London, Aug 11: Nine-year-old chess prodigy Shreyas Royal will not be sent back to India as the United Kingdom government has approved a new work visa for his father, Jitendra Singh, which will allow the family to stay in the UK for the next five years.
Shreyas, ranked second worldwide in his age-group, was earlier expected to be sent back to India as his father's incumbent work visa was scheduled to expire in September-end this year.
The UK immigration department had earlier refused to renew the work visa of Singh as he did not earn an annual income of 1,20,000 pounds. As per the immigration rules, the family earning below the said amount will not be allowed to remain in the nation.
UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid said he took an "exclusive decision" considering the talent of Royal. Since the 9-year-old is a world-class talent, Javid said it was only befitting to allow him and his family to stay back, as it is in accordance with Britain's view of fostering the best talent on its soil.
Shreyas was delighted after the decision taken by the UK government was conveyed to him by his father on Friday. "He jumped on the sofa and danced all around," Singh said, while speaking to reporters.
The Battersea Chess Club, which is honing the nine-year-old's talent, expressed "enormous relief" over the government's decision. Club secretary Leon Watson said within ten years, entire UK will be proud of Shreyas as he could well emerge as "England's first world champion".