After visa woes, a 9-year-old chess prodigy may have won his fight to stay in Britain
Siobhan O'Grady, August 11, 2018
“The U.K. is a country that fosters world class talent and Shreyas is one of the most gifted chess players in his generation,” Javid said in a statement. “We have always been clear we want a world-class immigration system that welcomes highly-talented individuals from across the globe."
Lawmakers Rachel Reeves and Matthew Pennycook took up Royal’s case, penning a letter to Javid earlier this month. “Nine years old, he spends his spare time traveling around the country and the world to play in chess tournaments and regularly beats competitors a decade older than he is,” the pair wrote. After explaining his father’s visa situation, they wrote that if Royal “is forced to leave the U.K. and return to India, the country will lose an exceptional talent.”
Royal belongs to the Battersea Chess Club, which released a statement on Friday saying that “in ten years' time we hope he’ll be a household name as England’s first world champion.”
Surely the United Kingdom has an exception in its immigration regulations to allow for the immigration of people with special skills and talents. In Shreyas Royal's case, his talent is indisputable. But if for some reason things don't work out in England, maybe Rex Sinquefield can use his billionaire influence to convince the current administration to allow Royal and his family to come to the United States, despite the fact that they aren't from Norway. We need chess talent (Royal) and computer experts (his father) here, too.