The identity card, passport or visa are the most important official documents of a person, as it proves who he is in practically all local, national and international procedures.
Unlike your Instagram profile, where you post funny photos and have complete freedom to pose, identification documents require the provision of a valid biometric photo with the various requirements set by each country’s Ministry of Interior.
Passports are issued biometrically. It means that they contain the holder’s biological data, which is stored in the chip that is currently part of the document, as published by Passport Photo Online.
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In this article, we analyze whether a smile on the passport photo is allowed and what to consider before taking our photo.
Can I smile on the passport photo?
Preferably not. Because? Well, because the passport photo must be perfectly legible for the biometric scanning device that is enabled in most airports in the world and recognizes faces with a neutral expression more quickly.
U.S. State Department guidelines state that the subject of the photo must have a “neutral” expression, eyes fully open, and looking straight at the subject of the camera.
Recognizable biometric patterns, such as the distance between a person’s eyes or the shape of the mouth, can rarely be changed enough to prevent a match.
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Passport applicants may also be required to remove their hair from their faces, tilt their glasses to avoid glare, and look fully forward with a neutral expression.
Passport applicants may be asked to pose for a new photo if the first one is deemed too distorted by the smiling.
However, there are some exceptions and clarifications to the rules against smiling. A closed-mouth smile may be acceptable, but a wide smile is not.
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A grinning “smile” formed with the jaw closed can be tolerated as long as other facial features, such as the eyes and nose, are not unnaturally distorted.
It is mainly the open mouth and wide smile that have become problematic.
Despite the temptation to smile for a more flattering shot, the photographer may deliberately ask you not to. The passport photo may not be very flattering, but avoiding a smile can be a small sacrifice in exchange for more personal security.
Mabel is a talented author and journalist with a passion for all things technology. As an experienced writer for the 247 News Agency, she has established a reputation for her in-depth reporting and expert analysis on the latest developments in the tech industry.