How to Secure an Expedited or Regular US Visa Appointment in Canada

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

“As of 2023, it takes 1.5 to 2 years to get a US visa appointment in Canada.”

The guidance provided here is globally applicable. While our content primarily centers on Canada, the strategies can be effectively employed anywhere in the world. The tips are relevant for both official websites:

Please be informed that Immigroup does not provide any paid services. The purpose of this page is strictly educational and informative. If you have additional information that could provide further insight on this topic, please do reach out to us at [email protected].

Tips for Securing a Regular US Visa Appointment.

Regularly Check the Official Site: Make it a habit to log in to ( every hour. Typically, after 6 to 12 logins, you might spot an available appointment slot.

Location Matters:  Smaller cities get very few appointments released. If you’re based in cities like Halifax or Quebec City, you might find that appointments rarely get released. This is a real problem. If you’re facing this challenge:

  1. Persistence Pays: Keep trying, even if it takes a while (read the below tips).
  2. Consider Other Cities: Opt for a different city for your appointment if your current choice isn’t yielding results.
  3. Seek Professional Help: Engage services like Immigroup to assist in securing an appointment for you. Click here to learn more.

What are the times for a regular appointment in Canada?

Calgary: over 600 days
Halifax: 750
Montreal: Unknown
Ottawa: over 750 days
Quebec City: 750
Toronto: over 700 days
Vancouver: 300 to 700 days

Note: The times provided above are estimates and subject to change. If you observe any discrepancies, kindly  U.S. Visa Comment on our Forum, and we’ll promptly update the webpage.

Tips for Getting an Early US visa appointment using the calendar in Canada.

Utilize Multiple Logins to Boost Your Chances of Securing an Appointment

Enhance your odds by having several individuals access and monitor the system. If you’re unable to stay online consistently, enlist the help of family members or friends to periodically review your profile. This strategy heightens the probability of spotting available appointment cancellations.

Optimal Times for Finding Appointments

Best times

  • 5:00 pm to 1:00 am
  • 6:00 am to 8:00 am
  • Wednesday between 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Also, use Your Mobile Device to Access Your Account

Access your account via a mobile device whenever you have free time. This way, you can check for appointment openings on the go.

Select the Consulate Offering the Soonest Appointment

When deciding between Consulates X and Y, opt for the one with the earliest available slot. Even if you’ve chosen a consulate on the DS160 form, you can adjust your selection if a more favorable time arises.

Double Your Chances with Two City Choices

Boost your likelihood of securing an early appointment by selecting two cities you’re open to attending.

Pair Cities for Better Opportunities

  • Toronto and Ottawa
  • Montreal and Ottawa
  • Vancouver and Calgary

Tip: Before committing, weigh the financial implications. Consider travel costs and potential lost wages. Sometimes, it might be more cost-effective to use services like Immigroup to secure an early appointment.

Opt for Individual Appointments

For better availability, consider booking appointments individually rather than in groups. By listing applicants separately in the account, you enhance your chances of spotting open slots.

Keep in mind: For families or groups, cancelled appointment slots only appear if they match the group size.

The first appointment could be the most important—you get only one chance!

Don’t schedule an appointment if you think you’ll need an urgent one later. We’re still studying this, but it appears that if you book an appointment and then try to reschedule, especially if you’ve used Immigroup to find an early slot, it becomes more challenging to secure that urgent appointment. Just keep it empty untill you find what you are looking for.

Consider Appointments Beyond Your Home Country

Yes, you can. While visiting another country, you can apply for a US visa. Some countries offer shorter waiting times for appointments.

Note: If you’re unsure about what to mention during your appointment, be honest. Simply explain that the wait time in your home country is approximately 2 years for an appointment.

Financial Consideration: If you’re eyeing a pleasant vacation, this approach can be worthwhile. Otherwise, it might be more cost-effective to engage Immigroup for an early appointment.

Hire Immigroup to Secure an Early Appointment

Out source your calendar search 

Consider registering on platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer to find someone who can scout for urgent appointments on your behalf.

Caution: This method has its risks. Immigroup advises against it, and users should proceed with discretion. Read the offical terms of service below.

Tip: Swiftly view available appointments without using the calendar. This is a big-time saver!

Are you spending countless hours scouring for an urgent U.S. visa appointment? Skip the tedious task of manually navigating through the calendar, month by month, which only leads to a significant waste of time. opt for the ‘Inspect Element’ feature in your browser – a real-time-saver that enables you to quickly see the available appointment slots in each city. For Chrome users, simply follow this easy step-by-step guide video:

Scam Alert! Follow the rules so you don’t get scammed.

Online scam offering an early US visa appointment service.

We have spoken to several people who told us how they were scammed. We have conducted our investigations and found the following:

How does the scam work?

