Sunday, July 08, 2012

The Saga Of The Canadian Visa Part III

Part I: Mid-December - April 24th
Previously, in Part II
First Week Of May: Claire receives eligibility notification
May 14th: Start to inquire about own status
May 24th: Informed of apparent lack of payment
May 24th: Email proof of payment
May 28th: Eligibility notification
June 15th: Documentation for medical exam
June 16th: Claire receives Letter of Introduction

And now, Part III:

I attended my medical on June 20th. After filling out some forms and before meeting the doctor I was sent for my chest X-ray. Unlike in Ireland, the center had everything under one roof, so it was all done over the course of a morning. When I met with the doctor she went through all the standard questions and checks before looking me right in the eye.

"Do you have a tremor?"

Crap. I had developed a slight tremor in my left hand some time in March. I put it down to stress, anxiety, poor diet (I was low on fruit and vegetable intake at the time), and far too much Xbox gaming. It had been getting better since early June when I almost completely stopped playing Xbox, and things had been stress-free for a while.

But getting a medical, even when you know you're fit and healthy, can be a little stressful, especially when your work permit and immediate future plans all depend on it. My hand was shaking like a paint mixer.

She examined the tremor, agreeding that it seemed to be nothing too serious. I still had full strength, control and dexterity. Regardless, she was obliged to mark it down on the medical, news I did not need right at that moment. Worse, she had to refer me to a neurologist, and told me that they can be expensive, and that it might be cheaper for me to go home to Ireland if anything needed to be done. Again, this was news I really did not need right then.

I thanked her for her time, went downstairs to get my blood taken and headed home, feeling, once again, pretty low. According to the doctor, the medical files would be mailed to Ottawa the following Tuesday, June 26th.

I went home and the next few days were spent reviewing my future. According to the information packet that came with the medical forms, "an assessment is normally made ... within 10 working days", so I wasn't going to hear anything until early July. Worrying about everything at this point was just going to stress me out even more, so I relaxed, learned how to draw on a graphics tablet and waited out this last stretch.

At around noon on July 5th I received an email containing my Letter of Introduction, bringing to an end a roller-coaster six months back and forth, as both Claire and I finally had our authorisation for new 12 month work permits.

Now all we had to do was cross the boarder and reenter Canada with all our relevant documentation.

To Be Continued in Part IV

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