Monitoring availability of US visa appointment dates using Distill
Tracking available slots for a US visa appointment can be a daunting task due to high demand and limited slots at consular offices. Whether it’s for business, education, or personal reasons, being aware of available appointment dates is crucial. However, manual monitoring and constant checking for updates can be time-consuming and frustrating.
Since the US visa process changes dynamically, we recommend applicants stay updated by regularly checking official sites like the US Department of State or The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
In this article, we’ll focus on usvisa-info.com, which helps applicants to schedule their visa interviews at U.S. Embassies or Consulates and track the status of their visa application. It helps visa applicants to stay updated about visa requirements, processing times, and policy updates. However, the website does not have an automated notification system for new slot availability, so it requires manual and regular checking.
Securing a US visa appointment can be challenging due to high demand, limited slots, and potential technical issues. It’s essential to stay updated on available dates, but manual monitoring is often time-consuming.
In this article, we’ll discuss usvisa-info.com, which aids in scheduling interviews and tracking visa application status. However, the site lacks an automated system for slot availability notifications, necessitating consistent checks.
Limited slots, booking delays due to scarcity, and technical difficulties with the online system can further complicate securing an appointment. Although new slots might emerge from cancellations or added availability, there’s typically no automated alert system, making frequent checking a necessary, albeit repetitive task.
However, you can use web monitoring tools to track these available slots. These tools pick up changes on webpages (eg: change in status of visa appointment slot) at custom intervals and alert you. One such web monitoring tool you can use is Distill.
Please note: It is advised to schedule automated checks on usvisa-info.com at a frequency no less than 4 hours. The US-Visa website is known to block users from seeing appointment slots, if its checked too frequently.
How to use Distill to track visa appointment
Distill is a powerful tool for monitoring visa appointment availability on websites like usvisa-info.com. With automated tracking and the use of macros, Distill detects changes on web pages and notifies you via email, SMS, or your preferred method. By automating the process, saves you time and increases your chances of securing a visa appointment slot.
However, tracking webpages with sign-in credentials poses challenges for Distill. Without login credentials, Distill may not effectively capture and monitor the content. However, Macros in Distill provide a solution by automating the sign-in process.
How to use macros for monitoring visa appointment availability
Macros are essentially sequences of programmed instructions that execute specific tasks. When utilized in Distill, they record and replay your interaction with a webpage, creating an automated version of the steps you would manually perform.
In the context of visa appointment monitoring, these automated sequences of tasks imitate your interactions with a webpage, allowing for more precise tracking, especially for pages requiring user interaction. Here’s how it would work in the scenario of tracking for available slots:
Record Actions: Distill records your actions on a webpage when macro recording is activated, such as navigating through menus or filling in forms - the usual steps to check for visa appointment availability.
Playback steps: Distill can replay these recorded actions during its checks, emulating a human user’s site navigation. This allows it to uncover changes on pages that are only visible after certain interactions.
Detect Changes and available slots: Using macros, Distill can spot changes in specific elements on the webpage or the outcome of certain action sequences, offering targeted and meaningful alerts. In your case, it would track the webpage for changes in the state of visa appointment slots.
Setting up a Distill monitor to track US visa appointments
In this section, we will demonstrate the practical application of Distill as a solution in a step-by-step tutorial video. This video will guide you on how to utilize Distill macros, to automate the tracking process and efficiently monitor slot availability.
Steps to record a macro for US Visa Appointments tracking
In this example, we record a macro to track available appointment slots for rescheduling the Visa interview. Since the slots for the next 2 months are currently unavailable, we will track the date picker under the date of appointment section for any available slot in the next two months.
Step 1: Log in using your credentials to the Distill.io website.
Step 2: Once you log in to Distill, you will be directed to the watchlist page. Under the watchlist page, select the hamburger icon, and click on Macros.
Step 3: Once directed to the Macro page, name the macro and paste the usvisa-info.com URL.
