The whole purpose of a biometric photograph is to facilitate facial recognition. Facial recognition software scans your passport and compares them based on precise measurements of your facial features.
A smile, especially one that shows your teeth, can make it hard for customs officers or facial recognition software to recognize you. This could lead to delays or even refusal to board the plane.
Today, the only country that allows its passport holders to keep a smile (with their teeth visible) is the United States. The United States is the only country that allows passport holders to smile (with their teeth showing!) This smile must not be exaggerated and must be natural.
Photos of facial recognition for biometric passports
Humans are able to recognize faces quickly and easily. This is a challenge for machines. Computers and algorithms have to compare a 3-D face to a 2-D image. It works only by identifying and measuring facial features in a given image.
High-tech devices are used at airports, stations in metros (e.g. Osaka, Japan), offices, hospitals and other institutions to measure facial features, including distance between the eyes, nose, mouth, ears and nose, width of the mouth, and the size of the eyes.
It's not surprising that the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), has established standards for biometrics in passports. Every passport issued is now biometric. This means it contains biodata about its holder, which is part of the document. All passport photos must comply with the ICAO's standards.
Can you smile on a passport photo of yourself?
Let's get back to the subject of smiling in biometric passport photos. It is one of the most common mistakes that causes rejections or delays in passport application processes.
This is understandable as it was not so long ago that passport photos allowed friendly expressions. (As we mentioned, smiling in passport photos is still permitted in the U.S. However, official documents now have strict requirements.
The United States is more relaxed about smiling, but other requirements are the exact same for all countries. Applicants cannot tighten or frown their lips, crinkle, or close their eyes.
For obvious reasons, it is not allowed to make silly faces. For most passport photos, the person being photographed must maintain a neutral expression, keep their jaw closed and look straight at camera.
Digital alterations are another thing to avoid in passport photos. They can cause passport applications to be rejected. To allow facial recognition software to recognize neutral expressions with greater speed and ease, the passport photo must be easily readable. This is why you shouldn't smile when taking your passport photo or during identity verification.
Smile in passport photos - children and babies
We've seen that adults in most countries, with the exception of the United States should keep their faces neutral and not smile in passport photos. What about older children and babies?
It can be difficult to get your child or baby to smile in a passport photo. The passport authorities will accept a smile photo as long as they recognize their facial features.
It would be best for your toddler or infant to not smile in his photograph. However, passport office workers and government officials are also people and realize that it is almost impossible to tell your child to keep a serious face in a photo like in a mugshot. This is why we have leniency.
Smile in passport photos all over the globe
There are many different definitions of natural smiles. Most passports around the globe require a neutral expression, with some allowing for a slight smile and not showing teeth. However, certain countries have stricter rules.
France, for example, has officially banned smiling from passport photos. This includes having your corners turned up in neutral expressions. This ruling was confirmed in December 2014. Since then, no smiling or anything that resembles a smile is allowed on French passports and ID photos.
A neutral expression or serious expression is required for countries such as the U.K., Australia and Canada. They use a different face recognition software that can make it difficult to identify facial features if one smiles.
Most countries in the world prefer a neutral expression or a serious expression, as mugshots are. Even though the United States allows citizens to smile openly for passport photos, they are encouraged to not do so if possible.
AiPassportPhoto – Take your own photo at-home
AiPassportPhoto uses artificial intelligence to create professional-quality passport photos for visas, passports, driving licences and other documents from most countries around the world.
The smart AiPassportPhoto application uses similar technology to machines that can read photos. This allows you to take the perfect photo for any document, without ever leaving your home.
You can pick a time and place that suits you best. Also, you will have the opportunity to experiment with different hairstyles, make-up and outfits. You won't be charged extra for additional shots or time. You only pay for the one image you choose once you have placed your order.
Intelligent app automatically resizes and crops images to the desired dimensions. It also removes unwanted backgrounds and replaces them with the right one in the requested color. The passport photo generator will verify that your photo meets all standards. If our app marks the photo as "correct", it may be certain that authorities will accept it.
Smiling in passport photos - wrap up
For the next ten year, you will be looking at your passport photo. It will be displayed to many people, including border officers, flight attendants and hotel receptionists. It is easy to want to look beautiful in your passport photo. Even though you're not allowed to smile in passport photos, you can still smile when you see your new passport photo.
FAQs: Can you smile on passport photos
Can you smile with your teeth on a passport picture?
Unless you are in the United States, it is against the law to smile in biometric passport photos. However, biometric photos are allowed in the United States.
What is the maximum amount of smiles you can make in a passport picture?
Biometric photos cannot be taken smiling because they have to be legible for facial recognition software. You don't have to be serious or frown. Just keep your face neutral and it will be fine. Only the US allows citizens to smile in passport photos with their teeth visible. The smile should be natural and not overdone.
Can you smile on a passport photo of India?
You are not permitted to smile in photographs for Indian passports.
Can you smile on a U.S. passport photograph?
U.S. passport photos For U.S. passport photos, you can have natural smile even with your teeth visible, but nothing exaggerated.
Can you smile on a South Korean passport photo?
South Korea's passport photo doesn't allow smiling.