I thought I would do a quick E3 visa summary post around some of the additional information access points you have in regards to the US Consulate interview and the visa application process.
There are two information lines you can call within Australia according to the US Consulate;
One is a paid 1-902-941-641 number which is charged at $1.15 per minute which either has pre-recorded information that is no different to the information you can find on the US consulate website. In my opinion this aspect of the phone line is rather useless as the information given is fairly obvious for the most part or explicitly mentioned on the website and visapoint site about your application process, services and interview. This part is available 24 hours a day.
However within this you also have an option to be connected to a live consultant available between 8:00am and 7:00pm, Monday to Friday Australian Eastern Time. This now costs $3 per minute. If you are needing to call the US consulate this is definitely the more helpful part as you can ask your specific question particular if you have complex issues like administrative processing, visa reciprocity fees, etc. that are not articulated fully on the site.
The second information line is a 1-800-687-844 number which is essentially the same live consultant service as the above 1-902 number but no pre-recorded information. Thus it is only available in those hours listed above. However here you have to give credit card information and you are charged a flat $12 for the call.
I guess the best advice to give if you think you need to speak to a live person about your case then judge in your mind how long you think the conversation could be and opt for the number service accordingly that will give you the best value for money given one is a ongoing charge and the other is a flat rate.
However note they never really get specific on those calls so will not delve into the personal details of your case and are not say like a bank or credit card hotline where you can debate merits of the case or fees with them. They are more informational and procedural and they don’t deviate from that so don’t waste your money if that is your intention as you will only come away more frustrated.
Also they have a general info section you can read in regards to your US Consulate interview. So if you read our US Consulate interview post and this, it will certainly demistify the entire visa interview process for you and help you be fully prepared for the experience. It is a very sterile environment and process to say the least!
Finally you should be aware that if you are refused a visa under either the 221(g) Administrative Processing provision or the 214(b) non-satisfaction of home country ties or visa condition violations, that you do not then immediately subsequently attempt to enter the US on the Visa Waiver Program as you will most likely be refused entry at the US border and be sent home.