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Russia and Belarus Sputum Test (TB)

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My fiancee and I arrived in the US from Moscow on July 1st, and I quickly wanted to share our experiences, specifically in regards to the medical exam. My fiancee is from Belarus, but since we both lived in Russia, we were able to apply at the embassy in Moscow instead of in Warsaw as most Belarusians are supposed to do. A week before our interview, we went to IOM for the medical exam, and the doctor told us (rather rudely) that my fiancee had to undergo a sputum exam to search for TB. Needless to say, we were both in a panic. After the first day of the sputum, however, we consulted two more doctors, both of whom said there were no abnormalities in my fiancee's chest x-ray. We further learned that, according to the CDC, Belarus is considered a high-risk country for TB, and therefore some 88% of all Belarusians wishing to emigrate anywhere (US, EU, Australia, etc.) are required to undergo a sputum examination. Though this news did not entirely alleviate our fears, it certainly made us feel better, and a month and a half later my fiancee received her visa (with a class B annotation, however). This caution is not limited strictly to Belarus, as many Russians similarly have to undergo the exam if the doctor sees anything on the chest x-ray that could even remotely suggest TB, such as scars from broncitis.

So what I'm trying to say is if you have to undergo a sputum exam, don't panic. This is especially the case for any Belarusian applicant, but also for Russians, and pretty much anyone around the world. The medical examiners are extremely cautious, especially with certain nationalities, and I suggest going to a different doctor with your chest x-ray to clarify your results.

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Thanks for the heads up! My fiancee is Russian so if this comes up we know it isn't the end of the world. :thumbs:

July 2013 - Met in Budapest

July 2014 - Got engaged

K1 Visa - 2015

April 10, sent in I129f

April 15, NOA1

May 27, NOA2


August 5th , POE NYC

September 4th, Married! :dancing:

AOS - 2015/2016

October 6th, filed AOS!

January 2nd, EAD and AP Approved!

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*** Country-specific thread moved from K-1 Process forum to the Russia/Ukraine/Belarus regional subforum. ***

06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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