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  1. Hello, I have a question regarding the medical examination. My partner has health issues such type 2 diabeties, heart disease and schizoeffective disorder. Before he was diagnosed with a mental health disorder he had tried to kill himself 4 times. Once diagnosed and received treatment he hasn't had any issues for over a decade. These conditions are all stable and he's over all healthy. Will these cause issue for approving a visa? Do you have any advice as to how we should go about providing evidence he's been healthy?
  2. I had my medical appointment at Knightsbridge today and I thought my experience might be useful to others, particularly those with mental health issues in their past. I arrived at Knightsbridge at 1.30pm for a 1.50pm appointment. I found the location instructions in the e-mail they sent me to be very useful and I found it easily (I walked, using google maps as a guide). The receptionist told me to wait in the waiting room as I was a bit early, and return to the counter when it was my appointment time. I was SUPER NERVOUS, I can't even begin to tell you. The waiting room is quite comfortable, and it was quite busy when I was in there. at 1.50pm I returned to the counter, and the receptionist requested all my documents (they give you a list of what to bring in the e-mail) so that she could photocopy them. She photocopied everything and returned it all to me, except my passport and ID photographs. She gave me a urine sample bottle and some more paperwork to fill out, which was mainly general medical questions. When I was done, I returned that to the counter and went back to the waiting room. Almost immediately I was called to have my chest X ray. The technician was friendly and gave me clear instructions on what to do. You have to remove all clothing from neck to waist, but they give you a gown to wear and you're never exposed. It was very straightforward. He then took me straight to the nurse to go over my vaccinations, however I didn't even sit down with her as she said she'd looked over my immunisation record and everything was in order, and she had signed me off. (For reference, I'd gotten a flu jab, MMR 2nd dose, and DTaP at my GP prior to the appointment, and I had chickenpox as a child which they took my word for). After this I went straight to the bathroom to do my urine sample. As I came out of the bathrooms, the doctor was already waiting for me! I handed my urine sample in to reception and went straight in with the doctor. She did some ID checks, and then asked me some medical questions about my general health and medical history. I don't have much significant history, just mental health issues which I'll go onto in a minute. She took my blood pressure, and asked me if I was nervous, and I said I was very nervous! I'm guessing my pulse was high. She was very reassuring and said there were lots of horror stories online, but that it was simple process and I shouldn't worry. She was really friendly and reassuring and put me at ease as much as possible. She said all the information I had brought with me looked good. We then talked about my past mental health problems. (Warning: discussion of depression & self harm ahead) I had depression for most of my late teens and early twenties (I'm 32 now). I was a self-harmer for many of those years, which caused me significant physical scarring that is still very visible on my arms to this day. I was diagnosed with Depressive Disorder NEC, and I was on medications for a number of years. I didn't make any suicide attempts, and I was never hospitalised for depression, but I was treated by a GP, psychiatrist and mental health team. I've been off antidepressants since 2015 and have been stable since then. I had read lots of posts about the medical on VisaJourney, so in advance I spoke to my doctors and requested a patient summary, my medical notes relating to my depression, as well as a summary letter regarding my depressive illness from my current GP. It cost me £75 as it was classed as a "complex letter/report" by my surgery, but I figured it would be worth it if it meant there were no hitches with my visa medical. I'll post an example of what the doctor wrote for me at the end of this post. After I answered her questions about my mental health history, she said she thinks the documents I provided will be sufficient. She said they *may* want copies of old letters between my GP and mental health services, and if they do (I'm not sure who "they" is! I should have asked), then they will contact me in the next few days. However, she said in her opinion the GP letter and report was enough. She said what they are mainly looking for is whether the illness is resolved or still ongoing. After this, she took my height and weight and did some brief physical checks like lymph nodes, eyes/ears/mouth. I then had to undress to underwear and sit on the examination table (she said I could wear a gown if I wanted). She checked my chest, lungs, tummy, joint movement, and reflexes. I then dressed again and she took a blood sample. She said the blood and urine sample are to check for syphilis and gonorrhea, and the chest X ray for TB. After this she said I was all done, and I just needed to head to reception in order to complete payment! I had only been in there for 55 minutes total and I was expecting it to take longer. I paid the £330 fee at the reception counter, and the receptionist gave me my immunisation record (that I need to keep safe for the Adjustment of Status phase), and my passport back. And that was it! I was in and out of there in just under an hour. I'm hoping that they don't request any more information from me about my mental health history. If they do, I'll update this so that in future people might know exactly what they want for mental health history, as in the instructions e-mail they send it doesn't specify - indeed the doctor asked me how I knew to get the letter from my GP and I said I had read about it on web forums. I hope this is helpful! In the end it was a lot less painful than I expected. I'm glad I had prepared by reading online about what documents to take with me, but equally doing all that research probably contributed to me feeling so anxious about the whole process. All the staff at Knightsbridge were friendly and gave good clear instructions about what to do so I didn't feel confused at any point. With mental health issues, it seems that they are looking to collect the full picture of diagnosis/treatment/prognosis in order to be sure that the issue has been dealt with. I imagine they ask further questions or want a bit extra info if you ever had suicidal intent. It seems you just need to have enough evidence to back up that you are now well and not a risk to anyone so it's probably worth collating that some time before the appointment to avoid the inevitable long wait for the GP surgery to get it all together. --------------- Documents I requested from my GP 4 weeks prior to the appointment: * Medical records relating to my Depressive Disorder NEC diagnosis. This was 2 and a bit A4 pages which just describes the visits to medical professionals that I made, that related to my diagnosis. It spanned 10 years, from my diagnosis in 2005 to my last visit when I was weaning off medication in 2015. It didn't include any details about visits to minor injury units after episodes of self-harm, though