Travellers looking to pick up a new Australian passport will no longer be allowed to be pictured with their glasses, under strict new guidelines.
The Australian Passport Office will ban glasses from the first of 1 July 2018 in a bid to strengthen security measures.
“Research has shown that glasses adversely affect passport facial matching. Matching is more accurate without glasses,” the department said.
The new rule only applies to new passports, so existing passports are okay to be used until their respective expiry dates.
The department said that in rare cases travellers may be permitted to wear glasses when they cannot be removed for medical reasons such as severe light sensitivity or recent eye surgery.
Vision impairment alone will not be sufficient for medical exemption.
The guidelines also reinforce existing policies on facial jewellery and items of clothing worn for religious reasons.
Heads up: glasses will not be allowed in passport photos taken from 1 July 2018. This change further strengthens the integrity of the Australian passport. For more information, visit https://t.co/ONwV8PvEwO #AusPassport pic.twitter.com/b2gOiFyKKG
— Smartraveller (@Smartraveller) May 24, 2018
“Head coverings should be plain coloured and must be worn in such a way as to show the face from the bottom of the chin to the top of the forehead, and with the edges of the face visible,” the guidelines state.
“Jewellery must also not obscure any part of the face, especially the area around the eyes, mouth and nose.”