Is My Recent Gray Hair a Problem Because My Photo Differs?

Question & AnswerQuestion: Although I am not too old, I have loss some hair and have prematurely gray hair. My passport photo differs because it is from 8 years ago when neither of the above were true. I am not totally bald and lots of younger guys shave their heads completely. So, I am unsure if this is important. Do I need a new passport photo?

Answer: The rules regarding photos is quite straight forward. It should clearly represent you with no significant differences. Of course, that is where the law gets a bit fuzzy since all immigration officers understand that a passport has a fairly long life and natural changes do occur. Sometimes, if you shave your head immigration will ask for a current passport which will require that you renew earlier than you would otherwise. However, it does not sound like you have this issue. It sounds like you look older than your age. Appearance is always a consideration when using your passport.

You must decide if you think your passport photo differs “significantly” where you will clearly look different than the photo. You can find good examples of acceptable passport photos here. Major changes in looks such as the bald young people you describe probably do need to renew their passports and update their photos.

If you have a question and want to be 100% safe, you can go to a regional office and speak to a representative who can advise you. Given your specific appearance change. A list of the regional offices can be found here.

You may find our article on passport photos helpful in this section.