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What are GCMS Notes & Why you may Need it



To get more in-depth information about the status and progression of your application, you can request GCMS Notes from the IRCC.

GCMS Notes stands for "Global Case Management System" and they are an electronic system used by the Government of Canada to manage and process visa and immigration applications. The GCMS Notes are an applicant's detailed immigration case file that includes correspondence to and from IRCC, documents received by the applicant, detailed notes from the officer reviewing the case, and other relevant information such as the officer's placeholder code.


Sample of a Section of the GCMS Note


An applicant's GCMS Notes are issued under the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act. This federal law allows any person to access information about them from the federal government.


Who Needs Their GCMS Notes?

There are three categories of people who would need GCMS notes

  1. Applicants who have been refused before submitting a re-application or exploring Judicial Review

  2. Applicants whose applications have exceeded average processing times

  3. Applicants looking to retrieve copies of documents submitted in previous applications to Canadian Immigration.



How do you get your Notes?

Only certain people are eligible to request GCMS notes and they are

  • Either a Canadian citizen or permanent resident; or

  • An individual or Corporation within Canada.

If you are outside of Canada and need your GCMS notes, we can assist with the request and review of these notes on your behalf.




As your representative will apply for an Access to Information Act request on your behalf.

In order to apply for your notes, you must have your

  1. Application number.

  2. Unique Client Identifier (UCI)

  3. Passport Number

  4. Signed Consent Form

If all you have is the passport number and the date of the application submission, we may still be able to retrieve it but it may take longer.


The difference between the two numbers is that the application number is application-specific, and the UCI number is client-specific.



How Long Does it Take to Receive Them?


IRCC has 30 civil days to respond to an ATIP request. However, this period can be extended for a reasonable amount of time if:

  • The request is for a large number of records, or

  • The request requires a search through a large number of records, and meeting the original time limit would interfere with the government institution's operations unreasonably.


GCMS Notes typically take 30 - 40 days to arrive but in our experience, we have seen it delay for up to 6 months.


Why are They Important for Refused Applicants?


Obtaining GCMS Notes can provide applicants with a valuable advantage, as they contain personal notes from the Visa Officer who refused the application, offering more detailed insights into the reasons for refusal. By gaining a better understanding of why their application was refused, applicants can develop a more strategic approach when re-applying in the future.


If you have been refused, and considering a re-application, our Visa Refusal Management Service would be of great benefit to you.


If you need details of previous applications submitted or your application has exceeded processing time, our GCMS Note Request Service is available to you.


Your journey to Canada is a huge investment, don't leave your application status up to chance.


1 Comment


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