With my medical assessment, I have officially begun actively moving towards obtaining residency.
I’m applying onshore (that is, from within Australia, as opposed to offshore) for a de facto partner visa subclass 820, which is a temporary visa. If granted, after two years, if the relationship is still intact, I would be granted a permanent visa, subclass 801.
I have superficially reviewed the application in the past, but when I sat down a couple of weeks ago, read, and printed it all out, I quickly became overwhelmed and cried. After about 10 minutes of crying, I started organising and planning.
There are five Medibank locations in Melbourne, but only two for visa medicals. One is in the CBD, where I went, and the other is in Dandenong. Appointments can only be made within five days and can be booked online or by calling. I called Monday morning and was told there were no appointments available, but I should call back in the afternoon to see if anything had opened up. I called back in the afternoon and there were still no appointments available, but I was told I should try booking online. I did and obtained an appointment for 2:30 pm the following day.
I arrived at 1:45 pm and took a number, B 288. B is the category of people who booked the appointment online. I took a seat and waited. The room was full. It was mostly Asians and Indians, mostly young, and many families with small children.
At just before 2:30 pm, my number was called to window five (out of eight). I barely remember what the young man asked me. He took my passport and my forms, which I had filled out at home. Form 26 is the medical examination for an Australian visa and form 160 is the radiology report on chest X-ray of an applicant for an Australian visa. I also had an HIV test. The man behind the counter asked me what visa subclass I was applying for and if the results could be mailed to my home; 820 and yes, I said, and I wrote my address down on a sticker. Then he took my photo and asked me to sit in the waiting area.
A few minutes later, I was called along with some others for the X-ray. We entered a smaller waiting room. A few more minutes later, our little group was passed into the X-ray area. We were instructed to remove our tops, bras included, and ladies were given a blue medical robe. We each entered individual dressing booths to change and were called out one by one. There were two radiologists, a man and a woman. The woman attended to me. She asked my name and date of birth, and we both signed my form 160. Then she took the X-ray. I got dressed and went back to the large waiting room.
A short while later, a woman called me along with some others and we entered yet another small waiting area. We were called one at a time. When it was my turn, a middle-aged Asian woman called my name and escorted me to a small room for the HIV blood test. Back to the small waiting room, or the blue chairs, as they called it. Soon, a short, white woman escorted me to a private room where she weighed me, took my height, and tested my vision. My left eye is not as good as my right.
Then she showed me the way to a bathroom for the urine test before returning to the small waiting area. Another woman came shortly after and said I would need to repeat the urine test after seeing the doctor. She encouraged me to drink several cups of water.
Soon, the doctor, a young Asian woman, called me and led me to her exam room. We chatted a bit and she told me I needed to redo the urine test because my sample contained protein. She suggested I was dehydrated. I undressed down to my bra and panties and laid down on the table. She took my blood pressure, checked my heart, my spine, and poked and prodded here and there. Everything was fine.
I got dressed and returned to the blue chairs. I drank more water and repeated the urine test. This time, it returned protein and blood (probably because I was coming off my period). The doctor said I’ll need to see a general physician (GP) and have a blood and urine test to determine why protein and blood are present. She gave me an immigration referral and said any doctor would know the procedure, just hand him/her the form, and the medical centre would mail the results to Medibank.
This took about two hours and cost about $365, and it was as pleasant as something like this could be. All the employees I dealt with were kind and helpful. But now I have to pay to visit a GP and for further tests. I hope to get that accomplished this week.