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. Some background:
- I have an Indian passport issued in 2005 and expiring in May 2015. The photo taken in 2005 for the passport shows a very skinny version of me.
- Currently I have put on a lot of weight and hence the current passport photo has significant differences, mostly in fat but facial features are the same.
- I have a recent photo on my UK residence permit issued in 2013, which usually helps me with the passport at border control.
- I have travelled back and forth between the UK and India for the past three years with the same difference in appearance - but never faced any problem.
This is what happened in Norway at border control:
- I provided my passport with a valid Schengen visa (type C multiple- entry, expiring in October 2014) and my UK residence permit to the Immigration officer and he asked me a few questions on my purpose of travel and other basic stuff.
- Then he moved on to the difference in 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 had the same doubts about my appearance. They would look at the recent UK residence permit but again go back to the passport photo and ponder what to do with me.
- I tried to build my case by providing other photographic proofs and my return ticket UK - India PAN card (it has an old photo of me from 2007), my Indian driving licence (new photo of me, 2011), my employer ID card (new photo, 2010) - but every time they looked at new photographic evidence, they 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 make a quick decision on what to do with me.
- I was finally allowed to enter with warning to get the passport renewed as soon as possible to avoid any further issues at other countries' border control in the future.
- I had my biometric information on my UK residence permit, which I offered them to verify against mine but they said that they don't have access to UK information and that won't work in Norway.
I have more trips 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 who was photographed in the passport nearly nine years ago without renewing the passport?