I did disclose these to the doctor when she asked. It also didn't include any info about the counselling I received, and I don't think there's anything on there from the psychiatrist either (though I think I only saw them once or twice - they only oversaw the changing of my meds, I can't really remember too well). * Patient summary (everyone needs this, not just those with prior mental health issues) * A letter detailing my mental health diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis from my GP containing a few key phrases (like that I am currently well and healthy, and I am not a risk to self or others). Here's what the GP wrote: "Dear sir/madam, I write in my capacity as GP at [GP surgery] where this patient is registered. [Patient] was diagnosed with Depression in 2005 aged 19 years. She was treated with [medication]. At this time she was self-harming by making cuts to her arms. She was switched to several different SSRI antidepressants - [medication], then [medication]. She also received some counselling. She was referred to see a psychiatrist in 2009 and her antidepressant was switched to [medication]. She was stable until 2012 when she was referred back to mental health services and was again quickly stabilised back on antidepressants. She has never made a suicide attempt. She has been off antidepressants since July 2015 and her mood has been stable since this time with no more episodes of self-harm or depression. There is no indication that we should expect her to have further episodes of depression. It is of my opinion that [patient] is of no risk to herself or others. Yours faithfully, [GP]"
  3. Hi all, I was going to wait until the whole process was finished to post, but some of this information may be relevant to anyone having a medical up and coming. Getting out of bond street station Go up the escalators, walk past McDonald's and use that exit. From there it is a 3 or 5 minute walk in one direction until you need to cross a road, and walk down a little cut through, and then at the end of that street it is on your right. Before the cut through on the opposite side is a Costa with an area downstairs to sit which is air conditioned (thank god). Echoing what everyone else says: everyone there is really nice and friendly. Piece of advice: Organise your documents to hand over. If you need photocopies try to do this before hand. It seemed like I made it easier by having photocopied everything I provided already, and that they could just keep the file I handed to them with the exception of the ARCO certificate, and your passport. Mental Health In 2005/2006 I was a depressed teenager and was referred to counselling and placed on anti depressants, however, both were short lived with no real outcome. I just kind of went on with my life and carried my baggage with me. I self harmed as a teenager, and had 2 or 3 other times where I caused harm to myself up until my mid twenties. One of these being an overdose in 2016. Before this episode however, I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, and was receiving treatment in the form of medication and psychotherapy ("DBT"). I am glad to report that I am well, and continue to be well, and proof of that is after today's tiny little heart break I am just moving forward instead of being paralyzed by sadness, or other negative emotions. Of course when this process came up I have been dreading the medical since day 1, so I began to be super pro active. I obtained a detailed report from my Therapist of my treatment, a letter from my Psychiatrist detailing my diagnosis and treatment plan, and a letter from my GP. All three letters also stated that there was no concern I was a risk to myself or others. I thought that this would be enough; I had assumed that my recent diagnosis would overwrite my teenage years and they would be seen as relating and thus, the evidence supporting my current mental state as being very well would be just fine. Unfortunately that was not the case. This was not enough. They have requested more information on when I was a teenager, which sadly is not available which I explained. The doctor said that it was okay, and for the doctor to write back with a letter saying that this information was not available to them. He said this may result in me having to see one of their Psychiatrists, but it is what it is. They've also requested more information on when I had taken an overdose. From today what I think is the best course of action for anyone with health problems (mental or otherwise) is to obtain your medical summary, and have a letter covering off every single health issue marked on there, even if in your mind it is insignificant. It's always hard to know what to provide, but I think you'll be safe with letters from the appropriate people explaining and providing more information for any questions they may have. To be more consign, if something significant is written on your medical summary, have a letter to explain it. Vaccinations I had read on VJ that as long as the immunization is no more than 10 years old, this is fine. This turned out not to be the case. I had Tetanus and Diphtheria in 2013, which even my GP thought was fine, but I was told I needed to get a new one. I opted to have it done there at the charge of £40 so that it's on the record they gave me for the AOS process. If I went somewhere else and got it, it would not be included on this medical exam, and this is the only place in the UK that will be accepted at the AOS stage. Extra Since my GP back in 2015/16 prior to my diagnoses wrote down there was a concern about my alcohol consumption (because I had completely lost it and went out a lot) I was also required to provide a second urine sample (which was supervised), for a drugs screening. This was £50. Most of this upset is caused to the potential delays this may cause, so if you are reading this and you are thinking "what if they ask me about this" - go and get a letter from your doctor explaining the situation. If your doctor has no information on it, they can simply write a letter advising of this. I hope this helps somewhat, and of course, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
  4. It's a long and difficult process as we all know. Now, I don't like being a person to complain or talk about how down I'm feeling because 1) I know there are many others worse off than I and 2) I don't want/like people to think I want attention or something. If our papers were processed at the same rate as (almost) everyone else's we would be done by now and my husband would have his green card. We were kind of counting on that. Without going into a long drawn out sob sorry, circumstances seem to have changed dramatically. Financially, economically. And honestly, if his case was processed in the order received, we would never be in this situation now. I am so depressed. And today a switch has flipped in me, I really have no hope. Waiting and waiting, even though he's here with me, is not the same as him being here legally (ie. able to get a job and make money) and worrying if he will somehow get sent away. I have no money for therapy or, trust me, I would do it. Esp after my psychological evaluation for the i601a waiver at which point he recommended I pursue regular therapy due to past issues. How have you all dealt with the mental effects this has cause you?
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