After you put together an awesome front loaded presentation, waited patiently for USCIS approval, and got it, then waited for NVC to forward the case overseas, got their letter confirming the new case number, then are contacted by consulate that they have your case, followed the instructions to register at ustraveldocs.com or usvisa-info.com pay the visa fee, wait another day to return online to FINALLY book the interview, and when you get to the booking calendar you see "No appointment date available"
It is a very frustrating moment. You are "this close" to the end of the process, but now have come against a blank wall.
Below is my TIP on how to reduce the stress and to book your interview just as soon as a date becomes available.
"No appointment date available" doesn't mean forever, it doesn't mean the consulate has gone out of business.
What it means is that TEMPORARILY, all the appointment time slots that were available, have been taken by other visa candidates.
Typically the availability calendar only shows a month or two in advance, gradually the consulate slowly "rolls out" or releases new available dates. This means that maybe, once a week, sometimes once a month, they add extra times and dates to the far end of the calendar.
If you are fortunate enough to be online just after they add the extra dates, you would see the available times, and could book your choice.
But it is "first come, first serve".
If a lot of other applicants are waiting to book their appointments the available dates could be snapped up quickly, sometimes within hours of posting.
The consulate will tell you "Keep coming back, keep logging in to view the calendar, and when you see an opening, "take it". Unfortunately they never give the real helpful advice which would be when the consulate will post their next updates.
Just "keep coming back"
When you do come back, you are viewing a "real time" calendar. This means if someone who had an appointment just cancelled it, the opening would immediately display, and it could be for just a few days or week later. Otherwise the big change will be when the consulate adds more openings.
A lot of applicants, revisit the booking calendar many times a day, hoping at the next login they will be able to book their appointment.
This can be very frustrating and time consuming.
I have a TIP for you, that can make this process less painful.
I want to tell you about a very useful extension available for Firefox, called Check4Change.
What is does, is monitor a page on the internet, and notifies you in case that page has changed.
You can use this this to watch the "No appointment date available" page, to alert you when that annonying statement is removed and appointments actually ARE available.
Remember it is "first come first serve". So if you are the first to learn new bookings are available you will get first choice.
Use Firefox browser.
go to "check4change.com".
Click "here" to download the extension
then click to "allow"
A window will popup, then click "install now".
Finally, restart Firefox.
I will use ustraveldocs as an example.
You register, then print out deposit slip, take that to the bank that is accepting payments for visa fees and pay the consulate's visa fee.
Typically it takes 4 to 24 hours before the payment is updated to your fiance's account.
After waiting the normal time, login then go to "My Dashboard". You should see, confirmation that the fee has been paid.
If you see "First Available Appointment is ..." then click on Schedule Appointment, you are in luck there is availability.
But if you see "No appointment date available" then use check4change to monitor the page.
Highlight the text on your My Dashboard page, right click and a menu will open, select Check4change, then choose the "Check every" interval. I use Check every hour.
Based upon the interval you choose, the page will refresh, and if any changes have occured will play music.
Shown at the top of the Tab of the FireFox browser for this page you will see the Check4Change icon AND a countdown timer till the next page refresh.
Many of my clients have had success using following this tip, to book their appointment as soon as one became available.
I hope this tip may help you too.
By Fred Wahl