So, I am confused and slightly angry.

I just booked my tourist visa appointment.

I got an appointment time of 08:00 EST.

My confusion is, is this time PM or AM? If it's PM, will the consulate at Toronto open at 8PM? Why aren't they mentioning that it's PM or AM?

When I add it to the calendar (in e-mail) it tells me it's PM, and when I see that calendar in Google Maps, it tells me it's AM. Like really, why is it so confusing :(

How do I deal with this kind of time?

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – JoErNanO
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 14:13
  • I don't know which calendar you're using but note that if the event was created by the person sending it in Gmail using google calendar that the event will show up in your current local time. So if you're in a different time zone as the meeting it will show up at whatever time 08:00 EST corresponds to in your local time.
    – Dason
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 16:00
  • Additionally, in the US, (on most clocks etc) (They will leave AM blank) as in, it will say 8:00 for AM and 8:00pm for PM (my watch has a small p in the corner for PM and nothing for AM)
    – Welz
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 18:45
  • That sounds like a bug in Google apps. No big deal but you are responsible for the true understanding. An embassy opening at 8pm would make no sense. Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 4:48
  • Why not just contact them and confirm?
    – Rowan
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 2:29

3 Answers 3


The leading zero in 08:00 implies that the time is given in a 24-hour clock, so it is not necessary to specify AM or PM. Your appointment will be at 8 in the morning.

Note that it is common, but usually erroneous, to specify EST during daylight saving time. Your appointment will be at 8 AM according to daylight time or standard time, whichever is in effect on the day in question.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – JoErNanO
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 14:13

Whenever I see leading zeroes in times without an AM/PM qualifier (e.g. "08:00") in the USA, they always refer to 24-hour time. This means that your appointment is almost certainly at 8 AM.

I would give them a quick call to be certain.

  • 25
    @zuif: I'm pretty sure your Google calendar is making a guess, which will turn out to be incorrect. Commented Nov 7, 2017 at 1:18
  • 9
    "they always refer to 24-hour time" -- this is far too strong a statement
    – ajd
    Commented Nov 7, 2017 at 5:28
  • 6
    @ajd Maybe always is a bit too strong, but nearly always is accurate enough. The leading zero will almost always be omitted if 24-hour time is not intended.
    – reirab
    Commented Nov 7, 2017 at 11:04
  • 4
    @Cronax not all senders of information recognize that responsibility or meet it effectively. And in this case, the cost of ineffective information transfer (for example, incorrect assumptions, no matter how reasonable) is borne by the receiver, regardless of what might think about theoretical responsibilities.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 8, 2017 at 3:29
  • 3
    @zuif : Google calendar is just guessing whether 08:00 means 8am or 8pm - and the calendar gets a lot of evening appointments, so it guesses "evening". It has no way of telling what the embassy means - but a quick thing about the likely working hours in Canada suggests it must be 8am. Commented Nov 8, 2017 at 12:50

I actually called the third party responsible for scheduling appointments, they told me that it's AM. They sounded pretty obvious about it, like, of course, it's AM. But I am like, you can't be sure unless it's explicitly 'stated' you know. I hope they do attach an AM or PM in the future to make it easier for both sides.

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