An enraged British expat has given the middle finger to the UK Home Office by posing as Hitler in his passport photo. Sam Francis Ryding, 30, of Liverpool, pulled off the crazy stunt when he became angry that HM Passport Office kept rejecting his photos as did they not fit with their guidelines. The Hitler photo was accepted.
“He seemed to think what he was doing was some sort of subversive joke. Like just being edgy for its own sake. “
“They kept sending it back, like three or four times, so I have got this one now,” Ryding told Chào Hanoi magazine at the Rastaman Pub in Hanoi’s expat enclave of Tay Ho.
Ken Moy, a Busan-based artist who met Ryding at Rastaman, said: “He sauntered over to our table. I thought he was ‘troubled,’ but then my thoughts evolved to he was looking for trouble. I mean, anyone with a passport like that is looking for trouble.”
Jason Smith, also of Busan, was amazed by the photo and the fact Ryding told him he was planning to use the passport as collateral to borrow money form a Hanoi loan shark.
“He seemed to think what he was doing was some sort of subversive joke. Like just being edgy for its own sake,” Smith said. “My first thought was this is really stupid, but fits the profile of a man about to pawn his passport in Hanoi, with shady reasons to shady folks.”
In 2016, another Brit, Stuart Boyd was horrified when his passport photo arrived and he also looked like Hitler. Though unlike with Ryding, the Boyd Hitler passport photo was an unplanned accident and the Passport Office offered to do him another “free of charge.”
Chào asked Ryding if he had ever had issues traveling with the passport. “Not at all, everyone one has always been super helpful and polite, though one person thought it was Charlie Chaplin,” he said.
HM Passport Office rules state that “on your photo you must be facing forwards and looking straight at the camera; have a plain expression and your mouth closed; have your eyes open and visible; not have hair in front of your eyes; and not have anything covering your face.” They do not appear to have any guidelines on dressing up as an evil dictator.
“You know what the most crazy thing is,” Ryding said. “I can’t even grow a proper bloody mustache. I painted that one on.”