If you are waiting longer for a visitor visa, spouse visa, study visa, or permanent residency from Canada, or if it’s been refused, you may hear about the term “GCMS” notes.
In simple language, GCMS is a file where officials can store all information regarding your visa application file and even your interview notes.
In this article, we will answer How to apply for GCMS/CAIPS notes and the following essential questions:
How long GCMS takes, how much GCMS notes cost, and how to apply for GCMS notes online?
What are GCMS Notes?
GCMS is a global case management system used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to process immigration applications.
GCMS is designed to process immigration files and provide up-to-date information about visa application status or refusal details.
Why should you request GCMS notes?
- Let you know the current status of your immigration file.
- You can cross-check your file representative is doing his or her job.
- Provide information to prepare you for the interview and gather documents.
- You will get complete details about your visa refusal. If you decide to apply again, this information will help you improve your application.
When should you apply for GCMS notes?
There is no best or worst time to apply the GCMS notes; it all depends on the type and stage of the application. There is no limit to how many times you can obtain GCMS notes.
In the following, we provide some points that may help you decide the best time to order your GCMS notes.
- If you are waiting longer than expected for your immigration file result, you should apply for GCMS notes to know the reason for the delay.
- If your application is refused, you should apply for GCMS notes to know the reason for the denial.
- For Permanent Residence applications, you can apply for GCMS notes after your application crosses the R10 completeness check stage. In the R10 completeness check stage, the officer checks that all documentation and information are complete. Usually, this stage is done within one month of applying to IRCC, and then you can apply in the second or third month.
Who can apply for GCMS notes?
- GCMS Notes is provided under the Access to Information and Privacy Act (ATIP). So, only Canadian citizens or permanent residents can access information from any government department under the ATIP federal law.
- If the principal applicant is in Canada, then he or she can apply for himself or herself and apply for free under the Privacy Act.
- If the principal applicant is outside of Canada, then the sponsored person can request GCMS notes on behalf of the principal applicant. But you need a consent form from PA, which costs $5.
The consent form link is here.
Section A for Principal applicant details
Section B for Sponsor’s details
Section C for Sponsor’s details
Note: You can order GCMS notes on behalf of an applicant from anywhere worldwide except if you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
Steps to apply Online for GCMS Notes:
Step 1: Navigate on IRCC Link (Click here) to request the Access to Information Act
Step 2: Click Apply Online, Select the English language, then hit the Next button to accept the terms and conditions.
Step 3: Next, enter the requester’s information:
- Department: Citizenship and Immigration Canada
- Family Name:
- Given Name(s)(First Name):
- Mailing Address:
- Telephone No:
- E-mail Address:
- Requesting information on your own behalf? Yes or NO
- Category of Requester: Member of the Public
- The right of Access: Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada or an Individual or Corporation currently present in Canada
- Method of Delivery: E-mail
- Act & Record Selection
- Act: Privacy Act / Access to Information Act – select this for GCMS notes for PA residing outside Canada.
- The language of records: English
- Type of Records: Case Files
- Requesting information for:
- Surname (Family Name):
- Given Name(s) (First Name):
- Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD):
- Client ID Number (####-####):
- Type of Documents: Notes in Electronic File
- File Type: Immigration file: permanent residence ( You can also request for Sponsorship File if SA is delayed )
- File Number:
- Attach documents: Proof of access ( PR card, visa doc, or passport ), Consent Form. Make payment ($5) and submit.
Steps to apply Offline for GCMS Notes:
To request GCMS notes, provide the following documents:
A letter represents the request for GCMS notes under the Access to Information Act.
Step 3: A $5.00 Canadian check or money order made payable to the Receiver General for Canada.
Step 4: Mail all requested forms, supporting documents, and payment to the following address:
Access to information and Privacy Division
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canda
What are the charges for GCMS notes?
Applying for GCMS notes costs $5, whether you apply own or with the help of relatives, family, or friends. Third-party websites charge additional fees for the same service.
How long does it take to receive the GCMS notes?
IRCC may process your request within 30 days. In some cases, waiting times may be extended for limited and specific reasons, as mentioned in Section 9 of the Access to Information Act and Section 15 of the Privacy Act.
How to read GCMS notes?
GCMS notes are mostly received on several pages, ranging from 30 to 300. But the officer’s detailed notes mention only the last 8 to 10 pages.
Are GCMS notes helpful?
Yes, it gives you valuable insight into the decision-making process, which helps you understand the rejection reason.
Are GCMS and CAIPS notes the same?
CAIPS is called a “Computer Assisted Immigration Processing System,” which was used in the past by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to process visa applications outside of Canada. Now, the GCMS system has superseded the CAIPS system.