Kamila Amir, 7, had two passport photos rejected because one was ‘blurred’ and the other had an ‘object in the way’ (Pictures: MyLondon/BPM Media)
A seven-year-old girl’s passport renewal has been rejected twice despite her family sending in medical evidence about her disabilities.
Kamila Amir, from southwest London, has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, meaning she struggles to sit in a specific position or keep her eyes open for long periods.
Her 28-year-old sister first applied for a new ID on April 6, but ended up making 20 calls to the passport office for clarification, describing the process as ‘difficult’.
She told MyLondon: ‘I got an email saying the photo was rejected and they said there was an object in the way.
‘Then, from April 25 until today I’ve been calling them every day to get further information to see what they mean.
‘I called 20 times in which I was just given the same information, they said “we will update the system with everything you told us” and still my query on the photo rejection was never answered.’
Kamila wore glasses for the first image, which was rejected on April 25. While rules say people shouldn’t have anything covering their faces – they can wear non-tinted spectacles if they have to.
Kamilla’s family kept on getting fobbed off when calling the passport office (Picture: MyLondon/BPM Media)
Following the rejection on April 25, the family were told by email on May 23 that the application would be closed if another picture was not uploaded.
They continued: ‘All this time I had been trying to understand why it was refused, and it didn’t say anywhere to send medical evidence.
‘It just said if you feel you can’t meet the requirements for religious or medical reasons then specify below – which I did – but it only gives you 250 characters to explain.’
After getting through to one adviser at the passport office, who asked her to send in medical evidence despite doing so a few days before, Kamila’s sister then spoke to another agent who suggested uploading another picture.
‘It makes us wonder if they discriminate or even look at medical notes’ (Picture: MyLondon/BPM Media)
He also confirmed details of Kamila’s disabilities would be added to the notes on her application to specify that she cannot look up at the camera.
Then, after taking the second passport photo – in which Kamila is laying down on a sheet due to her condition – the family were told this had been rejected due to the picture being ‘blurred’.
Her sister said: ‘It clearly wasn’t. It makes us wonder if they discriminate or even look at medical notes.’
The passport office eventually accepted a picture of Kamila on the third attempt, giving the image its approval at 11pm on Tuesday.
Passport photo rules say people may wear glasses if they need to do so (Picture: MyLondon/BPM Media)
Her mum, Kamari Ibrahim Amir, said: ‘Children with severe cerebral palsy may not communicate but they understand what goes on around them, and my daughter may have felt the discomfort of having to take multiple photos.’
Kamila’s sister added: ‘We know it didn’t get rejected due to blur etc, it’s because of her disability.
‘We need to come together for the Home Office to have better customer service for anyone with a disability.’
A spokesperson for Her Majesty’s Passport Office said: ‘We have a number of measures to help people with disabilities successfully apply for a passport, including enabling applicants to provide additional medical information when submitting their photo.
‘These measures are kept under constant review and we will always look to improve the process where we can.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].
For more stories like this, check our news page.