Monitoring a website for changes to visa appointment availability puts you in an advantageous position.

Anyone that has ever applied for a visa and wanted to schedule an interview appointment remembers and knows the struggle of refreshing the page continuously, waiting for a new session to become available. The battle became even more real during the pandemic when embassies started giving out fewer appointments that quickly filled up, leaving the rest empty-handed and impatient. As someone who has recently gone through this process – and was eagerly waiting for new appointments to become available – I was exploring ways in which website monitoring could help me be the first one to be alerted of these changes. Here’s what I have found:

1. Manually monitoring a website is always an option

This is probably everyone’s first option – and we understand why! As soon as you are done applying for a visa, you are taken to another page where you need to schedule the interview. If there is immediately a free spot – you are incredibly lucky! If there is no time available, you just tell yourself that you’ll come back later and check it out … repeat this a couple of times, and the habit is created. Embassies usually release new time slots early in the morning, so if you are sticking with this option, make sure you add this step to your morning routine. Pro tip: look for and follow social media accounts that might post about the newly added availability on their feed.

2. You can hire someone else to automate monitoring of a website for you

You might be too busy to add another step to the morning routine (and again, we completely understand!). The beauty of the world wide web is that, whatever problem you encounter, there is always someone out there that can help you. With that in mind, another idea to explore would be crowdsourcing marketplaces – providing an on-demand human workforce, on the internet you can find individuals willing to do this task at their convenience. While some people will work as paid freelancers, others might offer to monitor websites for you voluntarily. Here are some of our suggestions to check out:

3. What about using a monitoring tool to help you?

In present times, website monitoring is used broadly and for different purposes – from monitoring competition to checking on ticket sales – you can monitor just about anything that comes to your mind! So, having a proper monitoring tool that would alert you when there is a new availability on the embassy website would undoubtedly put you in an advantageous position among the rest of the folks. On top of that, with the uncertainty visa appointments bring and travel restrictions due to COVID-19, this could help you ease your worries a bit.

Here is a Step-by-Step Guide for Monitoring Embassy Website(s) on ChangeTower:

You can easily set up monitor(s) to ensure you’re alerted when there is new visa appointment availability:

  • Step 1: Create the monitor by entering the web URL where the announcement will be posted
  • Step 2: Set your notification criteria. Note: ChangeTower’s Visual Monitoring Tool is applicable here. It allows you to monitor the sub-section of the page that you know will change when new appointments are released. This helps to prevent you from getting alerted of other changes on the page that aren’t related to the appointment availability.
  • Step 3: Add user actions – appointments are usually hidden behind a login – use ChangeTower’s manual actions to enter your username and password and/or add any necessary clicks to monitor the desired part
  • Step 4: Receive email and/or SMS notifications when appointments are released
  • Step 4: Go to the web portal and schedule your appointment!