This is a bit funny. I had posted a question in June - Use of unused Schengen visa to travel to Switzerland. Based on that i travelled to Norway and faced another problem.
Here is some background:
- I have an Indian passport issued in 2005 and expiring in May 2015. Photo taken in 2005 for issuing the passport shows a very skinny version of me.
- Currently i have put a lot of weight and hence current photo v/s passport photo has significant difference mostly in fat but facial features are same.
- I have a recent photo on UK residence permit issued in 2013 - which usually helps me to use the passport at border control.
- I have travelled back and forth between UK and India for past 3 years with same difference in appearance - but never faced any problem.
This is what happened in Norway at border control:
- I provided my passport with valid schengen visa (type C - multiple entry - expiring in Oct 2014) and UK residence permit to immigration officer and he asked me few questions on my purpose travel and other basic stuff.
- Then he moved on to difference of appearance - my current appearance versus the photo in the passport. This is when the doubt started building.
- He then looked at me again and again - sideways, up, down - comparing with my UK residence permit, previous photos on visas on the passport.
- He called upon other two officers to look at my situation and everybody has same doubts about my appearance. They would look at the recent UK residence permit but again go back to passport photo and ponder what to do with me.
- I tried to build my case by providing other photographic proofs and return ticket to UK- India PAN card (has old photo of me - 2007), Indian driving licence (new photo of me - 2011), my employer id card (new photo - 2010) - but everytime they looked at new photographic evidence and ended up with my old photo in the passport.
- They constantly talked between themselves in local language (maybe Norwegian) which I could not understand at all. This went on for about one hour and still it was not over.
- The immigration officers were not rude but very amazed at the difference and were looking for some way to relate me to old photo in the passport.
- Luckily another international flight arrived at that time and all officers had to take a quick call on what to do with me.
- I was finally allowed to enter with warning to get the passport renewed asap to avoid any further issues at other countries border control in the future.
- I had my biometric information on UK residence permit which I offered them to verify against mine but they said that they dont have access to UK information and that won't work in Norway.
If you have read the question and are still with me - I would like to thank you for your patience with this question :)
I have more trip planned to Europe starting next week and that doesn't give me enough time to renew the passport. I might manage to get through other border controls similar to how I did in Norway but am worried if I get a tough border control official - I might be denied entry.
Is there any other way to prove that I am the same person that was photographed in the passport nearly 9 years ago without renewing the passport?