A woman shared video this month after being “pulled into a room” and “interrogated” in Turkey because she didn’t look like her passport photo. She’d “undergone different facial treatments, such as Botox” which contributed to the difference, and wound up “interrogated by 6 members of passport control.”
That time i got interegated by 6 members of passport control
This is hardly an isolated incident. Here’s a woman that almost got barred from her flight. She’d taken a glamor shot (“hot photo”) for her passport. And that’s never what you look like at the airport.
@alishamarie ive never been SO HUMBLED IN MY LIFE #passportphoto #passport #traveltiktok #grwm ♬ original sound – alishamarie
My daughter’s passport is four years old, and her photo is of a baby! It looks nothing like her, and fortunately we haven’t had a problem. It never even occurred to me that we ought to update it, since baby (and children’s) passports are valid for five years and of course children grow and change in appearance more quickly than that.
Several readers, though, have shared stories with me about their appearance not matching their passport.
One had their photo taken at their City Hall’s passport office, and received their passport back with “the entire upper portion of my head, beginning in the middle of my forehead…just a “whitewash,” i.e., with absolutely NO detail of the rest of my head.” Despite the long wait for passports (which have been coming down somewhat), he had the passport replaced.
Another reader offered that their daughter’s appearance “changed so much between ages 16 and 21 that she was twice detained when re-entering the U.S.”
One of those experiences was a 3-hour, grueling interrogation as to why she was entering the US on a US passport–and she is a US citizen, born and raised in Key West!
Her sun-bleached hair, tan, and round face of a young teen in no way matched the dark-haired, slender-faced young woman of 21.
It seems like this becomes less of an issue with biometrics. Photos already weren’t always helpful because Americans might often look alike to passport officers in other parts of the world, and vice versa.
Plus, people gain and lose weight all the time. Probably more so with the popularity of Ozempic.