Yesterday I had my long awaited medical appointment at Knightsbridge medical practice in London, UK. Please Note: There is only one medical practice in the whole of the UK who are authorised to conduct US visa medicals, all of their contact details can be found here.
Travelling to London from Scotland
I opted to travel by plane and fly down and back up on the same day in order to save money on accommodation. I flew with EasyJet from Glasgow airport to Gatwick airport, on their first flight out which was at 7-am and has a journey time of approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. The flight was slightly late leaving so I arrived at Gatwick for closer to 9-am which was fine as my appointment wasn’t until 1:10-pm.
From Gatwick airport, I had to take their free shuttle from the North Terminal to the South Terminal which takes about 3 minutes – it’s very well sign posted throughout the airport, so I had no problem finding it. Once I arrived at the South Terminal, I followed signs for the ‘Train Station’, as I had pre-booked tickets for the Gatwick Express. I suggest booking this way, as it is cheaper when you do it online rather than buying at the station. Trains run every 15 minutes to Victoria Station and the journey takes 30 minutes – there is free wifi on board & outlets to charge your phone etc.
Getting to the Medical Centre
I arrived at Victoria Station at 10:30am, it was a really nice day and I had plenty of time so I decided just to walk to Knightsbridge. It’s actually a really lovely walk as you get to go past Buckingham Palace and then through Green Park, which I sat in for like an hour to kill time & the rest of the walk is through a really fancy part of London so it’s really pleasant.
Once you get to Bentinck street, the medical centre is on the corner. It has a buzzer controlled door but there is a clearly marked label for the the practice which is ‘Flat 4’ and it is on the ground floor.
I got there at about 12-pm so I walked round the corner and treated myself to lunch at The Ivy Cafe, the food was amazing and the staff were so lovely. It was nice to just relax for a wee hour before going in or let your anxiety eat you alive like I did, ya know whatever works! There are lots of cafe’s around this area and most of them have the menu’s with pricing, outside the door to look at before deciding!
At 1-pm after standing outside for 5 minutes, I decided to bite the bullet and just go in. I rang the buzzer and the door was then opened for me (it’s a pull door by the way haha!). Once you enter you want to go in the door on the right hand side just before the stair case, you go straight into a reception area and there is a window on the right hand side. I told the woman my name and appointment time and she asked me to give her my ‘paperwork’. She didn’t actually list what she wanted, but here’s what I handed over and she never said I was missing anything:
- Police Certificate
- Medical Questionnaire
- Immunisation Records
- Medical Summary
- Letter from doctor to explain medications I’m taking
- Letter from embassy confirming my LND case number
- 4 UK sized passport photos
I was then given a further questionnaire to fill out which is really just a replica of the original one you filled out and a cup in a plastic bag with your name on it for your urine sample – this can be done at anytime during your time at the practice. I went to the waiting room and there was a really nice man called Nick who was doing a CR-1 visa, so we chatted for a bit as I filled out my questionnaire and then I handed it back to the lady at reception & went back to sit in the waiting room.
I was only waiting for maybe 5-10 minutes and then a friendly older lady doctor called my name and took me into her office. She put me at ease right away and began going through the medical questionnaire, my medical history & then got me to sign my picture half over the picture, half over the paperwork it was attached to. I was then given my physical examination, this included:
- Weight and height
- Eye test (Take your glasses/contacts if you wear them!)
- Ears, mouth and throat
- Breathing and heart
- Blood pressure and blood sample
- Stomach and limbs examination
After all of that, the doctor said well it doesn’t get much more straight forward than that. She confirmed that the urine sample was for Gonorrhoea and the blood sample was for Syphilis and wished me luck on my move, before taking me to the man who would take my chest x-ray!
The chest x-ray was totally fine, you are wearing a gown by this point and have nothing on underneath it from the waist up – it fully fastens though so your dignity is intact don’t worry haha! The man who did the x-ray was really lovely, I spoke to him for ages about clans in Scotland – he actually knew more about them than I did! The x-ray gets loaded up on the screen in front of you and he said that everything looked normal but the lab would confirm! I then got dressed and was asked to wait in a smaller waiting room for the nurse.
Unfortunately, I needed to get one more vaccination as my GP had left off my baby tetanus and despite having one done in January 2017, they need to see 2 or 3 completed in your lifetime. I opted just to get the other done right there and then so that all my immunisations were signed off for Adjustment of Status (AOS) to get my Green Card, but it was another £40! After that I then went to the bathroom and completed my urine sample and handed that into the reception, the lady then asked me just to wait there as my paperwork was nearly complete for me to leave.
They handed me back all my original documents and my passport, as well as an immunisation record which I need to keep a hold of, as it is required for AOS in the US.
My interview is on the 30th of June at 1pm, so exactly one week after the medical and they confirmed that providing there was no issues with my blood, urine or x-ray my results should be passed over to the embassy in time for this – yay! I was really nervous about the medical as I’d read a lot of horror stories and just worked myself up about it, but everyone was nice and I was in an out in just over an hour, the hardest part was paying the £340.
I made my way back to the airport after this. My flight was at 7-pm but was delayed till 8-pm, so it was 9:30-pm by the time I got back to Glasgow. It was a very long day but glad I’ve only got one more stage in the visa process left to do!!
As always if you have any questions that haven’t been answered by this blog post or the provided links, feel free to comment and I’ll try my best to answer your question!