We will name the Macros US VISA and paste this URL for this example. The given URL provides access to the official US visa information system for nonimmigrant visa applications according to consulate locations and their regional languages.
Step 4: Click Add new Macro. You will then be directed to a new webpage for recording the Macro steps.
In the following steps, we will showcase how to record the macro.
During the macro recording process, you will find that Distill captures all the actions on the right panel. It provides convenient options to start, stop, or replay the recording based on your preferences and convenience. This lets you easily control and customize the macro recording experience to suit your needs.
Step 5: Under the Consulate Location page, select the location you are applying from and then choose your language.
For this example, we will select the Consulate location as the United Kingdom and the language as English.
Step 6: Click Continue to continue or review an existing visa application. For this example, we will go with this option since we want to track slots for VISA appointments.
Step 7: You will be directed to the Sign-in page, where you must log in using your credentials.
Step 8: Once signed in, you can view the current status of your Visa application.
For this example, we have an appointment on the 12th of June, 2023. However, we would like to reschedule the same. Click Continue to take further action on the VISA application.
Step 9: Select the action you want to perform on the application. For this example, we will select the Reschedule appointment option.
Step 10: Under the Schedule appointment webpage, you can select the date under the Date of appointment you want to reschedule using the calendar.
In this particular scenario, it is evident that all the dates appear greyed out, indicating the unavailability of slots. This visual cue indicates that there are currently no appointment slots open for selection during the specified period.
Step 11: Click Stop recording.
The following sections will guide you on using this recorded macro to track the appointment slot date.
You can also refer to this video that will guide you on how to replay and use a recorded macro to track the Visa appointment slots.
Steps to Import Macros
You can follow the steps to add the macros using JSON.
Step 1: Download this JSON of the pre-recorded macro provided in this section.
Step 2: Open the .JSON file and enter the “Username” and “Password” for your profile in usvisa-info.com and save the changes.
Step 3: Go to the Distill watchlist and click the hamburger icon.
Step 4: Select Macros.
Step 5: Click the Import Macro and select the .JSON file you saved according to Step 1.
Step 6: You can now see the imported macros under the Macros list.
You can also use the Open recorder option under the imported macro and replay the recorded steps and check if the macro is working fine with your given credentials.
You can also edit the recorded steps to suit your requirement. Refer to the Macros documentation for more details on how to edit your macro.
Using a macro in a monitor to track US visa appointment slots
Step 1: Click Add monitor on the Distill watchlist webpage and click Webpage. You will be directed to the Source Webpage.
Step 2: Paste this URL and click Go. You can now see the webpage load on the Visual Selector tab.
Step 3: Click Macro on the top right side of the page and select the Macros you created in this section.
Step 4: Click the play button next to the Macro to perform the automated actions on the URL while you are on the webpage view where you want to set up the monitor. Once done, turn on the visual selector and click the Expand or Collapse selector panel option next to it.
Step 5: Click Add Selector and select the CSS Selector. You can use the visual selector to select any date you want to track and use the Expand or Contract option within Distill to select multiple dates.
However, in this example since all the dates have been greyed out for May and June. We would like to track all the dates for these two months, for which we will use the class .ui-datepicker-unselectable.
The class with unselectable is going to track the dates that are unselectable for booking visa appointment slots. Whenever a date becomes selectable, it will disappear from the selection triggering a change notification.
To identify the correct HTML code for the section you wish to track, simply right-click on the desired section and select Inspect. This action will open the developer tools, where you can explore the HTML code associated with the selected section.
If you need further guidance on how to inspect a webpage and locate the relevant HTML code for a specific section, you can find detailed instructions by clicking here.
On the right side panel, you can see the greyed dates. Using the class .ui-datepicker-unselectable has selected all the dates for the next two months which are currently unavailable for Visa appointments. Since all the dates are currently unavailable, we can see all the dates from 1st May 2023 to 30th June 2023 have been selected.
Step 6: Click Save. You will be directed to the options page.
