Tuesday, 19 January 2010

First Contact

My Case Officer has been in touch, to say that she has been assigned to my Defacto Spouse Visa application.  She has requested that I complete the medical and send my Police certificate in ASAP.  No mention of any further documentation requirements or evidence or the dreaded form 80..

Friday, 15 January 2010

A bullet dodged!

In my last post I bitched and moaned, about how the NHS was forcing me to do my 24 hour blood pressure monitoring a lot earlier than I would have liked.  Well I did it and the results all came back normal; nothing at all to worry about.  Apart from the remaining fact that Doctors scare me silly.  Particularly those who are assessing me for important medicals.  Thankfully, my GP is preparing a report to explain things.  Including a pretty graph that plots my normal blood pressure over a 24 hour period.  Wahey!!

So now my medical is confirmed and booked for Feb 5th.  I booked it in early, as the changes to that DIAC is making to the list of registered UK Panel Doctors could affect my ability to make an appointment at a time convenient to me.  Just need to keep the diet up, I fell off the wagon last night and ate pizza..

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Changes to the plan.. Grrr..

In the space of 24 hours I've had to make two changes to assumptions that I'd made about my application.  The first came after a conversation with my agent.  Because I'd attached a Subject Access Request from Wiltshire Police to my application - at the request of DIAC - my Case Officer may 'do me favour' and not request a proper ACPO Police Certificate.  Unfortunately, this would mean that once my visa was eventually (hopefully!) granted the initial entry date would be set by the SAR and thus expire August 2010.  This would not give me the plenty of time I'd hoped for to sort myself out.  To counter this, my agent advised that I apply for the ACPO Police Certificate with haste.  Which I did, on the same day as our conversation.  The application form doesn't have any gotchas.  One peculiarity I found is that the evidence of your current address can be a photocopy of a bill, it cannot be a print out from an online account.  Green visa applicants beware!

The second change I've had to make, is around the 24 hour BP monitor I need to wear.  I hadn't factored in the NHS.  In my mind, I've scheduled my medical for Friday 5th February.  I'm overweight and have borderline high blood pressure.  My intention was to lose as much weight as possible in the interim 5 weeks, by going on a VLCD - although extreme I find it works for me and I get results. 

Again in my mind, I'd planned to wear the 24 hour BP monitor a week before my medical.  By then my weight should have dropped and my BP along with it.  I would then be able to show the panel doctor my print out.  But of course, I hadn't factored in the NHS.  I received a call late yesterday afternoon, the gist of which was that I could have the BP monitor fitted today or sometime towards the end of February.  So I don't think it will any longer serve my purpose, but am doing it any way in case it does reveal a hitherto undiagnosed health problem.

As manager-speak tells me.  Change is good.  We should all embrace change.  Change helps us to grow.

But is sometimes a big pain in the ass.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Australian Citizenship by Descent

One of the most straightforward pieces of my family's migration puzzle, has been the process for obtaining an Australian passport for my 21 month year old son.

Before we could apply for a passport on his behalf, we first had to register him as an Australian Citizen by descent of his mother.  All this entailed was sending a simple form (118) - with his birth certificate, his British passport, his mum's Australian passport and a passport photograph of him (that was signed on the back, by my local Postmaster as a true likeness) - to Australia House along with a fee of £70.  Additionally, you have to pay the cost of two Royal Mail Special Delivery envelopes for the send and return of your documents.  It took less than two weeks for us to receive everything back and a Cerificate of Australian Citizenship.  If only it were this easy for me!

Once we had the certificate, we then immediately set about applying for his passport using the online tools to prepare his application form.  Because this would be our son's first Australian passport and we are overseas, the application needed to be dealt with offline.  Fortunately, the website allows you to save and return to applications, as well as print off the filled out form.  Again we had to get his passport photo certified as a true likeness, this time it had to be an Australian citizen - so I was grateful to a work colleague.

The final stage of the application required my partner to make a visit to Australia House, with all her and our son's ID documents.  The application cost $104AUD and a train ticket into London.  We had to wait nearly a month to get an appointment, but the passport itself arrived within two weeks.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year everyone!  Or both of you Dear readers, I should say.  Sorry for the lack of updates, my medical worries have made me bury my head in the sand for the past couple of months.

I think my Defacto Visa application is complete and ready for my migration agent to submit to Australia House in London.  I've started 2010 with a renewed health kick and am hopeful that the medical won't throw up any additional problems.  My blood pressure trend seems to be gradually downwards. To help demonstrate to the Panel Doctors that my high BP is partially due to "White Coat Hypertension" (being scared of doctors!), I will be wearing a BP monitor for 24 hours towards the end of the month and can then take the results with me to my Visa medical.

The Panel Doctors I've chosen are The Bridge Clinic in Maidenhead, as their prices seem reasonable enough and they have the advantage of being able to take X-Rays onsite - thus removing the need for a seperate hospital visit.  That said, DIAC have caused me more turmoil by announcing a review of the status of all UK Panel Doctors.  So far, I've heard of three practices that will not be performing Australia Visa medicals beyond January.  The Bridge Clinic believes their DIAC review was favourable, so fingers crossed I won't have to make new plans.

** Update :: Just spoken to my agent and he also feels my application is complete, so will be submitting it today. **