10 May, 2011

How do you spell visa? P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E

Here we are, day something-or-other, I've lost count in waiting for Michael's visa to be approved. I believe last Thursday (5 pm our time) we got word from Aussie Immigration. They have requested an additional medical exam for Michael. He is Type II diabetic and I guess that raised a red flag somewhere. We have been told to have a doctor complete "Form 26" straight away. It sure would have been nice to have known before that this might come up. We could have had this exam done before instead of the minimal required, the chest x-ray. (Which they have to do over now by the way.) We made some calls and arranged an appointment for this Friday am the 13th in Apple Valley. (The Minneapolis doc was booked.) We couldn't get in any earlier because Michael is off to sunny New Jersey this week for work. That's right, he still thankfully hasn't given his notice.

Form 26 costs $545 to have completed. It includes a lot of lab work and a physical exam. The cost does include them forwarding the papers to the embassy but unfortunately we need it sent to Sydney which will cost us an additional $125 and I'm not sure if that is FedEx'd or not. I didn't have the stomach to ask after that bit of a shock. It's almost as if Immigration decided that we hadn't spent enough money yet, though I know that's not the case.

In other news, preparations continue. We are planning on staging the shipping container in the garage this weekend. We have most items packed. We are going to measure out the space and really see what we have room for and what we still need to find new homes for. I have a feeling this is not going to be easy and will end up being a big job. We have begun a thorough manifest/spreadsheet of each bundle or box. The information includes name of item, weight of item, handling, and of course which room it belongs in. This way we can track what is coming with us and hopefully the customs agents will look at our tidy list, open a box or two, and wave us through. Oh, and the dog!! We have had a family volunteer to puppy sit for us, but the dog really deserves her own post. And finally, we will be having a garage sale again next week (Thurs.-Sat.) I have all the items all ready in the garage and will be pricing and merchandising them next week. At least the weather will be better. It will be right??? Last time, two of the days were only about 30 something.

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