The scam is simple. They advertise on Facebook and WhatsApp, or you might read a quick pitch in a comment section (e.g., YouTube comments). They then simply take your money, and the scam is over. However, some may take it one step further. They can now change your login info because they have access to your official AIS account. You are locked out of your account, and they can extort more money from you.

Tip: If this happens, contact the official AIS website; they know about this issue and will give you back your access.

Rules to follow:

  • Don’t trust any pitch from Facebook, WhatsApp, or the comment section on any platform. There are exceptions to groups with a lot of active members.
  • If they tell you the dates they have available, it’s a scam. This is not possible!
  • If the price is extremely low or enticing, there could be something wrong.
  • Look for an official website and check for an address and phone number.
  • Be aware that reviews can be easily manipulated.

Tips for understanding the official U.S. Visa information and appointment system.

Smart Page Refreshing

To check for available appointments, refresh the page at intervals of 10 seconds or more, ideally for a duration of 2 to 5 minutes. Then, take a short break before starting again. Remember, appointment slots can appear unexpectedly, so persistence and patience are crucial.

Guard Against System Lockouts

Avoid excessive page refreshing, as this can lead to temporary system blocks. If you find yourself locked out, stay calm; the system typically restores access after about 5 hours.

Diversify Your Consulate Checks

To minimize the risk of system blocks, alternate your checks between different consulates. This strategy ensures you maintain consistent access without overwhelming a single consulate’s system.

Understanding how appointment slots become available.

Realize that available slots arise not only from cancellations but also from daily allocations that go unclaimed, especially those reserved for specific groups like American citizens and students. Stay alert to these opportunities for short-term appointments.

20-times is your limit of rescheduling. 

The system permits you to reschedule up to 20 times. After reaching this limit, you’ll be locked out and will need to restart the entire process, including repaying the government fee.


How to Request an Expedited U.S. Visa Appointment through the Official Government Channel. 

What is an Expedited U.S. Visa Appointment?

An expedited visa is an emergency visa that is granted quickly giving you an early appointment date, due to the applicant’s special circumstances that require them to travel as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, the U.S. requires you to use the normal appointment scheduling program to then request an expedited visa appointment. The process is as follows:

  • Find out what type of visa you need at this US government page.
  • Next you complete the online application form – the online visa application form is called a DS-160. Go here to this page to complete form D-160
  • Next, go here and click on Apply near the bottom of the page.
  • Make sure you have the required documentation, including photo and proof of fee payment
  • Schedule a normal (not expedited) appointment after choosing which Consular Section you need
  • Next, follow the prompts for expedited appointments which should be found in a menu on the left-hand side of the page and submit an Expedite Request Form.
  • The U.S. embassy/consulate will respond within a couple of business days by email.
  • If the email approves your expedited appointment request, you have to log back in, cancel your normal appointment and then schedule your new appointment on the approved expedited date.
    • Do this by selecting New Appointment in the menu on the LHS of the page.
    • Choose your visa type once again and make sure to review your application information to ensure it is correct.
  • Next at the Payments page, click Continue and the system will recognize your payment made when you booked the first appointment.
  • Make sure your appointment times correspond with your expedited appointment date and select this date. Click Schedule Appointment.
  • Print your Appointment Confirmation Page and bring the letter to your interview.

Source1   Source2

Criteria for Expedited US Visa Appointments

Here is the offical wording on Emergency Appointments in Canada:

emergency appointment submission box
The Official Submission Box

Emergency Appointments will only be granted at the Consular Section’s discretion. The following is a list of circumstances that may be considered for expedited appointments.

a. An immediate relative’s death, grave illness or life threatening accident taking place in the United States, include the name, relationship, place and description of the situation, and contact information for the attending physician or funeral home.
b. Urgent medical treatment for the applicant or their minor child.
c. An applicant for a student or exchange visitor (F/M/J) visa whose I-20 or DS-2019 has a start date that is earlier than the first available visa appointment.
d. An unexpected need to travel to the United States for urgent business purposes that is occurring within 10 days after the first available visa appointment.
e. An unexpected visit that is of significant cultural, political, journalistic, sporting or economic importance that is occurring within 10 days after the first available visa appointment.

Please complete and fill out the request form below with a detailed explanation of the emergency situation as it relates to the list of circumstances above.

If your request for an earlier interview is granted, you will be expected to bring to the interview:

1- Proof to support your stated emergency
2- The forms and supporting documents normally required.

Your emergency appointment request must contain:

  • – Date of the desired emergency travel to the United States
  • – A description of the emergency travel
  • – If you are applying for a student visa, you must include your SEVIS number in the emergency travel description

Note: A Consular Officer will review the request to approve or deny it. If the request is approved the Consular Officer will reschedule the appointment for a date and time at the Consular Officer’s discretion. If you do not receive a response, consider your request denied and plan to attend your scheduled appointment.