Step 7: Choose a device to run your monitor under the options page. We will use the local browser to check for changes in this case. You can also set an interval for checking the webpage.
Please note it is recommended to run macros locally and set the monitors to run checks on your local device. Additionally, we advise against running automated checks at a frequency higher than 4 hours to avoid issues such as being blocked from the website.
Step 8: Configure your alert mode via email/SMS/ Discord etc.
Step 9: Click Save.
You can refer to this video that will guide you on how to use a recorded macro to track the Visa appointment slots.
It is important to note that Macros are exclusively available to subscribers of the Distill Starter plan and above. Check out Distill subscription plans to choose a suitable one for you.
Visa appointment slot booking with Distill’s availability alerts
Whenever a date becomes available for Visa appointments, it will disappear from the unselected date section. This will indicate some date is available for the Visa appointment, and that change notification will help you act fast and go ahead and book the appointment.
You can download the monitor JSON file and configure it use your recorded macro or use the downloaded macro available the section below.
Sample macro for tracking US visa appointment slots
You can import the recorded macro by using the provided JSON file to track calenders for Visa appointments. Download Macro JSON file for tracking US visa appointment slots.
This macro has been recorded for the Consulate location United Kingdom. If you are looking for appointment dates within this location, please use the JSON of the macro above.
Its recommended to run these automated checks at a frequency no less than 4hrs. The US-Visa website is known to block users from seeing appointment slots, if its checked too frequently.
To record a macro for another location, please refer to the steps mentioned in Steps to record Macros to record your macro for tracking slots for Visa appointments.
How our users utilize Distill for visa appointment tracking
When utilizing Distill for visa tracking, it's important to be aware that you may encounter occasional errors or challenges during the setup process. To assist you in resolving any issues you may face, we recommend visiting the Distill Forum. Here, you can find a wealth of information and insights shared by our community of users, helping you troubleshoot common problems and find the right solutions. Some common queries users have discussed about while setting up visa trackers include:
Tips and best practices for tracking US visa applications
To ensure a smooth US visa application process, staying informed and proactive is crucial. Here are practical tips to enhance your visa tracking experience:
Document important dates and details: Record application deadlines, interview appointments, and document submission dates. Use a digital or physical calendar and set reminders. Maintain a checklist of required documents and keep copies of all submissions.
Understanding processing times and delays: Familiarize yourself with average processing times for your visa category. Recognize factors causing delays, such as high volumes, security clearances, and policy changes. Utilize tools like Distill to track application status and available visa appointment slots.
Stay updated with official sources: Regularly check official websites such as the USCIS or the Department of State for updated information on visa requirements, procedures, and any changes that may affect your application.
Seek professional guidance: If you find the visa application process overwhelming or have specific concerns, consider seeking guidance from immigration lawyers or visa consultants who can provide expert advice and assist you throughout the process.
By following these recommendations, you can navigate visa tracking confidently and increase your chances of timely updates and approvals.
In summary, tracking US Visa appointment slots can pose challenges due to limited availability and high demand. Fortunately, Distill provides a user-friendly solution by automating the tracking process. With Distill’s convenient features and functionalities, individuals can receive timely notifications and updates on available appointment slots. This empowers applicants to maximize their chances of securing desired appointments, ultimately saving them valuable time and effort in the visa application process. Distill simplifies the journey, helping individuals stay informed and increasing their opportunities for successful visa appointment bookings.
Distill extension is available on Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Microsoft Edge. Based on your requirement, you can browse the subscription plans for access to more frequent checks and instant alerts on the go via Distill iOS app and Android app.
We would like to reiterate that when setting up the monitors to track Visa appointment dates, please ensure that the automated checks run at a frequency no less than 4hrs. The US-Visa website may block users from viewing appointment slots if they are checked too frequently.
Please feel free to reach out to us on Distill Forums in case you have any queries or need assistance while setting up your Visa trackers. Our community of users are readily available to help you resolve any concerns you may encounter.