It is tragic that she received the letter on that particular day, because that was the day she was supposed to arrive in New Delhi, India to contest the World Chess Championship. Had she received the letter just one week earlier, it was possible that arrangements could have been made to enable her to reach New Delhi on time.
On Wednesday, only three days before, she had stood in line all day at the INS office at 26 Federal Plaza in New York City starting at 6:00 AM, hoping to receive advance parole so that she could travel to India to contest the World Chess Championship. However, when she reached the front of the line, the INS official told her that it was too late to receive advance parole and that if she traveled to India without advance parole her green card application would be deemed abandoned. She would also probably not be allowed to return to America because of her failed green card application.
The document she needed to apply for advance parole was, I believe, the document she received on November 25.
As a result, she was forced to forfeit her right to contest the world chess championship in India. One Indian website reports: "(iii) Goletiani - (Arvind Aaron adds from Chennai: As I understand this girl lives in the United States and did not want to come to India since she will not be able to get back into the United States.)"
I am sending a graphic copy of the document she received on November 25. It asks some questions and I would like help with the answers.
Page 1 states: The evidence you have submitted to date does not establish that the beneficiary qualifies for E1-1 classification as an alien with "extraordinary ability" under Section 203 (b)(1)(A). There have been no major awards or prizes in your resume. Also, there are no letters by major figures in the chess world stating that you are one of the top chess players in the world."
This is simply not true. She is a chess grandmaster and evidence was submitted that she has qualified to play for the world chess championship. What more major award can there be than that? Unfortunately, she has now forfeited her match with former world title challenger Nana Ioseliani because of the delay by the INS in responding to her application.
Regarding the statement that "there are no letters by major figures in the chess world stating that you are one of the top chess players in the world", we submitted two letters by Yasser Seirawan, America's number one chess player, who played first board for the United States in the recent World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul. Yasser Seirawan is also the publisher of Inside Chess magazine and he could be president of FIDE, the World Chess Federation, any time he wants it, except that he chooses not to run. America simply does not have anybody who is more of a major figure in the chess world and more distinguished than Yasser Seirawan. That is the best that we can do.
Other letters came from Don Schultz, former president of the United States Chess Federation who was for a decade America's delegate to the World Chess Federation ("FIDE"), from Joe Ippolito, a member of the Executive Board of the United States Chess Federation and the person in charge of Garry Kasparov's Chess-in-the-Schools program and from Bob Ferguson, director of the American Chess School and a former member of the Policy Board of the United States Chess Federation. A more distinguished group could not possibly be assembled.
I recognize that some stupid clerk wrote this letter, who obviously knows zero about chess and has no idea who these people are. I also realize that the INS gets millions of these applications, most of them frivolous, and that they probably send the same letter to almost everybody.
Nevertheless, this issue must be addressed. I filed the application in her behalf on July 7, 2000, right after we got back from the World Open. However, it was not until September 9, more than two months later, that she received even a receipt acknowledgment from the INS.
The delay by the INS has forced Rusudan to forfeit her right to contest the world chess championship and winning that championship would have been the best possible proof that she was entitled to make that application.
Therefore, please read this two page letter from the INS and advise me if you can how best we can respond to this letter.
My Home Page