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About My Passport Picture 2009/6/5 01:47
Hi everybody,

I am a foreigner. I will be visiting Japan next month.

I have a question: In my passport picture, as my head does not look directly to the camera, one of my ear is not visible. Do you think that it will be a problem when I am entering Japan with that passport? Can the officer who checks my passport tell "this photo is not suitable. You one ear is not visible. You can't enter Japan"?

By the way, since the picture is not that bad, it is accepted in my country and my passport is ready but I wonder whether it will cause trouble for me while entering Japan.

Looking forward to your replies.
by Tole (guest)  

... 2009/6/5 07:42
If the authorities of your country accepted the photo, I am pretty sure that Japan has no choice but to respect the validity of your passport.
by Uji rate this post as useful

... 2009/6/5 09:53
Yeah, if it is a valid passport I don't know how much they can really do about it. They'll take your picture themselves when you enter anyway (fingerprints too).
by bgalfond (guest) rate this post as useful

photo 2009/6/5 16:24
Talking about passports pictures..since passports are digitized (or whatever it is called) we Canadians aren't allowed to smile on our passports photos--nor frown either- Sure enough, on my first trip with that passport the .immigration guy in Paris looked at my photo then at me--I was smiling--and winked, saying " next time try to smile on the photo". What is the rule in your country???
by Red frog (guest) rate this post as useful

Same 2009/6/6 17:14
Yes the same policy applies in Australia. We are not allowed to smile on our passports either.
by Atomicgirlwonder rate this post as useful

Glasses 2009/6/6 18:29
In my country we are not allowed to smile or wear glasses on our passport picture as they might reflect light. So I'm looking quite sad without glasses (which I wear since I was 8). Sometimes I think nobody will recognise me from that picture... :D :D
by Trudy63 rate this post as useful

same here 2009/6/6 19:14
In Japan, you aren't supposed to smile or frown in any sort of ID photo, including passport photos, and you are to look straight at the camera and have your picture taken from shoulders and above.

I used to enjoy taking a look at foreign friends' passports where they've posed slanted or smiling or even doing a close-up with a heavy beard they don't have any more!
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

photos 2009/6/7 08:35
Thanks guy.. I feel better.. nobody in government bothered to tell us the why so when the edict came
" no smiling in passport photos" most people felt it was just bureaucratic nonsense to punish the average guy. My usual photographer complained that now it takes much longer to take photos as some people don't like the first 4 or 5 taken..good thing that they are digital and can be erased at no cost to either party...
by Red frog (guest) rate this post as useful

IDs don't look good nor do they have to 2009/6/7 15:08
My usual photographer complained that now it takes much longer to take photos as some people don't like the first 4 or 5 taken

Wow, this is new to me. I wonder if photographers in Japan have the same problem and that it's just me who doesn't know it.

In Japan, as you are to look plain in ID photos, on one expects it to turn out "looking good". Among them, driver's license photos usually turn out as one of the most embarrassing ones as they are taken by police officers in great speed without any artistic quality whatsoever.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

to OP 2009/6/7 19:08
It won't be a problem. I used to have a passport with a picture just like yours until last year and no immigration officer ever said anything about it when I traveled to Japan.

My new passport has one of the look straight into the camera and don't smile kind of photos though. They're making a big fuss about those passport pictures in my country. There are posters in city offices explaining exactly how the picture is supposed to be taken (not too light or too dark background, exact lighting, no shadows in the face anywhere, position and size of the head in the picture are important etc.). I liked my old picture a lot better. ;)
by maiki (guest) rate this post as useful

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