Passport Photo

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I know this is really incredibly trivial context wise but, although it'll be ages before I can go anywhere, I'd love to renew my passport - it ran out during Covid when this thing (squamous cell maxilla in Jan 21 followed by nasal in April 22) kicked off but, having checked things, I have a problem.

Because my appearance /changed (! - most of maxilla replaced with quite a lot of my lower L leg), the notes say I need a new photo - unpleasant as I look weird but I can't have any "expression"  Unfortunately, a few nerves/muscles were cut/damaged + mega tooth lost so I look as though I have a permanent scowl so I know any photo will not/cannot be accepted.  Even worse, the notes also say that if appearance changes, another passport will be necessary. Of course I do hope that it will since am still holding out for some reconstruction + that some of the nerves might work - if only a little so my appearance is likely to change possibly several times over the course of even 1 year.

Question: is there anyone/any place where one can ask someone from the Passport Office +, since this must have happened to people before, what have they done?

Thanks in advance

  • Hi   

    Thank you for reaching out to Macmillan.  I am so sorry to hear about your diagnosis and the challenges it has brought.   I can see you have been through such a lot and have more challenges to come, with possible reconstruction options.  

    May I ask, how are you just now?  I am wondering if you have support around you, perhaps family or trusted friends.  Please know, that should you ever wish to share your thoughts and feelings, you can call in on 0808 808 00 00 (7 days a week, 8am – 8pm), or web chat or email if you’d prefer.

    In terms of additional support relating to your diagnosis, I will post here a link to the Macmillan Web-page for head and neck cancer.  As you scroll down the page to Getting Support there are some helpful links including details of charities, who can not only support you emotionally, but may have experience regarding your passport query. 

    Macmillan Head and Neck Support

       , your query is not trivial at all, indeed, for you, your passport, needs careful consideration and planning.   With your passport in mind, I have researched around your question, and the link below may be helpful.

    Passport Photograph Advice

    As you can see it’s a Government Site advising you on passport services.  I would draw your eyes towards “ If you cannot meet the passport photo rules”   this section gives you options to think about.

    It sounds like you would like to speak with someone at the Passport Office, so the details below may help:

    Passport Adviceline

    Telephone: 0300 222 0000

    Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm

    Saturday, Sunday and UK bank holidays, 9am to 5:30pm

    Should you wish to make an appointment to see someone, details of passport offices around the UK are below.

    Passport Office locations

    Another place to explore answers to your query is the Head and Neck Forum on the Online Community.  You may find other patients have experienced the same challenge with their passport and have ideas to share.  You can of course create your own post and get a chat going.

    From reading your post, I can see, you are wondering if, quite soon, another passport may be needed.  Should you wish to explore financial support for passport applications, particularly if you need more than one in a short period of time, we have a Money and Work team who can perform a benefit check for you and give guidance and information about what kind of financial support might be available; this may include a small grant.   They will need information about your income, outgoings and any savings/investments you might have.

    We also have a team of cancer specialist nurses here on the support line if you have any clinical questions you’d like to ask about your diagnosis.

    I do hope this information is helpful. Please do just get back in touch if you need any further support have any questions at all.

    Best wishes


    Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Advisor