Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Medical - What to expect.

This is Chapter 3 - a mere glimpse - of Carolyn's story and how she came to live in Canada. You are all invited to get the full scoop at her website. For now, here is a taster that may just help you all:

As you know, you have to have a full medical. The rules for this are constantly changing so do whateber they tell you to in your application kit. But this is what happened to us....

When we had it done we were sent the forms and told to go to a designated doctor who then sent the completed forms to Ottawa, who then sat on them for months and months. The reason for this seemed to be to test the applicants, if the elevated blood pressure and stress from waiting, wondering and worrying didn t kill us then we were, presumably, deemed fit enough to enter Canada. Nowadays, as I understand it - Disclaimer: I quite often get the wrong end of the stick so you may want to check this out for yourself - they are streamlining ............hmmmmmm :-) don't you just love it when governments use words like streamline and simplify. I mean you just know that some boffin sitting in a government cupboard is paid to come up with ever more ingenious ways to complicate matters for the ordinary man(woman) in the street!......the whole process and apparently have handed over the medicals to a private company so that you should be able to get the whole thing done much faster and any follow ups can be addressed quicker.

So, the actual medical...what do they do? They take a detailed history:- they want to know about operations and illnesses and so on. They measure your height and then they weigh you - fortunately because it s for Canada they do it in kilograms.....I sounded much thinner in Kilograms. You pee into a little jar and then, no matter how hard you try to pursuade them not to....and I tried, believe me I tried....they insist on taking a whole armful of blood. Now I have long been of the opinion that if God had intended us to part with any of the red stuff He would never have covered us in this unbroken skin thing and would probably have put a little tap somewhere. And I am absolutely certain that it was never in His plan for us to walk around with empty arms - even for Immigration purposes - but apparently God has not shared His opinion with Canadian Immigration so be prepared to be punctured. They also x-ray your chest. They let you keep a robe on while doing this.....for some reason this surprised me.....medical science really suffered a great loss when I decided not to be a doctor don't you think?...... It did cross my mind that it might be amusing to keep an underwired bra on for the x-ray know....two smiles on your chest?......well, perhaps it's only amusing to me....... Absolutely EVERYONE must have an x-ray so if you are pregnant you will have to delay the medical until after you give birth, something to bear in mind when applying.

The Canadian Immigration people appear to be absolutely obsessed with our (applicants) lungs. My son has mild, exercise induced, asthma - to me the obvious solution is "Don't exercise!" and I have managed to avoid doing that for quite some time now, but Matt likes to run. We were and told the doctor about it. If we hadn t mentioned it there is no way he would have known. ..... something to think about. So Matt got hauled back in for further tests. They wanted to make sure it was asthma and not TB. I am sure there must be quite a difference but then I have already mentioned that I am not very up on medical issues.

I have heard through the Internet that many minor conditions are not a barrier to immigration. What they are looking for are long term, serious illnesses and/or carriers of diseases that could endanger the Canadian public. Mild diabetes or mildly elevated blood pressure will not keep you out. Nor will mild asthma, poor eyesight or hearing, provided it does not affect your work. I have heard of a case, however, where one of the principal Applicant's dependent children had cerebral palsy and the whole family was turned down. Again, something to bear in mind before you part with your application fee and start paying for the medicals. We paid $120 each for our medicals - this was in July 1995. This can vary depending on where you go.

When you are approved for Permanent Residence you MUST land (enter Canada as an immigrant) before the anniversary of your initial medical. If you are called back for further tests it is still the first date that they go from. If for any reason your application is not approved until after that anniversary you have to undergo another medical - yes and pay for it again! No, it s not fair but I know it has happened to quite a few people - especially those who are not interview-waived.

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