On the 25th November, after what felt like an eternal wait, we finally were given our interview date at the Sydney Consulate for our DV Lottery interview – 9am Tuesday 13th January.
Finally, we could start planning!! The first thing we had to do is let our employers know. It was sad for me to leave a great work team and career opportunity but they were very supportive and understood. My final work day would be the 9th January, after which we would head to Sydney for a few days to see friends, attend our interview and then head interstate separately to visit family for 9 days.
We booked our 3 night stay in Sydney at the Travelodge Sydney on Wentworth Avenue – just over $100 a night for our dates and a short walk to our friends in Surry Hills, as well as to the U.S. Consulate in Martin Place.
The 7 weeks between being notified of and our interview went by quickly, with the welcome distraction of the festive season and New Years to stop us counting down each day.
We scheduled our medicals with Medibank Health Solutions for the 17th December and sent in our applications for our Police Checks (which came back promptly).
I contacted Medibank Health Solutions by phone and they advised me to email them with medical type (i.e US Immigration), preferred medical date, full names, DOB’s and contact phone numbers.
In preparation for the medical we had gotten our blood work done to see what we were already vaccinated against (as did not have records any earlier than 2009) and so we could obtain any required vaccines from our GP.
Be prepared to waste a few hours in the waiting room on the day of your medical. We got there a bit early and filled in the required forms – have your Case Number, intended US address and copies of your vaccination records/blood test results with you. After a bit of waiting we were called to get a blood test, height, weight recorded, eyesight & blood pressure recorded by the nurse. After that, more waiting… until we were finally called by our doctors (separate appointments for my husband and I). It was a lot simpler than I expected – general medical history questions, then the doctor checked my vaccination records and filled in the vaccination form – she noted that I had everything that was required. I found it interesting that she noted a few as not ‘age appropriate’ (including Polio and Meningococcal ), however my husbands doctor made him get vaccinations for those!! She then listened to my heart, lungs etc, checked ears, eyes and mouth, took my pulse, got me to do some stretches/movements and a quick external genital check but that was it! Very simple and easy. Obviously it may depend on your medical history as to whether it is as straightforward for everyone but we are lucky to have always been in good health!
After paying (Medical with no other vaccinations = $518.76 inc GST) and supplying my passport photos (as my Dr didn’t ask in her office so I reminded them at the front desk!) we were then sent to a different office up on Collins St to have our chest x-rays and Tuberculosis sheets completed, and the results would be sent back to Medibank directly for us to collect in a few days.
We decided to book our international flights before the interview as we were using our Virgin Velocity frequent flyer points and didn’t want to risk doing a last minute booking. We had been doing a bit of point-hacking and finally had enough to fly business !!! Our one way ticket to LA was set for 10th February!
We gave notice to our real estate at the start of January, our lease is month to month, so that was no trouble. We started doing some general disconnections of things we didn’t need (such as Foxtel), a lot of eBay listing and halved the clothes we own.
The interview date slowly crept closer and closer! Nothing would feel real until we had the approval from a CO at the Consulate!