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Kris & Crystal

Knightsbridge / Visa Medicals Experience - Wednesday the 2nd of October

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Posted (edited)

Getting to London
 
This entire experience has just reinforced my belief that the UK is too centralised, it’s one of the most centralised countries in the world. London is very congested, and I swear it smells either that or it was just the drop in air quality.

Also, everything could have been signposted better, even with the help of a smartphone it was a tad difficult to navigate at times. I’ve been in some large cities in my time and they were all better signposted. I wonder how Londoners or people from the South-East would react if they came to Scotland or went abroad and everything was as badly signposted.

 

I live in the far North East Highlands of Scotland. There were a few options for me to get there. The Caledonian Sleeper would get you into London Euston at 07:50 on the day of the Medical if it was on time and running. Except it was being hit by strike action at the time and seems to be consistently late because of its operator. As an aside they only run the newer sleeper carriages from Glasgow and Edinburgh – so much for all that Highland tourism – and the cheapest room ticket I could find was £140 which is more expensive than a lot of flights.

 

I decided to travel to Inverness and fly from there. The flight was supposed to leave at 19:05 and arrive at 20:35 at London Heathrow the night before. 5 hours before it was supposed to run British Airways cancelled it and booked me on a flight for the next day. There were no more flights from Inverness that would get in early enough for me to make the medical.

 

I was eventually able to fly from Wick to Aberdeen and then Aberdeen to London Heathrow after having to pay way more than I should have, oddly enough British Airways were still running the flight from Aberdeen. Though it was delayed by two hours. I arrived in London at 00:00.

 

I took the N9 bus to my Travelodge and settled in for the night. The next morning, I made my way back to London Heathrow and took the Heathrow Express to London Paddington. There were a few options at this point. I could walk to the medical, use the Underground or get a bus. I opted for the Number 7 bus and got off at the Selfridges bus stop and walked to the medical.

 

One thing to note the map and picture on the Visa Medicals website makes it look like it’s on a blunted corner. It’s actually in the middle of a street.
 
The Medical Itself
 
My appointment was at 09:10, I arrived a bit early and settled into the waiting room. There weren’t a lot of people there, but it soon filled up.

 

Got called early and went over the documentation, the receptionist did ask to see my DS-260 which isn’t listed as one of the documents you need but luckily, I tend to be a bit paranoid and over-prepared. I was given another form to fill in which was basically an expanded version of the Medical Questionnaire and a urine pot for a sample.

 

After that was done, they took a photo of me – might be related to their switch to a digital/electronic system.

 

I was allowed to leave my bags at reception. I waited a few more minutes and was called by the doctor. She went over my answers to both questionnaires and had something up on screen that looked like the digital image I submitted at the NVC stage. She then told me that they’ve switched away from a courier system to a purely digital/electronic one just this week, I specifically asked if they no longer used DX couriers. She then proceeded to complete what I think was an online form while asking me questions.

 

Quick eye exam where I had to stand at the end of the bed and read off letters while having each eye covered.

 

Then I had to strip. You are entitled to a chaperone or to be seen by a doctor of the same gender, I didn’t really care anyway, and speed was important to me. She also offered me a gown but as I was just stripping down to my underwear it didn’t matter. She examined my ears, took my temperature, examined my mouth – commented that I had large tonsils – listened to my heart, took a vial of blood, checked my blood pressure, examined my stomach, examined my legs and then had me breath in and out while prodding at my back a few times in different locations and that was it.

 

Back in the waiting room for a few more minutes and then it was time for the X-Ray. I just had to take off my top and anything worn around the neck. Again, didn’t bother with a gown. I just had to hold a pose for a few seconds while taking a deep breath and holding a screen with my thumbs. The guy checked that the image looked okay and that was that.


Returned to the waiting room again and then time for the nurse. She went over my vaccinations and I didn’t need any, they were still waiting for their flu vaccine stock to arrive. I could have got it via my GP, but they too were waiting for stock. So guess I got given a waiver for that or something.

 

Went to the reception window, paid for my medical. Got a receipt. An FAQ page and told that if I didn’t hear back in 3 to 5 days that everything was okay.

 

They talked about emailing me something a few days later, probably a copy of the report of images or the X-Ray and that was that, £350 lighter and that's not counting the cost of two last minute flights.

 

I brought passport/visa style pictures with me, but they weren’t required.

 

I had some more troubling getting to Gatwick by 12:00 for the return flight but won’t bore with that but it did involve some rushing around and aggressive moving by me to make it.

 

Got the interview on the 15th let's hope travelling on the 14th is less eventful... and cheaper.

Edited by Kris & Crystal
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Posted (edited)

As an addition to this, I just received an email informing me I was sent a secure email fron Knightsbridge/Visa Medicals via the Egress service. It looks like the attached screenshot and contained a bit about the medical and a vaccination worksheet with the digital picture taken there. Also it looks like their Printer/MFD needs a clean or service.

 

For anyone who can't see the screenshot the email says:

 

"Dear Me,

 

Please see a copy of your vaccination document worksheet attached. This shows you are up to date with your vaccines and you meet the US regulations. The original will be sent to the US Embassy London. You will need this form when you are living in America for various purposes, such as getting medical insurance, employment and enrolment in schools. Please keep this safe.

We wish you all the best with your future.

 

Please confirm receipt of this email.

 

With kind regards,

 

Visa Medicals
4 Bentinck Mansions
Bentinck Street
London
W1U 2ER

Tel 0207 486 7822
Fax 0207 486 7867

www.visamedicals.co.uk"

 

926135296_2019-10-0710_24_33-VM-191007-083854visamedicals_EgressWebAccess.thumb.png.65d3079378433655f2add48d146e3f8d.png

 

Worksheet.png

Edited by Kris & Crystal

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On 10/3/2019 at 11:20 AM, Kris & Crystal said:

Getting to London
 
This entire experience has just reinforced my belief that the UK is too centralised, it’s one of the most centralised countries in the world. London is very congested, and I swear it smells either that or it was just the drop in air quality.

