application photos from the size to the pose to the attire which are explicitly stated on the U.S. government’s website. But there are also exceptions to these photo policies. 


On the government website it is also stated that you may wear a hat or head covering if you explain the reason why you have to wear it in your photo. The reason could be medical or religious. If there is a medical reason, then your doctor needs to sign a statement verifying the item you are wearing on your head is used daily for medical purposes. If the reason is a religious matter, then you need to submit a letter yourself stating the reason why you are wearing your headscarf for your passport photo. In order for the photo with a headscarf to be valid, the full face needs to be visible and the headscarf should not cast shadows on the face. 


We hope that the sample letter below will be beneficial in helping you write your own statement in this regard. 


Filiz Arslan


April 2022



To Whom It May Concern:

I would like to submit this statement to verify the reason for my head covering as requested by the U.S. Department of State for my passport application. My head covering is part of a recognized religious attire that is required to be worn continuously in public. For this reason, I am wearing my headscarf in my U.S. passport application photograph. 

I thank you in advance for your cooperation in complying with U.S. Department of State rules and allowing me to wear my head covering in my passport photograph. 


Name of applicant