How To….Get A New Zealand Visa Medical In China
In this instalment of my How to… series, I talk about getting a New Zealand visa medical in China
Getting a New Zealand Working Holiday visa is high on my priorities right now but because I’ve been living in China so long, I needed a New Zealand visa medical to be declared fit and healthy enough to be allowed to work and spend an extended period of time in New Zealand. Because I’ve lived over 6 months in China, for the 12 month UK visa I needed a chest x-ray to declare me free of TB, but as I wanted to apply for the 23 month UK visa, I also needed a full medical as well.
Well, a necessary adventure called so what better way to answer it than to actually go and get my New Zealand visa medical. Following these simple step-by-step instructions, even those with little Chinese could attempt this (though maybe not recommended in Fuzhou. Beijing or Shanghai might be a better bet!)
Check New Zealand Immigration’s list of panel doctors. These are searchable by country. Fortunately for me, there was a hospital in Fuzhou listed, which is in my province.
Phone the hospital to book the medical. This may require trying out the given extensions, having them not work and having to search on the hospital website (in Chinese) for the correct extension number.
Book transportation to Fuzhou (or other destination city) and also gather all your required forms and fill them in to save time.
Do a million passport photos and once again blame you parents as you have to write your FULL NAME on the back of 6 passport photos, as well as in the required name space at the top of every sheet of the form
Get up early on the appointed day with the address of the hospital for the taxi driver, only to be taken to the wrong hospital and have to explain that this is “not the hospital I’m looking for” and eventually arrive at the correct one. But I still managed to arrive for 8am.
Locate the correct department on the hospital noticeboard and prepare to push into Chinese people to get into the lift up to the sixth floor. Arrive at the department and proceed to the desk to take a ticket number and to be given Chinese forms to fill in, at a helpful desk with examples to show you how to fill them in.
Have your number called, Chinese forms checked for (many) errors/confusion. Wait for the only person who can speak English to get embarrassed as they ask the more personal questions (they are embarrassed by their English rather than the questions of course). Be told to go and pay for the New Zealand visa medical on the floor above. This means another form in Chinese! Eventually, you get the receipt and a Fuzhou Provincial Hospital Card.
The card has all my information on it. If I need to go to Fuzhou Provincial Hospital again, I will have to take it with me!
Now you have paid, you are allowed to go and hand in your forms to do the medical. There could be many different countries visa medicals all in the same place, and you have to go to the correct window (New Zealand, Australia, Canada or America). Stand out as the only foreigner in the reception, and also the only person applying for New Zealand. Watch as all the information you have painstakingly written on ALL THE FORMS is computer processed onto a new form and they hand you back the one you wrote on. Make sure that your country of birth and nationality is not written as China/Chinese.
Be called for your medical and be handed a sexy green hospital robe to change into. Lock all your belongings into the given locker.
Do the medical tests, begging for the pee test first. Laugh as you are the only person given milk and cake after having their blood taken (best ever experience of blood taking – the nurse was so gentle!). Get by with the Chinese you know, and watch as the nurses find it surprising that you understand them.
Be dismissed once all the tests are done. Return at 2pm if the morning pee test was not adequate. Find out from the only English speaker how and when you will get your results. Celebrate when they arrive after 3 days!
I was truly amazed and pleased with my New Zealand visa medical experience in Fuzhou. Yes, there weren’t many English speakers, but one was able to be found at crucial moments when there was something more important to get across. They ran a very organised department and each nurse had 4/5 applicants to see through the process. It was a surprisingly fun experience actually and I could just not stop laughing throughout the morning. I highly recommend Fuzhou Provincial Hosptial for your New Zealand visa medical!Do you have any memorable visa medical experiences, good or bad?