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Medical and Interview Experience - London

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(First caveat - apologies if this is in the wrong place...)

 

Read a few experiences on here before I went which were helpful, so thought I'd give back by posting my own!  Have applied for a CR1 using DCF.  Initial application sent off end of August, visa approved beginning of December.  Looking at the timescales on the US Embassy website it appears they're processing them even faster.

 

Medical - Knightsbridge

 

Phoned relatively early November for the appointment and was offered one in just over a couple of weeks' time.  Was hoping for one sooner but as you need to get your past medical history from your GP and in some cases a letter from them too, that took some time to arrange anyway.  Had an early appointment was the waiting room was quite empty when I arrived.  Gave my questionnaire, photos, driving license, police certificate etc to the (very friendly!) receptionist who reciprocated by giving me a pot for a urine sample and a new questionnaire.  Very similar to the one I'd already filled in, but much more detail.  Nothing exciting or scandalous in my history so didn't take much consideration.  Returned the forms but kept my pot (I had mistakenly had an ill-judged pee before I arrived so needed a bit of time until I could squeeze the lemon).  Sat and waited for a bit (around 10 mins) and was called through to the doctor.  She went over my medical history with me and the answers I'd given.  I was worried this would be an interrogation with her pen hovering above the 'applicant appears to be lying' box but (unsurprisingly..) it was fine - really just a chat!  After that I was asked to go behind a curtain and put on a fetching gown.  Did the eye test, blood sample, the say 'ahh', blood pressure, listening to heart, temperature and some other miscellaneous poking and prodding.  And that was that bit done!  She said there was nothing to worry about and that people like me were low risk anyway.

 

Then I had the x ray - this took all of about 3 minutes.  Stood in a room with another friendly lady, adopted the peculiar pose and then stole a look at my innards when it appeared on the screen.  After another short wait I went through to the vaccination room with (yet another!) very friendly woman.  She was keen to put me at ease and chatted generally.  I needed a tetanus boost (as my last one was over 10 years ago) and a flu jab.  You could go back to your GP to get them free and then they fax the results over, but as this puts everything on hold and it's another headache to organise I opted to get them done there.  Didn't feel the needles go in at all.  I was given an updated vaccination record and then told (after putting my shirt back on for the 3rd time that morning) to go back to the waiting room.  Used this time to do the urine sample and then sat back, pleased it was all done.  Was called back up to pay and have all my documents back, and told if I don't hear anything within a few days everything was fine and the results would go to the Embassy in around a week.

 

Overall, a fine (albeit pricey..) experience.  I was nervous (like many others!) but there is no need to be.  Whilst they were thorough, they didn't have a 'wanting to catch you out' attitude or look for excuses to fail you.  Everyone was friendly and although it's never fun getting half-naked in front of a stranger, they do this day in day out.

 

Interview - Embassy

 

Had booked my appointment online after my medical (end of November) but was slightly taken aback when it said there wasn't anything available until early January.  Kept my eye on availability and an appointment appeared for early December.  Counting my lucky stars that I live in London and could go quickly, I gathered all the documents and went to get the photos.  I took with me;

 

  • Passport
  • Photos
  • Police certificate
  • Birth certificate 
  • Affadavit
  • DS 260 confirmation
  • Marriage certificate
  • Interview + courier confirmation
  • Plus copies of the above

 

Also took some proof of relationship (just in case) but they didn't ask.  Arrived about 30 minutes before my time and joined the line outside.  The people in the tent check your passport and confirmation and then it's through to security.  (Note - if the door appears locked, it is.  Don't embarrass yourself by fighting with it.. They'll open it when they're ready for you..).  Had a bag with me, bottle of water, newspaper and that was all fine.  Had to sip my water in front of them but they let me in with it.

