Gorst Cleared for Takeoff!

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Note to promoters: Clear a spot in upcoming international events because Fedor Gorst is about to start racking up frequent flyer miles!

After a year of filing various applications and responses for immigration status in the U.S., Gorst received confirmation from his immigration attorney Norma Henning that his latest (and most important) classification application from the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) — the I-140 classification as an Alien of Extraordinary Ability — was approved today, meaning that the 22-year-old pool star can utilize the travel authorization he received three weeks ago to freely leave and return to the U.S. without risk of jeopardizing his green card application (which is still pending).

“Now they’re in trouble!” Gorst said with a laugh from friend/stakehorse Jason Sword’s home in New Albany, Ind., after hearing the news.

The process is arduous, confusing and often arbitrary, but the long and short of it is that Gorst has cleared every hurdle that had previously made leaving the U.S. a risky proposition. His “adjustment of status” from non-immigrant status to immigrant status now makes the processing of his green card (permanent resident card) a mere administrative formality.

“I’m super happy,” Gorst said. “Now I can click ‘International’ on the airline sites. I’m going to go online today and start buying tickets and applying for visas for various events.”

First on Gorst’s list will be the Maldives Open in late April, followed by the World Pool Masters (May 10-13) and the UK Open Pool Championship (May 30-June 4), both Matchroom events and both taking place in the United Kingdom.

“I stayed busy playing events here in the U.S.,” Gorst added. “I’m happy I was here. But now I’m looking forward to playing in as many international events as possible.”

Since fleeing Europe and settling in southern Indiana with Sword in March 2022, Gorst has missed out on all of pool’s top international events — first as the result of a World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) ban of players from Russia and Belarus, and then because of the danger of leaving the country and not being allowed to return. As a permanent resident, Gorst will now be able to attend any event without concern of being denied entry back into the U.S.

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