US Consulates and US Embassies provide US Visa stamping services for anyone seeking a US Visa. As part of the process to apply for US Visa, one needs to book an appointment for the same at these locations. Depending on the country and demand for getting a US Visa, there can be wait times for getting US visa appointments. To avoid long wait times and abuse of appointment the system, the US consulates limit the number of times someone can use the visa appointment fee for scheduling or changing appointments.
In this article, we will outline what does US visa appointment reschedule mean, how it varies by country, and how many times you can do the same with guidance on the same from official sources and communication with the visa appointment system support team.
What is rescheduling or changing US Visa Appointment?
If for some reason, you cannot attend your US Visa appointment, either in-person visa interview with the consular officer or for giving Biometrics, the visa appointment booking system provides an option to change the appointment date and time. This option to modify or change the visa appointment times is called the rescheduling option or change of appointments option. This change of appointment can be done for the in-person interview at US Consulate, for biometrics given at Visa Application Center (VAC), or for both.
How to reschedule or change US Visa appointment? Confirmation?
The appointment booking system at USTravelDocs.com, which points to CGI Federal website, provides the option to reschedule/ change or cancel the existing appointment. You can use the reschedule option for OFC Appointment which is for Biometrics collection and Visa interview appointment at Consulate. Let’s look at how it works.
If you are scheduling an appointment for the first time, you would see only the option that says “New Application / Schedule Appointment” as in the below screenshot on the left-hand side navigation. After you do this step, then you will see the re-schedule option.
Once you book the appointment and want to reschedule or change the same, you will have the option to reschedule, cancel, or even request an emergency appointment. To reschedule, you should click on the option in left-hand navigation that says “Reschedule Appointment”. It will clearly tell on this screen about your current appointment, when it is scheduled on the screen saying “Your current appointment is scheduled for …”.
Also, you would see on the top where it says, if it is for biometrics at OFC or for a visa interview. See the below screenshot that shows the same.
After you reschedule the appointment and it is successful, you would get a confirmation message that says “Your Appointment has been rescheduled”. See the below screenshot on how it looks.
You can also see the history of your US Visa appointment reschedules that you have done by clicking on the “Appointment History” in the left navigation, it will show you the complete list of your previous and current appointments with Appointment Date, Applicant Name, Consulate/ Post location, Visa Type and Status. See the below screenshot on how it looks.
How many times can I change my US Visa appointment?
The number of times you can change or reschedule the US Visa appointment totally varies by country. Depending on the staff, and wait times of appointments, you can re-schedule the visa appointments in the online system anywhere from 2 to 6 times.
The US Consulates or US Embassy in a particular country defines how many times you can schedule an appointment with a Visa application fee receipt (MRV fee receipt). We will look at the number of times for some of the common countries like India, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, and others.
How many times can I reschedule my US Visa appointment in India?
You can apply for US Visa appointment in India at 4 US consulates ( Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata) and 1 US embassy (New Delhi). The appointment booking system is managed by USTravelDocs and CGI Federal website. The USTravelDocs.com India Appointments scheduling page, does not tell the exact number of times, you can schedule or reschedule your US Visa appointment. All it tells is that you have a limited number of times you can reschedule. See below screenshot.
As the number of times, you can schedule or reschedule is not available for the public, one of our blog readers (anonymous – thanks to the user) reached out the USTravelDocs CGI Federal customer service to enquire the same.
As per them, in India, using the MRV Fee receipt (Visa fee receipt), you can schedule visa appointments up to 5 times. These 5 times include the initial appointment scheduling. What it means is that you can re-schedule or change the appointment for 4 times after your initial appointment. See below screenshot of the exact email inquiry and the response from them.
Many of our users in social media groups confirmed the same that we can re-schedule or change appointments only 4 times after the initial setup. If you want to confirm again, you can also reach out to US Consulates in India using their email, phone for double confirmation.
One more thing, the system would tell you, if you cannot reschedule anymore. Let’s look at that now.
Update on Number of reschedules in India by Head of US Consulates
On September 29th, 2022 during Facebook Live Q & A, the Head of US Consulates in India hinted that they may reduce the number of reschedules possible from 3 to 2 as in India as many are doing too many rescheduling of appointments.
