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What are GCMS notes
GCMS (Global Case Management System) is Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC’s) system used to process applications for citizenship and immigration, tourist visas, student visas and visas under any other program. The system contains a detailed record of each applicant’s file, including correspondence from and to IRCC, documents received from the applicant, detailed notes from the officers reviewing the file among others. The GCMS notes are the only accurate way of providing an applicant with the in-depth view of his file on the IRCC system, thus enabling the applicant to be well informed of the status, or take pro-active steps as needed.
The GCMS notes are issued under the Access to Information and Privacy Act (ATIP). ATIP is a federal law and Canadian citizens and/or Permanent residents can get access to information from any government department under this law. If you are not a Citizen or a Permanent Resident, you can order your GCMS notes as per the details mentioned below.
Since the online IRCC system does not accurately inform as to which stage the application is at. And therefore it is important to keep a track of the application so that corrective steps can be taken or preparation for an interview can be done. To track your application the only accurate way is through the GCMS notes.
How to apply GCMS / ATIP notes.
Only a person who is in Canada can request the notes. Get your sponsor to request on PA’S behalf!
If principal applicant is in Canada, he/she can request for himself and apply for free under Privacy Act.
If the sponsor is requesting it on behalf of a Principal applicant, you need a consent form from PA and $5 fee. You can receive consent form from spouse via email and upload it. Apply for it Access to Information Act.
It takes about 30 days to receive by email. It is a document that can consist of several pages ranging from 30-300 pages. Most of the detailed officer notes are found on the last 8-10pages.
Link is here
Section A – Principal Applicant details
Section B – Sponsor’s details
Section C – Sponsor’s details
IRCC Link on How to make a request under Access to Information Act
In above link, click Apply online, choose English, hit Next and accept the terms & conditions.
Next enter the below details:
Department: Citizenship and Immigration Canada
*NOTE* You do not have to be physically present in Canada to order your GCMS NOTES; However, you need to be either a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident in order to request notes on Applicant’s behalf!
There are several 3rd party websites that offer this service for a small additional fee. In this case you have to give consent for them to obtain the notes on your behalf if you do not have any relative or friend in Canada who can apply for these notes on your behalf.