Similar to dyeing your hair another color, wearing a pair of glasses or putting on a wig, colored contact lenses can make you look significantly different. If your natural eye color is brown and you wear a pair of bright blue contacts, your features, skin tone, hair color and whole appearance can look different. It stands to reason therefore that when having your passport photo taken you should avoid wearing colored contact lenses.
Traveling Abroad Smoothly
With strict guidelines and stringent checks in place, getting through passport control and traveling on planes can be time-consuming, stressful and a general headache. Having a proper passport that satisfies the standards required will ensure you are able to travel from country to country freely. If your passport photo does not adhere to the required standards, your passport paperwork is likely to be returned, delaying your travel plans.
Passport photos need to capture the true resemblance of an individual. Consequently wearing items or concealing parts of your face that hampers your true visual identity will result in your passport application being denied. With the phenomenal growth and popularity of colored contact lenses, which can dramatically change your look, the government had warned about wearing colored contacts while having your passport photograph taken.
Not just in the US
It’s not only in the United States where the use of colored contacts are being warned against on passport photos. Last month, officials in Taiwan urged nationals not to wear colored or circle lenses while taking passport photos to avoid being denied entering other countries. Michael Yin, deputy head for Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Bureau of Consular Affairs, announced they had received reports of nationals of Taiwan being denied entrance into foreign countries because their passport photos were noticeably different from their actual appearance.
“Some custom officials in the United States and in the European Union have difficulties matching the photographs on R.O.C passports and the people holding them because the passport holders were wearing circle or colored contact lens when they took the photographs,” said Yin reported The China Post.
Whilst wearing these fashionable and decorative lenses does not violate official International Civil Aviation Organization regulations, Taiwanese officials are advising nationals to avoid doing so in order to prevent visa applications from being denied or access into foreign countries being forbidden. The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), which deals with the visa applications for nationals of Taiwan, recently posted advice on its official website that colored contacts are not acceptable as part of its photo specifications when applying for a US visa.
The bottom line is take your colored contacts on holiday with you by all means, but avoid wearing them when you have your passport photograph taken or when traveling.