What are the requirements for hair on passport photos in the United States?
Let's take a look at the official opinions before you begin to style your hair. The Department of State has established guidelines regarding acceptable hairstyles.
Many people are surprised to learn that there is not a long list of acceptable hairstyles. It is just a vague description, which at first glance seems intuitive and logical. However, you might have questions when applying it to a specific situation.
According to the Department of State website information, your hair should be adjusted so that your whole face is visible. You can also find information on accessories and head-coverings, as well as the fact that your eyes cannot be covered. These guidelines are not always applicable in all cases.
- What happens if I get bangs?
- Can I pin my hair?
- How about I put my hair up?
- Do I need to cover my ears?
...and many other things.
These vague criteria can be made more useful by discussing specific situations. This will transform the general guidelines into clear instructions.
What hairstyles are allowed in passport photos?
The official guidelines may seem flexible and tolerant at first glance, but this is not the case.
If your passport photo is not in compliance with regulations, the authorities can easily take it down. Sometimes, you may not even know your hairstyle does not meet these requirements.
Take a look at these common situations that could cause confusion to ensure your image meets the criteria.
Do I need to tuck my long hair behind the ears?
You might find information in many places that says you should keep your whole face visible. To expose your long hair, you will need to tuck it behind your ears.
You don't need to be visible when taking U.S passport photo. This is according to the U.S Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 7 which governs passport photos. This only states that your head should be fully visible in front. Your long hair can be left in its natural place.
Can I have bangs on my forehead?
The situation with bangs is more complicated. Your face must be clearly visible in order to allow for easy identification. A bang covering only a small portion of your forehead will not cause any problems. If you have bangs that cover more than half of your forehead, you should pin them back using a subtle hairpin. Your eyebrows must be visible.
Do I have to wear my hair down or up?
Technically, your hair can be styled in whatever way you like. There is no regulation on what styles are permitted or not. This means that your hair can be worn in any style you like, including a ponytail. It is best to organize your hair, because passport photos are not all about your appearance. Some officers may consider unusual hairstyles as being against passport photo rules.
No matter how your hairstyle looks, passport photos must show it all. Keep this in mind when styling your hair.
Is it possible for my hair to be different from the one shown in the passport photograph?
Many people have questions about the reasons passport renewals are required, particularly regarding hairstyle and appearance. The Department of State has a list of specific circumstances that will force you to renew your passport.
A new passport submission is not required for any significant changes in your appearance, particularly if you have changed the biometrics of yourself. Because they are not considered significant changes, hair alterations such as cutting, growing, dying or any other modification to your hair do not require a passport renewal.
What hair accessories are best?
What about hair accessories? You may need to cut your hair in certain circumstances, but what accessories are allowed? Are decorative hair pins and headbands allowed? No is the answer.
The official U.S. passport guidelines state that you must not wear or any ornaments in your hair to take passport photos. Only one exception is subtle, non-eye-catching hairpins that are used to cover your forehead, such as a bobby pin.
After your hair is done, you can take your passport picture in seconds
You should now be able to determine the rules for hairstyle in passport photos. Next, you will need to take your passport photo. But this presents another dilemma: which online service should you use? There are many options available, including traditional photo services in a professional studio as well as specialized booths and online tools. This allows you to digitally convert your own photo into a passport photo that meets all requirements.
AiPassportPhoto is one such tool. This AI-backed software scans your uploaded picture to create a plain, white background. The app also adjusts other elements such as cropping and proper lighting.
The program will then verify that your photograph meets the requirements for a passport.
Does it sound complicated? Although the software is complex, the user interface is simple. Upload as many photos as you wish, browse through them all, and only pay when you are happy with the results. It takes only minutes to do all of this.
AiPassportPhoto guarantees that your passport photos will be accepted. In the unlikely event that your photos are rejected by authorities, you get a double refund.
Here are the best hairstyles for passport photos
Many people have concerns about the permissible hairstyles for passport photos. Many people suggest that passport photos should be taken with your normal hairstyle. This is because that is how you will appear at border control.
It is important to note two things. A passport is good for 10 years. It's unlikely that you will stick with the same hairstyle for more than a decade. It is not used for presentation, but identification. It's all about your biometric features, not your hairstyle.
All things considered, it seems reasonable to choose simple and elegant hairstyles and to save the extravagant hair for special occasions.
Passport Hair Requirements – FAQs
Can I have facial hair on my passport photo?
Yes, facial hair regulations are the same as regular hair.
In a passport photo, can hair cover your ears?
Yes, you can cover your ears in a US passport photograph. The Department of State has a manual that outlines how to cover your ears in passport photos.
Is it possible to wear a hair-clip in a passport photograph?
A passport photo can only allow a simple hairclip. In U.S. passport photos, you are not permitted to use any decorative hair clips (colorful, unusually shaped et cetera).
My passport photo has shown me that my hair color has changed. Do I need a new passport?
You don't have to alter your passport photo if you change your hairstyle. The official U.S. passport guidelines state that there are only certain cases where you need to renew your document. You cannot change your hairstyle in any of these cases.