No glasses allowed in Australian passport photos from 1 July

People who wear glasses will have to remove them for new passport photos taken from 1 July 2018 under new Australian Government rules.

According to the Australian Passport Office, this new rule will further strengthen the integrity of the Australian passport.

“Research has shown that glasses adversely affect passport facial matching,” the department said. “Matching is more accurate without glasses.”

“A limited exemption for medical reasons may apply where supported by a medical certificate.”

The new rule applies only to new passport applications. Severe sensitivity to light and recent eye surgery may be among the rare exemptions to the new rule, the department said. Vision impairment alone will not be accepted a reason for medical exemption, however.

Australia's SmartGate automatic immigration entry terminals currently allow arriving passengers to leave their prescription glasses on while their photo is taken at the gate, but only if they have glasses on in their current passport photo and only if the rims are thin.

"Thick rimmed glasses can affect arrivals SmartGate's ability to compare your image with your ePassport photograph, so it is better to remove them, if possible," the Department of Home Affairs website states.

Glasses have been around for centuries as a welcome tool to allow people to see better in their everyday lives. Stereotypes around wearing glasses have come and gone but today, they are more popular than ever, as well as acting as a strong style statement for many.

While it’s a pity they no longer have a place in Australian passports, they will always have a welcome place on Australian faces!

To discuss your glasses needs and find a pair that’s right for you, find an optometrist here.

For more information on the new passport rules, go to

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