After this father’s work visa was set to expire next month, 9-year-old Shreyas Royal helped his family stay in Britain due to his talent for playing chess. CNN reports that the Indian native has lived in London since the age of 3, after his father’s IT job required the family to move to the U.K..
“I would like to (say) a big thanks to each and everyone from my bottom of heart!” Shreyas Royal wrote on his Facebook page. “First of all thank you to God given me a strength during my worst time!”
The young prodigy plays for the Battersea Chess Club, where his talent first caught the eye of club secretary Leon Watson. According to Watson, Shreyas is someone that chess fans will want to keep an eye on.
“Shreyas is a very nice, down-to-earth young man who has a big future ahead of him on the world stage hopefully representing England,” he said. “We firmly believe he will do us proud. We wish him every success going forward. In 10 years’ time we hope he’ll be a household name as England’s first world champion.”
Shreyas posted on his Facebook page on Monday that he is now ranked second in the world for his age group following his performance at the British Chess Championship. It was that kind of talent that helped his campaign to stay in Britain gain the backing of lawmaker Rachel Reeves. When she appealed for his deportation to be halted, she tweeted that he was one of the best and brightest of the country.
Jitendra Singh was granted the permission to reapply for an additional five years on his work visa by The Home Office on Monday after the case was reviewed by Home Secretary Sajid Javid. The family will not have to leave the United Kingdom to reapply for said visa based on the circumstances of Shreyas’ exceptional talent.
“The UK is a country that fosters world class talent and Shreyas is one of the most gifted chess players in his generation.” Javid declared. “We have always been clear we want a world-class immigration system that welcomes highly talented individuals from across the globe.”
Shreyas and his family are celebrating the news that they can stay. The chess prodigy said on Facebook that it was an absolute pleasure for his entire family to know that they wouldn’t have to leave the United Kingdom.