Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Visa Medical

"I just paid £300 to have a woman stab me with needles and look at my boobs. I reckon it would have been cheaper to go to Soho."*

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from another TV company offering me more work back down in London. Again, I've loved the challenge, and it's also given me the opportunity to spend extra weekends with my grandparents and other family members down here.

Yesterday I had my visa medical. This is a necessity that I had planned to do ages ago, but ended up leaving until the last minute. There's only one medical practice in the UK that can carry these out and it's in central London. They make sure you're up to date with certain vaccinations (and dole them out at a price if not), take a chest X-Ray, and perform various other tests. This included checking out my boobs "for signs of surgery".

The ordeal only took  45 minutes, but I realized that it serves an important function in the whole vetting process, beyond ensuring that I'm not contagious with TB or Varicella (that's chickenpox to you and me!).

45 minutes is the longest time any 'official' will spend with me during the visa journey. Their forms include questions asking if I look well-fed and honest, and they asked me seemingly unrelated questions that I've already answered on paper, like had I ever been arrested in another country? They also asked about the choice we had made about moving to the US.

As the lady stuck a needle into my arm and I nearly fainted, she joked, "You know it'd be easier if he came here right?" I had to laugh and agree with her. Mr and I both knew that, but we also made a firm decision to try life out in the USA.

Next week is my embassy appointment, and I already know to expect it to be a lot less invasive than the medical.

*Joke kind of stolen from a friend of mine.

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