Chess prodigy gets leave to remain in U.K.


A nine-year-old Indian chess genius  Shreyas Royal  in his battle to stay in the U.K. after the expiry of his father's work visa, the Home Office made an exception in the case  considering the boy's "exceptional talent".

Shreyas Royal has won a series of chess championships and is ranked number four in the world in his age category.

His father Jitendra Singh's IT- related visa was set to expire next month when the family was expected to return to India. A number of British MPs had intervened in the case to urge  U.K. Home Secretary Sajid Javid to make an exception in Shreya's case due to his exceptional talent.

" They (Home Ofice) just e-mailed me and told me they had considered my case and we are allowed to extend our leave to remain on Tier 2 general route," his father told me, Guardian. "We are very happy and Shreyas is very happy. He jumped up on the sofa when he heard the news. I want to thank all those who helped and supported us," he said.

The news was also welcomed by the English Chess Federation (ECF), which has been campaigning for the boy to stay on in the U.K. and hone his talent. ECF president Dominic Lawson said; " We... are delighted that our efforts to persuade the government to recognize Shreyas Royal's exceptional talent have borne fruit,"

In a joint letter to the Home Secretary last weak, Opposition Labour MPs Rachel Reeves and Mathew Pennycook said the U.K. would lose an "exceptional talent" if Shreyas was to leave.

Their letter said: "The U.K. should always encourage the world 's brightest, most talented people to work and make their lives here. Shreyas is recognized by the English Chess Federation as the country's greatest chess prospect in a generation."

Shreyas, who was born in India, moved to the U.K. aged three with parents Jitendra and Anju Singh from Bangaluru six years ago. His father was offered a fixed-term contract under the intra-country transfer (ICT) route as an IT project manager with the Tata Group in the company's U.K. office.

The only way he could have extended his visa for a further four years as if he earned E120,0000 a year Shreya's parents said their son should be considered a national asset.

After the public support that Shreyas received, U.K. authorities have said the family can submit an application to extend their stay in the U.K.



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