Chess prodigy’s family granted UK visa

10 Aug 2018 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Nine-year-old chess prodigy Shreyas Royal and his family have been granted a UK visa that will allow them to remain in the country ahead of his father’s work visa expiring in September.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid stated that he made a “personal decision” to allow the UK visa to be granted due to the fact that Shreyas is “one of the most gifted chess players in his generation”.

Following the announcement of the decision, Jitendra Singh, who was in the UK on a five year work visa, revealed that his son was delighted that they would be allowed to remain in Britain.

“I was jumping here and there and dancing. I was really happy today,” said Shreyas. "I want to be the best at it and become the world chess champion at the age of 18."

Shreyas was born in India but moved with his family to South London when his father was offered a job as an IT manager. He began learning chess three years ago and has gone on represent England internationally.

Mr Singh was previously told by the Home Office that he would not be allowed to extend his UK visa unless he could prove he earns more than £120,000, which he does not.

However, the home secretary stated that he could not allow the family to be forced to leave once he had become aware of Shreyas talent.

"The UK is a country that fosters world class talent and Shreyas is one of the most gifted chess players in his generation,” Mr Javid said. “We have always been clear we want a world-class immigration system that welcomes highly-talented individuals from across the globe."