Who Qualifies for an Expedited Visa Appointment?

As they say, your travel must be “imminent” for you to qualify for an expedited appointment. Moreover, the purpose of your travel matters as well. Some situations are not acceptable while others are.

NOT acceptable as a reason to request an expedited visa appointment:

  • Attending Wedding or Graduation Ceremonies
  • Assisting Pregnant Relatives
  • Participating in Annual Business, Academic, or Professional Conferences
  • Booking so-called “last-minute” tourism services
  • Due to advance booking of airline tickets, in which case you need to book a regular visa appointment well in advance.

Emergency Situations for Expedited Appointments

Acceptable reasons for expedited appointments are:

  • Life or death medical emergencies
  • Urgent Business matters
  • Student & Exchange Visitor Facilitation
  • ESTA status denied (you need a copy of the email informing you of this)


Success Rate and Common Pitfalls

It’s important to understand that approximately 95% of expedited requests are unsuccessful, primarily due to the overwhelming number of applicants.

Common mistakes include:

  1. Providing a non-specific or weak justification.
  2. Over-relying on emotional appeals.
  3. Omitting essential corroborative documents.

Best Practices for a Successful Expedited Request

To enhance your chances:

  1. Present a compelling reason, such as a family death, severe illness, or urgent medical treatment.
  2. Offer a clear and logically structured rationale.
  3. Furnish concrete evidence and documents that substantiate your claim.

Caution: Ensure the authenticity of all information provided. Misrepresentations can lead to a permanent ban on obtaining a U.S. visa.

Given the stakes, it’s crucial to thoroughly  prepare your request. Consider seeking expert guidance, particularly in articulating your reasons and ensuring the adequacy of your supporting documents. Reach out to Immigroup for paid assistance.

Required Documentation for an Expedited Visa Appointments

Remember to have the following documentation ready when applying for an expedited visa appointment:

  • Your current valid passport
  • Form DS-160 Confirmation Page
  • Printed Confirmation & Instructions Page
  • 5 x 5 cm or 2 x 2 inches color photograph – no older than 6 months
  • Marriage certificate for accompanying spouse
  • Birth certificates for accompanying children
  • Copy of Proof of Legal Status in Canada
  • When applying for an Expedited Visa Appointment, you’ll also need documented proof of your urgency or emergency. For example:
    • For a medical emergency, a letter from a U.S. hospital or doctor,
    • Students or exchange visitors need either an I-20 or a DS-2019 as proof they would miss the start of their studies if not granted an expedited appointment.

First Available Appointmetns on the US visa calendar


Understanding the Terms of Service for the U.S. Visa Information and Appointment System

It’s crucial to be familiar with these terms, as non-compliance can, in severe cases, result in a lifetime ban from obtaining a U.S. visa.

Terms of Use

By using this Site, you represent and acknowledge that:

  1. All registration information that you submit will be true, accurate, current and complete;
  2. You will maintain the accuracy of such information, promptly update such information as necessary and within the limits of the established process;
  3. You will not access the Site through automated or non-human means, such as with bots, scripts or otherwise;
  4. You will not use the Site for any illegal or unauthorized purpose;
  5. Your use of the Site will not violate any applicable law or regulation;
  6. You will not use stolen/compromised/unauthorized payment methods to make a payment on the Site;
  7. If you are a third party representing an applicant or applicants, you agree that you are authorized to behave as an agent on their behalf;
  8. You agree to comply with these Terms of Use.

If we determine that your access violates the established Terms of Use, we reserve the right to suspend or terminate your account and report your account to the concerned parties.

More Tips for a Successful Expedited US Visa Appointment.

Hard Truth: Each US Consulate or Embassy has a set number of appointments for each location. The demand for these appointments is greater in bigger cities vs small cities. Think of the US Consulate in Toronto that happens to be responsible for all of southern Ontario, a population of around 10 million people. Now think of Ottawa, with only around 1.5 to 2 million people.

Hard Truth: Diplomatic missions are not consumer-centric entities. They are monopolies that don’t have to compete with other enterprises providing the same service. They’re the only players in this game, so they set all the rules; we are left trying to work within these boundaries. But the good news is that there is a way to get an edge. This is something reserved for people that are always dealing with their system.

Hard Truth: What I am about to tell you, you will not be posted on any government website. The simple reason, if the government posted information on how to get an early USA visa appointment, too many people would simply try fitting into those requirements.

Hard Truth: Requesting assistance from the US Diplomatic Mission almost rarely works. You can try, and if you do, there’s one mistake you should avoid. Don’t plead your case on an emotional basis. Instead, use a logical argument.

Now the way the government’s calendar works is that each location is given a daily set of appointments; for example, Toronto gets 30 per day, but Ottawa gets only 15 per day.

These appointments are released, and government employees rarely share the times with the general public.