 

Then another line in the main Embassy building.  Because I was applying for an immigrant visa the tent lady told me (for some reason) to go straight to the front of the queue and say I'm there for an immigrant visa.  I couldn't bring myself  jump the line so I just joined the back.  Anyway, they called up people with early appointments first.  Was given a sticker with my number and directed up the lift.  I think most people there were students or visitors: the window I was told to wait near was round the back in a section with not many people, but all with 'I' numbers.  Sat for about 15 minutes before being called to the first window.  Gave a friendly American guy by documents and copies and fingerprints.  He said they hadn't received the medical yet (it'd been 6 working days) but he'd look at the post for that day.  All my stuff was in order so he gave me a ticket to take to the cashier to pay before I see the CO.  Did this using my UK debit card, but it does take the dollars so there will be a small charge.  

 

Sat for a bit longer (another 30 mins or so) and then my number was called.  This bit is quite a bit public - you can't help but overhear other people's interviews.  Everyone was approved however, although some people with previous marriages, few meetings with their beloved, previous immigration history etc did get a bit more questioning.  When I was summoned I raised my right hand and confirmed I was an honest and upstanding gent (not quite in those words).  He asked where I'd met my wife, what our plan was in the US, where she is now and that was it!  The whole interview couldn't have lasted more than 3 or 4 minutes max.  Was told it the passport with the visa would arrive in around a week (once they've got the medical) and that my green card will turn up in the post about 8 weeks after I arrive in the US.  I was in and our the Embassy in around an hour.

 

Overall conclusion of interview: significant anti-climax.  A handshake or fireworks would be nice, or be met by a choir singing Star Spangled Banner as you leave the Embassy felt appropriate, but alas just a friendly goodbye.  Have been emailed confirmation that my visa is on the way and should arrive tomorrow - about 7 working days since the interview.  Like the medical, the interview is nothing to worry about.  

 

Best tip for the whole process?  Be thorough!  I hate form filling but if you get it right first time it doesn't delay the process, it's reasonably straightforward (even if it does try your patience at times!) and it's worth it in the end!

 

See you in the States.

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2 hours ago, DisplayNameTaken said:

(First caveat - apologies if this is in the wrong place...)

 

Read a few experiences on here before I went which were helpful, so thought I'd give back by posting my own!  Have applied for a CR1 using DCF.  Initial application sent off end of August, visa approved beginning of December.  Looking at the timescales on the US Embassy website it appears they're processing them even faster.

 

Medical - Knightsbridge

 

Phoned relatively early November for the appointment and was offered one in just over a couple of weeks' time.  Was hoping for one sooner but as you need to get your past medical history from your GP and in some cases a letter from them too, that took some time to arrange anyway.  Had an early appointment was the waiting room was quite empty when I arrived.  Gave my questionnaire, photos, driving license, police certificate etc to the (very friendly!) receptionist who reciprocated by giving me a pot for a urine sample and a new questionnaire.  Very similar to the one I'd already filled in, but much more detail.  Nothing exciting or scandalous in my history so didn't take much consideration.  Returned the forms but kept my pot (I had mistakenly had an ill-judged pee before I arrived so needed a bit of time until I could squeeze the lemon).  Sat and waited for a bit (around 10 mins) and was called through to the doctor.  She went over my medical history with me and the answers I'd given.  I was worried this would be an interrogation with her pen hovering above the 'applicant appears to be lying' box but (unsurprisingly..) it was fine - really just a chat!  After that I was asked to go behind a curtain and put on a fetching gown.  Did the eye test, blood sample, the say 'ahh', blood pressure, listening to heart, temperature and some other miscellaneous poking and prodding.  And that was that bit done!  She said there was nothing to worry about and that people like me were low risk anyway.

