‘Frontloading’ a 190 visa , pro’s and cons

Medicals done, check!

This was the last thing I had to do for my visa and I’m delighted it’s done. I booked the tests 3 months ago when my HAP ID came through from the Australian Department of Immigration. Thats how long the wait is by the way, I didn’t chose to wait 3 months. You can’t get that ID until after you’ve lodged your visa, you’ve to wait for it to arrive to be able to book the tests. I went to Mater Private Medical out near Tesco Clarehall in Dublin and they cost €335. I paid by card and yes, they take google/apple pay.

They do have some parking around the back but I parked in Tesco car park coz it’s basically across the road. They had advised it could take up to two hours but I was done in 40 mins. The tests included: finding out what medication I’m on and why, my height, my weight, checked by blood pressure, my breathing, my sight (read the chart job), my hearing, then bloods and a chest x ray.I had been that I would need to strip down to my ninnies but ended up only needing to lose the top half and necklace. Took a big deep breath for the x-ray as I was supposed to and that was it. Done. The phlebotomist was great, I’ve got teeny tiny veins and the doctor had a look at my hand and said he found a vein for a butterfly in my hand if needs be, but we didn’t get to that stage luckily. The nurse was great, done super quick, I was in the room for less than 5 mins. 

When filling out the initial form I had selected the box for mental health issues, as I have suffered from depression and anxiety and I take medication when needed for it. It’s no biggy, I manage it well, I’ve done ‘the work’ and am good at minding myself. It was something I was worried about a bit though but considering how common mental health issues areI couldn’t help thinking sure they’d have no immigrants going if they ruled out people with depression/anxiety! 

Police checks:

If you’re Irish this auto-translates in my head into Garda vetting. It is, though, very different. Working in the Social Care sector since for the last 8 or so years I have done my Garda vetting several times. To do this vetting you need to be given a link or a form from your current or new employer and only they can request Garda vetting for you. You can’t organise it for yourself. A facebook page I’m on advised me they were different and not to worry and they were right.

I contacted my local Garda station a few days after lodging my visa to ask how I do a police check for emigration purposes. He referred me here.  I completed the form, brought down my passport and proof of address and that was it. The Garda stamped it and took in the form. He called me me the next day to ask if I could drop in two stamped addressed envelopes. By some miracle I had both envelopes and stamps in my house. I feel like this sentence ages me significantly, but there ye go! If you’re handing this in, bring two stamped addressed envelopes with you. One of the reasons I had done this in such a hurry was that the man on the phone said he wasn’t exactly sure of the waiting time but knows it can take several weeks, up to months so I hopped on it. It came back 8 days later. Glad I have it now. Seeing the date it was stamped and knowing what that meant did give me the heeby jeebies though.

I’ve chosen to front load my 190 visa application with medicals and police clearance. What this means is that I’ve done both of these before being assigned a case officer or have case officer contact. Sometimes a CO will get in touch with you/your agent to request this. A visa cannot be granted without them. By doing this I guess the hope is when someone reviews my application they’ll see I’m good medically and legally and just grant it and it’ll be quicker. Knowing the wait for the medical exam is 3 months I’m glad I did this now. The upside to this is that should my visa be granted in the next 4-5 months I have enough time to wrap up my life here and get landed on shore by November 27th. Why November 27th? Because that is when my police checks came back. So essentially the police check and medicals are only valid for 1 year. This means if my visa is granted November 15th I’m in a major hurry OR if it’s granted after November 27th I have to re-do my police check (free). If its granted after January 5th 2024 I have to re-do my medicals. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that.

I have to say I’m relieved the ‘homework’ side of this process is over. Everything from here on out is what to take, what to chuck, what to donate, packing and shipping. Oh and seeing as much of Europe whilst I can get a cheap Ryanair flight as possible before I go 🙂 

Feel free to message me if you’ve any questions I haven’t covered above. I’m obviously not a doctor though, so maybe manage your expectations yeah?

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