Also, everything could have been signposted better, even with the help of a smartphone it was a tad difficult to navigate at times. I’ve been in some large cities in my time and they were all better signposted. I wonder how Londoners or people from the South-East would react if they came to Scotland or went abroad and everything was as badly signposted.

 

I live in the far North East Highlands of Scotland. There were a few options for me to get there. The Caledonian Sleeper would get you into London Euston at 07:50 on the day of the Medical if it was on time and running. Except it was being hit by strike action at the time and seems to be consistently late because of its operator. As an aside they only run the newer sleeper carriages from Glasgow and Edinburgh – so much for all that Highland tourism – and the cheapest room ticket I could find was £140 which is more expensive than a lot of flights.

 

I decided to travel to Inverness and fly from there. The flight was supposed to leave at 19:05 and arrive at 20:35 at London Heathrow the night before. 5 hours before it was supposed to run British Airways cancelled it and booked me on a flight for the next day. There were no more flights from Inverness that would get in early enough for me to make the medical.

 

I was eventually able to fly from Wick to Aberdeen and then Aberdeen to London Heathrow after having to pay way more than I should have, oddly enough British Airways were still running the flight from Aberdeen. Though it was delayed by two hours. I arrived in London at 00:00.

 

I took the N9 bus to my Travelodge and settled in for the night. The next morning, I made my way back to London Heathrow and took the Heathrow Express to London Paddington. There were a few options at this point. I could walk to the medical, use the Underground or get a bus. I opted for the Number 7 bus and got off at the Selfridges bus stop and walked to the medical.

 

One thing to note the map and picture on the Visa Medicals website makes it look like it’s on a blunted corner. It’s actually in the middle of a street.
 
The Medical Itself
 
My appointment was at 09:10, I arrived a bit early and settled into the waiting room. There weren’t a lot of people there, but it soon filled up.

 

Got called early and went over the documentation, the receptionist did ask to see my DS-260 which isn’t listed as one of the documents you need but luckily, I tend to be a bit paranoid and over-prepared. I was given another form to fill in which was basically an expanded version of the Medical Questionnaire and a urine pot for a sample.

 

After that was done, they took a photo of me – might be related to their switch to a digital/electronic system.

 

I was allowed to leave my bags at reception. I waited a few more minutes and was called by the doctor. She went over my answers to both questionnaires and had something up on screen that looked like the digital image I submitted at the NVC stage. She then told me that they’ve switched away from a courier system to a purely digital/electronic one just this week, I specifically asked if they no longer used DX couriers. She then proceeded to complete what I think was an online form while asking me questions.

 

Quick eye exam where I had to stand at the end of the bed and read off letters while having each eye covered.

 

Then I had to strip. You are entitled to a chaperone or to be seen by a doctor of the same gender, I didn’t really care anyway, and speed was important to me. She also offered me a gown but as I was just stripping down to my underwear it didn’t matter. She examined my ears, took my temperature, examined my mouth – commented that I had large tonsils – listened to my heart, took a vial of blood, checked my blood pressure, examined my stomach, examined my legs and then had me breath in and out while prodding at my back a few times in different locations and that was it.

 

Back in the waiting room for a few more minutes and then it was time for the X-Ray. I just had to take off my top and anything worn around the neck. Again, didn’t bother with a gown. I just had to hold a pose for a few seconds while taking a deep breath and holding a screen with my thumbs. The guy checked that the image looked okay and that was that.


Returned to the waiting room again and then time for the nurse. She went over my vaccinations and I didn’t need any, they were still waiting for their flu vaccine stock to arrive. I could have got it via my GP, but they too were waiting for stock. So guess I got given a waiver for that or something.

 

Went to the reception window, paid for my medical. Got a receipt. An FAQ page and told that if I didn’t hear back in 3 to 5 days that everything was okay.

 

They talked about emailing me something a few days later, probably a copy of the report of images or the X-Ray and that was that, £350 lighter and that's not counting the cost of two last minute flights.

 

I brought passport/visa style pictures with me, but they weren’t required.

 

I had some more troubling getting to Gatwick by 12:00 for the return flight but won’t bore with that but it did involve some rushing around and aggressive moving by me to make it.

 

Got the interview on the 15th let's hope travelling on the 14th is less eventful... and cheaper.

Thanks for the detailed information. I'm also going down from the Highlands, yeah, they don't make it easy (or cheap) was planning on flying from Inverness too... Good luck with your interview!

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Just now, weelisa said:

Thanks for the detailed information. I'm also going down from the Highlands, yeah, they don't make it easy (or cheap) was planning on flying from Inverness too... Good luck with your interview!

Yeah, it's a pain. Going down again on Monday for my interview. I'm actually less worried about the interview than I am about the flight being cancelled.

 

As an aside I just found out about the Air Discount Scheme the other day. Possibly too late for me but you might want to apply: https://www.airdiscountscheme.com/ - Basically a card that gets you 50% off flights to and from the Highlands via BA, Flybe and Logan Air.

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6 hours ago, Kris & Crystal said:

Yeah, it's a pain. Going down again on Monday for my interview. I'm actually less worried about the interview than I am about the flight being cancelled.

 

As an aside I just found out about the Air Discount Scheme the other day. Possibly too late for me but you might want to apply: https://www.airdiscountscheme.com/ - Basically a card that gets you 50% off flights to and from the Highlands via BA, Flybe and Logan Air.

Thanks! I'll definitely check that out.

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