 

Then I had the x ray - this took all of about 3 minutes.  Stood in a room with another friendly lady, adopted the peculiar pose and then stole a look at my innards when it appeared on the screen.  After another short wait I went through to the vaccination room with (yet another!) very friendly woman.  She was keen to put me at ease and chatted generally.  I needed a tetanus boost (as my last one was over 10 years ago) and a flu jab.  You could go back to your GP to get them free and then they fax the results over, but as this puts everything on hold and it's another headache to organise I opted to get them done there.  Didn't feel the needles go in at all.  I was given an updated vaccination record and then told (after putting my shirt back on for the 3rd time that morning) to go back to the waiting room.  Used this time to do the urine sample and then sat back, pleased it was all done.  Was called back up to pay and have all my documents back, and told if I don't hear anything within a few days everything was fine and the results would go to the Embassy in around a week.

 

Overall, a fine (albeit pricey..) experience.  I was nervous (like many others!) but there is no need to be.  Whilst they were thorough, they didn't have a 'wanting to catch you out' attitude or look for excuses to fail you.  Everyone was friendly and although it's never fun getting half-naked in front of a stranger, they do this day in day out.

 

Interview - Embassy

 

Had booked my appointment online after my medical (end of November) but was slightly taken aback when it said there wasn't anything available until early January.  Kept my eye on availability and an appointment appeared for early December.  Counting my lucky stars that I live in London and could go quickly, I gathered all the documents and went to get the photos.  I took with me;

 

  • Passport
  • Photos
  • Police certificate
  • Birth certificate 
  • Affadavit
  • DS 260 confirmation
  • Marriage certificate
  • Interview + courier confirmation
  • Plus copies of the above

 

Also took some proof of relationship (just in case) but they didn't ask.  Arrived about 30 minutes before my time and joined the line outside.  The people in the tent check your passport and confirmation and then it's through to security.  (Note - if the door appears locked, it is.  Don't embarrass yourself by fighting with it.. They'll open it when they're ready for you..).  Had a bag with me, bottle of water, newspaper and that was all fine.  Had to sip my water in front of them but they let me in with it.

 

Then another line in the main Embassy building.  Because I was applying for an immigrant visa the tent lady told me (for some reason) to go straight to the front of the queue and say I'm there for an immigrant visa.  I couldn't bring myself  jump the line so I just joined the back.  Anyway, they called up people with early appointments first.  Was given a sticker with my number and directed up the lift.  I think most people there were students or visitors: the window I was told to wait near was round the back in a section with not many people, but all with 'I' numbers.  Sat for about 15 minutes before being called to the first window.  Gave a friendly American guy by documents and copies and fingerprints.  He said they hadn't received the medical yet (it'd been 6 working days) but he'd look at the post for that day.  All my stuff was in order so he gave me a ticket to take to the cashier to pay before I see the CO.  Did this using my UK debit card, but it does take the dollars so there will be a small charge.  

 

Sat for a bit longer (another 30 mins or so) and then my number was called.  This bit is quite a bit public - you can't help but overhear other people's interviews.  Everyone was approved however, although some people with previous marriages, few meetings with their beloved, previous immigration history etc did get a bit more questioning.  When I was summoned I raised my right hand and confirmed I was an honest and upstanding gent (not quite in those words).  He asked where I'd met my wife, what our plan was in the US, where she is now and that was it!  The whole interview couldn't have lasted more than 3 or 4 minutes max.  Was told it the passport with the visa would arrive in around a week (once they've got the medical) and that my green card will turn up in the post about 8 weeks after I arrive in the US.  I was in and our the Embassy in around an hour.

 

Overall conclusion of interview: significant anti-climax.  A handshake or fireworks would be nice, or be met by a choir singing Star Spangled Banner as you leave the Embassy felt appropriate, but alas just a friendly goodbye.  Have been emailed confirmation that my visa is on the way and should arrive tomorrow - about 7 working days since the interview.  Like the medical, the interview is nothing to worry about.  

 

Best tip for the whole process?  Be thorough!  I hate form filling but if you get it right first time it doesn't delay the process, it's reasonably straightforward (even if it does try your patience at times!) and it's worth it in the end!

 

See you in the States.

Thanks a lot for this. Brilliant information and brilliant summary. I'll be finishing the NVC stage soon so all this is really appropriate

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