It is advisable to expose the ears. Despite the fact that their seven-page official guide to passport pictures does not address ears and offers at least one illustration of someone whose hair conceals their ears. So I went to Walgreens today to obtain a passport photo, and the female salesperson advised me to put my hair behind my ears. This seemed strange to me because it's not something that people usually do when posing for photographs. But then she said that since my ears are pretty small, maybe having them showing would make them look bigger.
I guess this was some sort of joke, but I didn't find it funny. She also told me that since my ears are small, they should be flat against my head when taking the picture. I don't know about that either. Maybe if they were big enough to notice...
Anyway, just thought I'd share this story with you.
Many nations do not accept passport images depicting applicants smiling, but the United States is not one of them. The instructions makes no mention of the necessity to tuck your long hair behind your ears. It does stipulate, however, that "the photograph must be clear and include a centered, full frontal view of the applicant's face appearance."
In fact, according to the U.S. State Department website, "if your hair is too long or messes with your photo, then it will not be accepted." Long hair on men can make them appear masculine and strong, which may not be desired by the passport office. However, if you want to avoid having long hair in your image, there are services that will cut your hair before taking pictures.
The reason for this rule is so that facial features are not obscured by hair. If someone wants to wear their hair stylishly back from their ears, that's their choice, but they should be aware that some countries require ear-tipped passports.
Passport photographs are taken during application processes or when people update their information. Sometimes a new photo is required for security reasons.
Generally, only small parts of the face need to be visible in order for the image to be valid. These include the forehead, nose, and part of the mouth showing any teeth.
However, some countries require ear-tipped passports.
Passport photo laws are practically ubiquitous; essentially, nations need a passport photo to appropriately reflect the passenger. A traveler's hair shall not fall in his or her face or be covered by a cap or other garment unless worn for religious reasons. Instead of looking down or to the side, the person should face the camera. Their hands should be free to hang naturally at their sides.
In addition, some countries require that you bring your own photographic equipment (and sometimes even film) into the country. They will not accept photographs taken by the government or from any other source.
The quality of photos used for passports is usually very good, so lack of clarity or other problems can be explained by something other than poor photography. For example, if there is something reflective in the photo that is causing confusion, it might be blurred out. Or, if the photo was taken during times of civil unrest, officials may choose not to issue passports with those images on them.
Overall, bringing proper photo documentation is essential when traveling anywhere within the world.
Photographs of US Passports Unless used on a daily basis for religious reasons, do not wear a cap or head covering that obscures the hair or hairline. Your entire face must be visible, and your head covering must not cast any shadows on it. Face coverings (niqabs) are not permitted to be worn in passport pictures taken in the United States. If you are denied a visa because of an opaque face covering, you may request a viewing of your photograph.
If you are able to provide a valid reason as to why you are wearing a face covering, such as for religious purposes, you will not be denied a visa based on this rule. However, even if you are granted a visa, you should consider not wearing a face covering when applying for passports or other documents with photos attached.
The Department of State recommends that you not wear a face covering in passport photographs unless it is for religious reasons. A consular officer may ask you to remove or replace your face covering if they believe it would help identify you in the photo.
There have been cases where applicants have been allowed to enter the United States with face coverings under certain circumstances. For example, people who qualify as "refugees" are allowed to enter the country with facial coverings if they can provide evidence that they were persecuted because of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
It is required for both Australian and New Zealand passports to have a neutral expression (no smiling), no hair over the face I had to push my fringe (bangs) back, and ears are not an issue. They must be visible at all times when you have your passport with you.
However, if you want to change any of these things you can apply for a special permit. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade says there are three requirements that need to be met before a permit can be granted:
The person applying for the permit must provide evidence of having undergone a medical examination to prove that they are fit to travel. This could be done by getting a note from their doctor or nurse.
The person must supply two photographs of both sides of their head, one full-face and one half-face. These will be used to make sure the permit is being given to the right person. The photos must be recent (within last year) and taken in a uniform way against a plain background. They must be clear and not too dark nor light. If necessary, a photo technician can be hired to take more accurate pictures for you.
Finally, the person must pay a fee for the permit. This varies depending on how long you want to stay away from Australia/New Zealand and what country you are visiting.
You can wear your wig while carrying your passport and other identity documents, as long as your hair does not conceal too much of your face or eyes, and caps and headgear are removed (unless for religious purposes).
In most cases, it is best to remove any personal accessories such as rings, necklaces, or earrings before taking the photograph. These items can be retained after the photo has been taken.
If you plan to travel with a firearm, check with your local law enforcement agency to determine if there are any requirements regarding wearing a wig. Many jurisdictions require you to show your hair when purchasing or transporting a gun. The length that you choose to wear your wig should allow you to do so without impeding the movement of the weapon or making it difficult to secure against damage.
Wigs can make you look younger or older than your actual age, which may not be acceptable in certain situations. For example, if you are applying for a job where an accurate date of birth is required, you should know how old you appear. If you feel that you might be discriminated against based on your perceived age, you could consider getting surgery to change your appearance. This would then be reflected in your passport photo and in your identification documents.