Based on the past data, and confirmation from USTravelDocs and our users’ experiences, we can assume that the Head of US Consulates in India probably meant changing the total number of reschedules from 4 to less than four. We may see it go down to three or two, we do not know it yet for sure. Some users have been telling they did only two or three reschedules and they see the message that exceeded the total number of reschedules, but it is not fully confirmed. We will keep you posted on how this would look based on user experiences.
Below is the actual screenshot from the Facebook live Q &A Session
Update from USTravelDocs from Oct 2022 – No Clarity on How many times
We have reached out to USTravelDocs Support to clarify on the number of times someone can reschedule the US Visa appointments in India. Unlike before, they have not given a number, all they say is “you can reschedule the maximum time the system allows to schedule/ re-schedule”. So, it is unclear how many times, you can really reschedule now. Despite emailing them multiple times, all of them resulted in the same response as in the below screenshot.
We have reached out US Embassy as well after the below experience, let’s look at that.
Update from US Embassy in New Delhi – Oct 2022 – How many times
We have reached out to the US Embassy in New Delhi after the above response from USTravelDocs Support team to confirm the total number of times, you can reschedule your appointment in the portal. They confirmed that you can re-schedule your appointment 4 times before you have to pay MRV Fee again. Below is their exact response
“Please note that if the applicant has cancelled/ rescheduled the appointments more than four times, then the visa fees get used at the last attempt and the receipt gets locked”
From the above, it is pretty clear that you can reschedule only 4 times and if you exceed that your receipt gets locked and you need to pay MRV Fee again. Below is the screenshot of the email response from them on October 28th, 2022
At least from the US Embassy side, it is clear that you can reschedule 4 times, but from the USTravelDocs support side, for some reason, they’re not giving a concrete answer. Please plan accordingly and use the total number of reschedule chances wisely.
If you have an issue, reach out to US Embassy in New Delhi and use that to email the support team to get your changes, if they have been reduced by mistake.
What happens if US Consulate Cancels appointment? Do I lose a chance?
If the US Consulate or Embassy cancels the appointment for whatever reason it may be, they will waive the scheduling chance for the cancellation. This means they will not add up the total rescheduling count. Below is the screenshot of the confirmation from the USTravelDocs customer service on the same that says they will waive that chance.
When you fill DS-160 form, you might have selected a Consulate location for an interview, but often times you may end up booking an appointment at a different location. In that case, you may wonder, how can you update DS 160 location after submission. For full info on that, read Can you update DS-160 location after submission? US Dept of State Guidance
How would I know, if I have used all my chances for appointment re-scheduling?
The system will give a message saying that you have used up all your chances to reschedule. This way you would know that you cannot re-schedule anymore with your current MRV fee receipt. You will see a message that says “If you cancel this appointment, then you will have exceeded the limit of appointments canceled, and will not be able to schedule another appointment until another MRV fee is paid”. The text looks like in the below screenshot.
Update: From mid-2022, some users have reported that the message “If you cancel this appointment, then you will have ….” is misleading and there seems to be one more attempt left for you after you see this message. This is not clear and you should check with UStravelDocs Support before you cancel your appointment. Below is the most recent response from support
How many times can I reschedule my US Visa appointment in the Philippines?
The demand for US Visa appointments is much higher and there are fewer locations in the Philippines. So, US Embassy in Manila has restricted the total appointments you can schedule to 5 times with one visa fee payment receipt (MRV Visa Fee receipt).
You can schedule the initial appointment once and then you are given the option to reschedule the appointment four times. If you cancel your fourth rescheduled appointment, you will be asked to wait for 90 days. Below is the screenshot of official guidance from USTravelDocs Philippines Website
How many times do Japan Consulates allow rescheduling of US Visa Appointments?
Japan : In Japan, you can reschedule your US Visa appointment up to 6 times. If you exceed the 6 times, then you need to pay new MRV fee. Check below screenshot from USTravelDocs.com website of Japan.
How many times can you reschedule US Visa appointments in Thailand?
In Thailand, you can reschedule your US Visa appointment for a maximum of 3 times. If you exceed the 3 times, then you need to pay a new MRV fee. Check below screenshot from USTravelDocs.com website of Thailand.
As you can see, every country has different rules. The number of times you can re-schedule your US Visa appointment varies. So, you must reach out to the US Consulate or USTravelDocs CGI federal support team to get the correct answer.
What was your experience re-scheduling your appointment in your country ? Add your comments, thoughts in comments.