MY VISA JOURNEY CONTINUES: TUBERCULOSIS (TB) TESTING TIPS, PROCESS, INFORMATION & MORE…
Tuberculosis testing is a compulsory requirement for those who are applying for a settlement fiancee, partner or spousal visa to the United Kingdom. The timing of this test is very critical because the certificate is only valid for six months. You have to bear in mind that the fee for the TB screening, along with the UKBA visa application fee, is non-refundable.
I took mine last March 9, 2018. I was thinking before then to make an appointment with IOM the same day as my IELTS Life Skills B1 test but backed out of it because I didn’t want to be rushing. Unfortunately, I am from the southern tip of Mindanao, Philippines and that Metro Manila isn’t someplace I really enjoy visiting. As I wasn’t and still am not that adept at navigating the city jungle, I chose to take my TB test a day after my UK IELTS Life Skills Test.
I arrived at the building around 8:10 in the morning. I was thinking I was already too late for the appointment because I was advised by others who already had their TB tests to be there as early as 6:00 AM to get my priority number from the guard on a post outside the clinic. It turned out it wasn’t the case or maybe because at the time I had my appointment, it was not a hectic day at the clinic. However, I was informed by the IOM through email before my appointment that their morning registration cut-off time is at 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM in the afternoon. They are open for business at 8:00 AM.
Please follow me as I share how my experience was when I had my TB test.
A. As I entered the ground floor of Trafalgar Building, I was directed to surrender my ID and sign in their visitor’s logbook. I was then given a visitor’s ID. Although I already knew that IOM’s on the 15th floor, I still asked for confirmation. Indeed! They confirmed it’s on the 15th floor.
B. I took the elevator to the 15th floor. As I stepped out of it, I was literally facing the IOM’s guard post. I was asked if I had an appointment. I said yes and they asked for my last name. They gave me my priority number, which was number 16, and it was only 8:30. The guard told me to get inside the clinic and wait for my number to be called.
C. When I got in, I was surprised to see at least more than 30 applicants waiting. I thought I was so dead! But then I realized that most of the applicants were applying for Canada. Then I heard applicant number 15 was being called. Gee-whiz! I was next!
D. I waited for like 15 minutes then my turn was on. The staff asked for my priority number pass, passport, and a photocopy of my passport and my ID. I waited for a bit as the staff was busy encoding my details. After a few minutes, he then asked me to sit beside him and countercheck for the details he just entered into their system. After I confirmed the correctness of my details, I was instructed to wait for the details to get printed. He then let me sign a consent form and instructed me to pay at the cashier after which I had to go straight to room #4.
E. I went to the cashier’s window and handed her all my papers. I paid PhP 3,200.00 in CASH. I was given my official receipt after accepting my payment.
F. I found my way to room #4 where a physician was waiting to perform a medical exam to applicants. There were three more applicants still waiting for their turns. The physician took at least 10 minutes to check each applicant. When my time’s up, it was as if I wasn’t quite ready to meet the physician! LOL!
G. The physician asked questions regarding my medical history, the usual question: the first day of last menstruation, cancer history in the family, allergies, tuberculosis history, recent flu/colds, cough, asthma, and the list goes on… He made annotations on the piece of paper given by the staff at the front desk.
H. After the physician’s examination/interview, I went to the waiting/lounge area thinking I’d be waiting for my turn to be called for an x-ray. The Radiologist who was calling our applicants for UK told us to go back to the staff that originally took and encoded our biometrics because we still needed another form from him.
I. After issuance of the form, I went back to the X-ray room. The Radiologist instructed me to take off MY shirt and brassiere and wear one of the gowns provided just for the purpose.
J. I waited for my name to be called. Once I was in a room where the x-ray machine’s located, the Radiologist assisted me in wearing something similar to an apron/ armor from the waist down to my knee level. I believe it was some sort of protection of my other organs from direct radiation. She then told me to raise my hands sideward and inhale deeply twice. Next, she instructed me to inhale ever so deeply and hold my breath until told to breathe normally. I thought I’d die of oxygen deprivation! LOL!
K. I was instructed to wait again outside and this time it’s about waiting for the result. After squirming for like 20 minutes – the longest, ever-so-slow-time-dragging moment in my whole life, my name was once again called by the staff who first took my biometrics. He handed me a form to sign. I can’t even remember now what the form was about! I was again called for the nth time and this time around, I was handed my TB testing certificate. The staff explained to me that the result was negative (Thank God for that!) and I have to know that it expires in six 96) months. He then continued explaining that I must have a copy of my TB certificate when I am flying to the UK because the Immigration will definitely deny me entry if I can’t show it to them.
L. I thanked him for the assistance, took the lift down to the ground floor and checked out at the guard’s station by giving back the visitor ID they gave me in exchange of my personal ID I left with them.
***APPROVED TEST CLINIC***
There is only one clinic here in the Philippines which is approved by the International Organisation for Migration Health Centre. Please refer below for the exact location, and contact numbers of IOM in the Philippines.
International Organisation for Migration Health Centre
15th Floor, Units A and B Trafalgar Plaza
105 H.V. dela Costa Street
Makati City 1227
Tel: (632) 883-9339 or (632) 511-8771
Mob: (917) 593-4688 (globe operator) or (919) 993-4667 (smart operator)
Fax: (632) 883-9377
***MODE OF SETTING AN APPOINTMENT***
I did mine via email. They usually reply promptly.
It cost me Php 3,200.00 for the TB testing fee. This amount is only payable in CASH. As much as possible, bring the exact amount to avoid delays. If in the event you forgot to bring cash with you or maybe you didn’t bring enough cash to cover the testing cost, don’t worry because ATMs are readily available just outside the clinic on the 15th floor.
***THINGS YOU NEED TO BRING DURING APPOINTMENT***
When I had my TB testing appointment, I overheard a staff reminding an applicant to follow the rules and guidelines set by the clinic which was indicated in the email they sent to every applicant to avoid inconvenience. The applicant wasn’t able to bring with her a photocopy of passport showing the biometric page and a valid government ID. Please refer below for the list of requirements needed during the TB testing appointment:
1) Actual and valid passport
2) 2 pieces of government-issued photo ID (one will be surrendered to the ground floor security upon entry and one will be presented at the clinic.
a) Voter’s ID
b) PRC ID
c) Driver’s License
d) SSS ID
e) TIN ID
f) PhilHealth ID
g) Postal ID
h) NBI Clearance
There’s a PROPER DRESS CODE implemented by the Building Administration.
> The length of the dress should not be shorter than 3 inches above the knee.
> Individuals wearing dresses or skirts (tank tops, tubes, spaghetti straps) may be allowed to enter the building if partnered with a jacket of a scarf.
> Dresses which are too revealing and are not fit for office workplaces will not be allowed.
> Short pants/shorts are not allowed.
> Sleeveless shirt or so-called sando type shirts are not allowed.
> Short pants/shorts are not allowed. (Long pants only policy!)
I hope this lengthy post would enlighten those who have questions and concerns regarding having their Tuberculosis testing. I am more than glad to answer queries from you.