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Slight Crease on Passport Photo - Help Please

Liverpool, United...
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Slight Crease on Passport Photo - Help Please

Hi

My first post... be gentle.... I am travelling to the US next week and need some advic. My passport (Machine readable issued 2004) has a crease across the photo horizontally. It only stretches from one photo edge (about an inch) to the other and I am pretty sure it has always been there. You can still see the photo and there is literally no other anomoly with the data page, or any other area of the passport.. I have only ever travelled in Europe and to India and have never had an issue, but getting nervous about the US, given their strict immigration reputation.

Anyone think I might have an issue?

Thakn you o much in advance for your help

Liverpool
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1. Re: Slight Crease on Passport Photo - Help Please

Hi GazTop,

If i was you, I'd pop along to the passport office and show them what your worried about while you've still got time. Who knows, they might sort something for you their and then. Take along a couple of photos. Worth a try for peace of mind. They should have an idea whether or not it would be acceptable US end. Good Luck.

Margaurite

Liverpool, UK
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2. Re: Slight Crease on Passport Photo - Help Please

"Who knows, they might sort something for you their and then." - That's not going to happen in my experience and even if they say it's ok you never know what a check in agent or US Immigration official will say.

All I can say is that my last passport was starting to show signs of wear and tear as it neared it's expiry date including creases and I never had any problems on visits to various countries including several to the US - without sight of the "slight crease" I think you'll be ok as passports are generally not in pristine condition.

Watford, United...
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3. Re: Slight Crease on Passport Photo - Help Please

I agree, if the crease is not too bad, the photo is obviously you and you have used it previously I shouldn't think you would have any worries.

As you are going so soon I am not sure what else you can do, aside from getting the steam iron out and creating a crease in your face that identically matches the passport photo.

Edited: 3:39 pm, July 09, 2013
London, United...
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4. Re: Slight Crease on Passport Photo - Help Please

Does your passport have a computer chip? If it has a small image looking like a plimsoll line on the front cover, then it has. In which case, they don't even need to open the passport - get in the right queue and they just shove the passport under a reader. That gives them all the details, including a photo.

However, if you're really worried, you're lucky you're in Liverpool - you can get premium service renewal for a little extra cost - £128 in total.

https://www.gov.uk/get-a-passport-urgently

Presumably, you would still be able to carry over up to 9 complete months, so the new passport would last until around April 2024, unless your current passport expires earlier than next April.

Liverpool, United...
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5. Re: Slight Crease on Passport Photo - Help Please

Hi. Thank you all for your comments. Unfortunately due to where I am with work I cannot get to a pasport office to replace this one. I have uploaded a photo to the link below. Apologies for the poor qualit (due to my camera), but you can see the crease

http://www.flickr.com/photos/98664367@N06/9253408465/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/98664367@N06/9253408473/

You can still see the photo clearly I think, but was a bit worried about if they think there has been tampering, or they deem it ot be damaged.

Thanks again for all your advice

Liverpool, United...
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6. Re: Slight Crease on Passport Photo - Help Please

Also, no it doesn't have a microchip and is the machine readable only variety.

Sorry, cant seem to get the above URL's to hyperlink, but they are correct.

Thanks again

Italy
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7. Re: Slight Crease on Passport Photo - Help Please

I kind of think you're either going to have to take a chance or get a new passport as none of us here can say what will happen at immigration I very much doubt you'll have a problem but sometimes it depends who you find on the day, you could phone the American embassy but I don't even know if they would be able to say if you'll have problems or not.

Italy
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8. Re: Slight Crease on Passport Photo - Help Please

Just read your post again and seen that you're travelling next wek so in that case you'll have to chance it as you won't have time to get a new passport and your ESTA will be on this one.

Bangkok
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for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
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9. Re: Slight Crease on Passport Photo - Help Please

Hi,

I agree with the others in that it sounds like based on your time frame, short of postponing your travel, you don't have the time to really do anything about it at this juncture.

For me, as a baseline rule, I don't like having or using a passport that has signs of any kind of damage - especially when that damage is on what I'd call "critical" parts; like the photo and/or data page or to the spine or other "structural" parts of the passport itself..

I think you're smart to be concious and aware that, rightly of wrongly, many countries, the US included, do tend to be more conservative or perhaps more aggressive in their examination of documents and what they'll accept.

My take is this... So long as its in decent shape and doesn't *look* like its been tampered with, altered or the like, I suspect you'll be ok.. That said, and as others have rightly noted, ultimately it falls to the discretion and judgement* of the specific CBP officer at the airport/port where you enter the US, as to what's acceptable or not.

(Note: While the judgement of the inspecting officer is, in most cases, the final authority, more serious cases like an entry refusal, are commonly reviewed by a CBP supervisory agent to insure procedural compliance)

My experience as both an air crew member as well as formerly a ground-based, airport-based employee is that *if* they (CBP) have questions or concerns about the legitimacy or authenticity of your documents, they'll take reasonable steps right there at the airport to resolve it.. Naturally until those steps are competed, you'll be required to remain with the CBP.

Exactly what those steps are does depend on what the matter is, but this is to say that their viewpoint (the CBP) is just not one of "bad documents = refused entry". I've had numerous occasions to work with the CBP to resolve inbound passenger document issues, so I know that their viewpoint isn't one dimensional- but they do enforce law and won't just overlook something if they feel its not right or warrants a further review.

My guess is that barring an unusual experience, your realistically worst case scenario here is being delayed by CBP until they can confirm the legitimacy and validity of your documents... But they do have, via us law, very wide discretion in this matter.

Travel Safe,

Edited: 4:08 pm, July 10, 2013
Canada
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10. Re: Slight Crease on Passport Photo - Help Please

The local British passport office, IMO, could tell you one thing and then you get a grumpy immigration officer in the US and then what happens?

Try and get an emergency replacement.