So How is the Visa stuff going?

I got home last Thursday (24th Feb) to discover the long awaited ‘packet 3’ on my door mat. I have to say ‘packet 3’ is a rather grandiose term for the single sheet of A4 paper that was in my envelope from the American embassy. As I have been waiting for this day since the beginning of August I was more than ready and once I’d finished squeaking at The Moog I hurried upstairs to tell my TAS.

Friday morning I posted DS-230 part 1, 2 x DS-156, DS-156K, 2 x DS-157 and Checklist DS-2001 back to the embassy and called up Knightsbridge Doctors to make an appointment for the medical. The lady who answered the phone asked if I had my police certificate – yes and my Case Number then asked me when I wanted to come in. ASAP was my response. So she gave me an appointment for the following Tuesday.

Friday afternoon I toddled off to my GP surgery where I was having my final MMR and the Tdap and collecting a copy of my vaccination record.

Busy busy weekend what with the borderline OCD checking of my documents, catching up with friends and all the other stuff that goes relentlessly on while you are waiting for the whole immigration process.

Tuesday morning I went into the office for an hour and then caught a train out of Manchester Picadilly. I had built 90 mins of buffer time into my journey and bought 3 books with me to keep me going. Somewhere in the middle of this green and pleasant land I am trying to leave. I became aware that the speedy, tilty train I was on was not speedy or tilty or even moving. Cue OCD watch checking. Voice comes over the Tannoy to tell me that due to a signalling fault at Bletchley the whole network was out. “Not today. I can’t be late today” Tannoy voice does a reasonable job of keeping us updated of our ridiculously slow progress through the countryside and I call the Knightsbridge Doctors to tell them I am going to be late. Really Late. The telephone lady says “Thanks for letting us know. I’ll re-book you for later in the afternoon.”

I get to Euston and I’m annoyed. I hate being late. Jump on the Victoria line for a couple of stops. Come out the wrong exit at Oxford circus – like I always do – and follow my TFL directions. I get confused on Bentinck st and try to go in number 4 but the receptionist there points me to Bentinck Mansions which is a building slightly further down the street.

Once I get in the receptionist asks if I’m Australian or American, which as I’m so late throws me for a second then takes my passport, copy of my police certificate, medical questionnaire and additional sheet and gives me another form to fill in. Which is almost exactly the same as the medical questionnaire. I go round the corner to fill in my form and bring it back to the reception window when I am done. She gives me back my passport and asks me to wait.

A blonde lady asks me to follow her and we go into a very small office. She introduces herself as the Vaccine nurse and asks for my vaccination record. I’ve got all the necessary vaccines except Varicella and she asks me if I had chicken pox as a child. I say yes so she ticks it off as VH – Varicella History and tells me to go back to the waiting room. Another lady come to get me and takes me to a different room with the x-ray machine in. She points me to a curtained off area and tells me to take the clothes off my top half and put on the dark blue cotton dressing gown/robe thing. She takes the x-ray and then still in the robe I go and wait in a second smaller waiting room.

No this is probably TMI but I’m not a small lady, Well I am – I’m 154cm which is about 5’1 in old money. But I have some impressive feminine attributes and wandering round braless is not really an option. I felt very self conscious keep tucking the big sisters back in!

I’m in the small waiting room for a while with another family and then I go into see the doctor. She asks me about the questions I’ve answered yes to and I give her the details and also a letter from my GP explaining that my conditions are well managed and unlikely to cause me to become burdensome in the future.

She asks me to remove my jeans and lie on the examining table at the back of the room.

She takes my blood pressure, takes some blood for syphilis testing, listens to my lungs and feels my stomach. She then does the famous quick peek in my knickers to confirm that I am Miss Bubblechog and not a gentleman masquerading as a lady for immigration benefits.

She tells me I can get dressed and feeling much more secure in my super-dooper reinforced female undergarments, I sit down in front of her again. She says the letter from my GP is good as it says I have no history of self harm, suicide attempts or harmful behaviour to others but as I am currently taking an anti-depressant she wants a FULL psychiatric report from my GP detailing if I have the possibility of future self-harm or harmful behaviour to others.

I ask if this means I have ‘failed’ my medical. She says as long as you’ve told me the truth then no. I’m pleased as I have told her the truth but annoyed that there will be further delays

The journey home is much less stressful than the journey to London. Now I just have to try and sort out the psychiatric report with my GP


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