When the appointment is released, they are usually gone within minutes. Yes, I said minutes, if not seconds! That means 99.99% of any given week; this calendar is totally empty.

But there is one other kind of appointment that does get released; these are cancelled appointments. These are very special appointments because people that rebook appointments are usually people that have their appointments coming up in a day or two. This means that if you have an emergency trip and need a US visa fast, it is possible, very hard, but still possible, to get it an urgent appointment.

“Your objective is to find the daily released appointment associated with your city.”

Tip: Do the opposite of what everyone is doing when looking for appointments.

Tip: The best time to log in and look for appointments is 5 minutes before the hour or half hour. Now stay on the system for the next 10 minutes.

Example: Login from 6:55 am till 7:05 am.

Tip: The more you log in for these 10-minute intervals, the better your odds become.

If you can log in during the day every hour, or even better, every 30 minutes, your odds increase. If you can do this at night as well, even better, your odds increase even more. Do this as much as possible, and within a week, you will get an appointment.

There is one simple option: Pay someone to do this for you. I find this more suited for the following types of people:

  • Business (Regular or Urgent Appointments)
  • Truck Drivers
  • You tried the method above, and it’s too much work.
  • You must have an expedited appointment as soon as possible!
  • You are too busy, or you would rather just pay someone to handle this for you.

These companies have staff 24 hours a days and 7 days a week looking for appointments. Immigroup stopped offering this service in 2014 because it’s very labour-intensive, but we do have relationships with reputable companies that do offer this today.

If you would like us to put you in contact with this firm, simply fill out the below form, and they will be in touch with you shortly.

Tip: This is a good website that tracks US visa appointment times. Click here.

Preparing for Your Expedited Appointment

The U.S. government asks you to clearly and concisely describe your intentions regarding your visit to the country. The trick is to gather the necessary documentation and/or proof when preparing for your expedited appointment.


Here are some tips on how to do that:

  • Unfortunately, under American law, any non-immigrant visa applicant is viewed as potentially guilty of wanting to immigrate rather than just visit. You have to show reasons for wanting to return home when your visit ends. For example: you need proof of a home, other property, a job, a business, or family ties in your home country.
  • Be prepared to talk about your urgent situation and why you need an expedited appointment. See the reasons above that are considered legitimate reasons for needing an expedited appointment.
  • Keep your answers short and to the point to make a good impression on the immigration officer. Remember that your interview time will only be 2 or 3 minutes with an overworked officer who has tons of interviews to do that day.
  • Any documentary evidence should be clear and easy-to-read. Do not bring in lengthy written evidence.
  • It’s a fact that not all countries are treated equally. If you are a citizen of a country with economic or security problems, you will have a higher burden of proof to clear.
  • If you are denied, do NOT argue with the officer. Politely and positively ask them if they can give you a written reason why and also ask them for any suggestions on how to correct whatever reasons led to the refusal.


Frequently Asked Questions about Expedited US Visa Appointments

What other online resources can I use?

I tried the advice above, and I still did not get an appointment. The calendar is just empty. What do I do?

In most instances, limited visibility of appointments is due to users being new to the process and having logged in only a few times. To start seeing appointments, you typically need to log in multiple times over several days. If you’ve logged in consistently for several days, checking 4-6 times daily, and still don’t see any appointments, consider visiting our U.S. Visa Appointment Forum Community. There, you can check with community members to see if they’re experiencing similar issues.

What are the official reasons you can request an Emergency Appointment?

An emergency or expedited appointment is granted by US embassies and consulates on a case-by-case basis. However, priority is usually given to medical or humanitarian emergencies.


Can I walk into the US diplomatic mission and explain my situation? Would this help?

This might work in a Hollywood film, but don’t try this in real life. You’ll find out very quickly how tightly controlled a U.S. diplomatic mission is. The plain truth is you need an appointment to be able to explain your situation to someone who can (hopefully) help.

The history of Immigroup’s US visa appointment service.

Immigroup offered US visa appointments, urgent or regular, from 2009 to 2014. Back then, you had to pay $3.00 a minute to talk to a call center in Saskatchewan about getting an appointment directly from the government-sanctioned call center, or you had to find an appointment on the calendar.  We had an alternative flat fee and a guaranteed timeframe for your appointment.

We stopped offering this service directly because it’s a very labour-intensive service to maintain.

Today we forward this service to other agencies set up globally to handle this type of request.

What other online resources can I use that can help me?

Historic Data on waiting times in Canada. 
Immigroup’s Forum Community

Is it mandatory for everyone to attend a US visa application in person?

No. If you’re reapplying, you might be asked to submit your passport and forgo the interview. This usually occurs for Permanent Residents of Canada and those from countries the US considers low-risk. You won’t know if this applies to you until you apply. For more details on this topic, please refer to the provided link.

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