According to the State Department, a passport photo that doesn’t fit the official U.S. requirements is the #1 reason for rejecting the application. While most criteria concern the image’s technical features, regulations also describe a proper applicant’s appearance. One of them talks about facial hair.
Read further to discover insights into U.S. passport photos and the possibility of beards, mustaches, or other facial hair appearing in them.
Will my passport photo be rejected if I wear a beard?
Luckily, as strict as the criteria for passport images might be, facial hair will not be a problem according to U.S. standards. It means that whether an individual wears a beard, a mustache, or even a goatee, it is per the official regulations, and therefore they are allowed to have it in their passport photo.
The presence or the lack of facial hair does not affect an applicant’s identifiability, as it does not change the biometrics of their face. It means that it does not pose a difficulty for the officers to identify you, whether you have a decade-long beard, or simply a mustache.
A similar approach is seen in European countries, such as Germany, France, the United Kingdom, or Poland, whose passport regulations also allow having facial hair. However, to be entirely sure, it is advisable to check the exact rules of your home country, as these may vary.
It is important to note that although facial hair is allowed in passport photos, many countries mentioned above advise keeping it within the picture only if it is a part of one’s everyday look. However, this is merely a suggestion of the authorities, not an official requirement.
Looking for more tips to get that perfect passport photo? Try reading our other articles:
- Are Passport Photo Shadows Acceptable?
- Passport Photo Hair Requirements in the U.S. [Guide]
- U.S. Passport Photos – Questions and Answers
- Passport Photo Face Guide: Everything You Need to Know
- Passport Photo Make-up Tips and Rules
- Passport Photo: Glasses or No Glasses?
- Passport Photo Size in the U.S.
Should I get a new passport if I recently shaved my beard?
No, there is no such need. As we can read in the U.S. regulations, there is no obligation to get a new passport photo once we have modified our facial hair. U.S. citizens can, therefore, quickly grow a beard or have it shaved off, and there will not be a need to change the image on their passports.
The same rule applies to hairstyles, prescription glasses, and minor weight changes. Beware, however, that Americans are not allowed to wear glasses* in the passport photo itself.
*According to the State Department, glasses are permitted only if the individual provides a signed doctor’s statement proving the medical reasons.
Overall, the intuitive rule is that if the individual’s appearance hasn’t changed drastically, there is no need to take a new passport photo.
There are, however, some circumstances under which passport holders are obliged to update their pictures. These include facial tattoos—whether they have recently got a new one or removed it from their face. In both cases, U.S. citizens need to get a new passport. The same goes for significant weight alterations, cosmetic or reconstructive surgeries around the face, and changes in gender identity.
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Despite having a grizzled, bushy beard or just stubble, submitting a fine-touched passport picture is a must for a positive application process.. However, getting a satisfactory photo that complements your facial hair might not be a piece of cake. That is why we present you with a perfect solution: the Passport Photo Online application.
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To wrap up our overview, let us look at some frequently asked questions on facial hair in passport photos.
Do I need to shave my beard for a passport photo?
No, according to the official requirements of most countries, applicants do not need to shave their beard for a passport photo. It is, however, always advisable to check the specific criteria of your country.
I had a passport photo with a beard, then shaved. What should I do?
U.S. citizens do not have to apply for a new passport if they have shaved their beard. Regulations allow for minor alterations in appearance, such as facial and regular hair, slight weight changes, or getting prescription glasses.
Bearded or not, you are good to go
Fortunately, U.S. citizens are perfectly fine to pose with their beards for passport photos. As it turns out, the strict government requirements sometimes turn out to be relatively humane, and there is no need to update a passport image every time you alter your appearance.
However, if you decide to take a new passport photo, do it conveniently with Passport Photo Online in the comfort of your home. 100% compliance guarantee or 200% money back!
Adam is an SEO & Digital PR writer with a child’s curiosity about the surrounding world. His superpower to dig out juicy facts got him citations in Forbes, Social Media Today, and 90+ other news outlets. Adam enjoys snapping pictures and won the national Huawei Next Image Award.