How to apply for your Canadian Immigration GCMS Notes

Posted on June 25, 2023 at 08:00 am EDT

A hammer and mallet placed on top of a laptop.

The longest part of the Canadian immigration process for many applicants typically comes in the form of application processing time, the period of time after one files an application, while they wait for a decision. This stage can extend for an extended period of time, however, there is one way applicants can get an update on the status of their application: by requesting a Note from the Global Case Management System (GCMS).

Below is a guide on how applicants can request a GCMS note to learn more about their application.

Find out if you are eligible for Canadian immigration

Step 1 – Understanding what GCMS Notes are

GCMS notes They are an Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) request form, the Canadian equivalent of a Freedom of Information Act request in the United States.

Official records maintained by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) are noted by GCMS and are an essential part of the immigration application process. These notes contain information about you and your application that is stored in IRCC’s Global Case Management System, the program used to collect and process applications within the department. GCMS notes may contain information including (but not limited to): application processing details, details of the officer processing your application, notes from immigration officers, assessments from visa officers, and any other information that IRCC has on you.

Due to the technical definition of GCMS notes as an ATIP request, organizations such as IRCC and the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) are legally required to respond within 30 days of receiving the request. However, this period may be extended by virtue of specific circumstances.

Step 2: Assess if you can submit a GCMS note yourself

Anyone who has an application with IRCC and/or CBSA, and whose application has passed the R-10 completion stage (more on that later) can potentially apply for a GCMS.

However, to obtain a GCMS note, you must first submit an ATIP application, under the Access to Information Act. To submit an ATIP, one must be:

  • A Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • A person residing in Canada.

Applicants outside of Canada can still apply for GCMS notes by using a representative who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, or a corporation in Canada. This representative will then apply on behalf of the applicant for an ATIP and will need to complete the Consent for a request form for access to information and personal data.

Step 3 – Determine when to request your GCMS notes

Individuals requesting a GCMS note are encouraged to wait until their application passes what is known as an R-10 completeness check. Here, immigration officers determine if all the necessary documents (outlined in the “document checklist” for each specific application) are included in the application at the time of application.

Once this stage is passed, applicants can technically request their GCMS notes at any stage of the waiting process, although it is generally recommended to wait until sufficient time has passed so that more comprehensive notes are available, giving a clearer picture of the outcome. progress of your application.

Step 4: Gather the required information

Before submitting your application, please gather the necessary information to ensure a smooth process. You will need details such as your full name, date of birth, address, application number, Unique Client Identifier (UCI), application number and any other relevant identification numbers provided by IRCC during the application process.

Step 5: Complete the application

To request your GCMS marks, you have two different methods depending on whether you reside in Canada or not:

  • Submit an Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) request directly to IRCC; either
  • (If you are outside of Canada) Use the services of a trusted immigration consultant or lawyer who can handle the application on your behalf.

Requests for a GCMS note can be submitted (either by the lead applicant or an authorized representative) can be made either online or by mail through the official IRCC channels.

Step 6 – Pay the processing fee (if applicable)

The fee for an ATIP application (and by extension a GCMS note) is $5 CAD, whether submitted online or by mail. If the application is submitted by mail, a check or money order in the amount of the fee must be sent with the application.

Step 7: Wait for the response

Once your application and payment have been submitted, another waiting period may follow. If IRCC has not responded to your request within 30 days, IRCC recommends following up with the department’s ATTIP division, who can be contacted. online or by mail.

Step 8 – Review and Analyze Your GCMS Notes

Once you receive your notes from GCMS, please review them carefully. Pay attention to any observations, assessments or decisions made by the immigration officers and any information related to the officers themselves. These notes can provide valuable information about the progress and status of your application, helping you understand any potential issues or areas that require attention.

Step 9 – Seek professional advice (if necessary)

If you encounter complex information or have concerns about the content of your GCMS notes, it is advisable to seek the professional advice of an immigration consultant or lawyer. They can help interpret the notes accurately and provide guidance on your next steps. The Cohen Immigration Law Firm has over 60 years of experience operating within the Canadian immigration space and can help you request more information about submitted applications.

Find out if you are eligible for Canadian immigration


Leave a Comment