Indian chess prodigy Shreyas Royal allowed to stay in UK
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Indian chess prodigy Shreyas Royal allowed to stay in UK

Shreyas Royal’s father, who moved to London in 2012, faced the prospect of returning to India upon the expiry of his Tier 2 visa on September 10.

world Updated: Aug 11, 2018 02:15 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Chess,Shreyas Royal,UK
A handout photogaph from nine-year-old Shreyas Royal’s family shows him playing the ceremonial first move for Magnus Carlsen (centre) against Vishy Anand at a chess tournament in London last year. (NYT File)

The father of Shreyas Royal, the nine-year-old Indian chess prodigy who was the subject of a campaign by British MPs and others, was informed by the Home Office on Friday that he and his family can continue to stay in the United Kingdom.

Jitendra Singh, who moved to London in 2012, faced the prospect of returning to India upon the expiry of his Tier 2 visa on September 10. He was informed he will now be able to apply to extend his and his family’s visas.

The English Chess Federation expressed gratitude to home secretary Sajid Javidfor intervening in the case of Royal, who has represented England in international competitions and been described as “the best prospect the country has ever seen”.

Singh told The Guardian: “They just emailed me and told me they had considered my case and we are allowed to extend our leave to remain on Tier 2 general route. 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...I would also like to thank the Home Office and the home secretary who considered our case.”

English ChessFederation president Dominic Lawson said: “We...are delighted that our efforts to persuade the government to recognise Shreyas Royal’s exceptional talents have borne fruit.”

“When Jitendra got in touch with me this morning to tell me of the Home Office’s decision, it was obvious what it meant to him, his wife and, of course, Shreyas. We are also grateful to Sajid Javid for personally taking charge of re-examining the original decision of the immigration department,” Lawson added.

First Published: Aug 11, 2018 02:14 IST