I spent the ENTIRE day in the hotel. My husband had the medical exam which is part of his visa process (I’ll let him type about that in a minute) and I spent the whole day waiting anxiously for him. It was terrible. I must say we are both so glad mom and dad talked us into staying here. I guess after 30 years you wise up and start listening to your parents again and it pays off. It is strange to think we were having lunch at a Chinese buffet with them just yesterday. Now I’ll let my husband tell his story…
“This morning at 6:30 I went down from my room to the main street to catch a cab going to the clinic for my examination that I’m going to present next week for my first visa interview. I went early because the information I had told me they stop letting new people into the clinic for exams at 11 am and I wanted to get a spot. So when I got out from the cab I thought there were not many people waiting in line (only about 50) until they let us inside a fenced area outside the clinic. Everyone had a number, then everyone was waiting for their number to be called. After that one of the workers called from 1 – 15, then the rest of us still were waiting for our turn. But in my mind I thought that it was going to be really easy to do my examination. The same worker came in and asked for 15 people to go to the other clinic (there are only two clinics in Juarez that are allowed to do exams for the US Consulate) because in that clinic they weren’t that busy. I was still waiting for my turn because I didn’t want to risk going to the other clinic and losing my spot. My number was 57. Then once again the worker came in and asked for 10 volunteers to go to the other clinic. Finally, it was my turn.
We were 15 people going inside the clinic. I was almost the last one. As soon as I stepped in I saw hundreds and hundreds of people who were already in before me. I probably say 500 -600 people at the clinic throughout the day. One guy from Wisconsin was there and he told me that I was “late” because people started getting in line at 3am. Then I realized I was totally wrong. My day was going to be one of the longest days. Think about not having any breakfast or lunch all day. That was all of us since we weren’t allowed to eat before the exam. Then I went to the front desk, showed my passport and my visa appointment letter, then they told me to wait until my turn. After a while a lady called my name, then I went to a small room where I showed my visa appointment letter, passport, signed my name and she took my pictures. After she took my information I went back to my seat.
I was so hungry that I started drinking lots of water. It was about 8:30. Then they called my name and I went to have a blood test. Then I went back to my seat and waited for my turn once again. But I went to the second level for my next turn where I waited for a while. Finally, a nurse called my name then took my chest x-rays and he told me to go back to the waiting room again.
About 12:30 I went to do my last test. They took my blood pressure, weight, height and then I went to the room where the nurse gave me a complete physical examination and three shots required to enter the US, MMR, Td, and Varicella. I brought my vaccine card from childhood but she said if they weren’t in the last 6 months they didn’t count. She also asked me a lot of questions, some medical ones like “Do you smoke?” “Do you do any drugs?” and some were kind of strange for a medical exam like “What kind of job to you have in the US?” “Have you been in jail?” The strangest was “Has cometido algunos delitos – Have you done any bad things here or in the US?” I thought that was a strange question for a medical exam. Then I was ready to go pay for the service that they had done. I had to pay in US dollars, $254 for the exam and vaccines. Also, they told me to come back for my results at 4 pm.
The ominous warning message on his very important medical results
Then I walked back to the hotel where my wife was waiting and really nervous. I was totally starving because it was 2 pm by then and I hadn’t had anything to eat all day. I ate and relaxed for a little while. Then it was time to go back again. It was pretty fast to get my results. They gave me a copy of my immunizations and then information in a sealed black envelope to give to the Consulate. If I open it they will not allow me to interview for my visa. I think they put the photos they took of me inside the envelope so they match my medical exam and the person doing my interview at the Consulate can tell it is me.
The one surprise is they told me I have to go on Monday to the Consulate to deliver the exam results instead of waiting for Tuesday for my interview. I don’t really understand why but I will do whatever they tell me. So it looks like I will be spending all day Monday and Tuesday at the US Consulate.”