Canadian Immigration News

How to Request GCMS Notes for Your Canadian Visa Application

5 minute read
"Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) use the Global Case Management System (GCMS) to process immigration and citizenship applications. The GCMS notes are detailed notes on an applicant’s file, including all the correspondence from and to IRCC, documents submitted by the applicant, detailed notes from the officer reviewing the case file at different stages."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Jul 14, 2021
canadian flag eyeglasses and pen with words spelled gcms notes my visa source
Begin your immigration journey now
Click and fill out a free online assessment to see how we can help you. It takes less than 1 minute to fill out.
Free Assessment
Call and speak to our team, so that they can book a time with a licensed immigration professional who will answer all your questions.
Call Us Now
Recommended For You
Author info:

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) use the Global Case Management System (GCMS) to process immigration and citizenship applications. The GCMS notes are detailed notes on an applicant’s file, including all the correspondence from and to IRCC, documents submitted by the applicant, detailed notes from the officer reviewing the case file at different stages. 

The GCMS is very important as they provide invaluable information about the current and future processing of your Canadian visa applications. Getting a copy of these notes helps you stay up-to-date on the status of your application and take any required action to improve your application to increase the chances of success. 

Who Can Have Access to the GCMS Notes?

You can apply under the Access to Information Act, also known as the Privacy Act to access your GCMS notes. This act allows you to access any information about yourself possessed by the federal government or IRCC. 

To apply for GCMS notes, you must be either a Canadian citizen or permanent resident at the time of your request. If you aren’t either, then a representative who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident will be required to apply on your behalf. 

What Is the Process to Apply to Get GCMS Notes?

You must show your application number to apply for GCMS notes. This number is provided to you by the IRCC once a case file for your visa application has been made. If you have submitted multiple applications, then you will have multiple application numbers. 

Your application number includes one letter based on the visa program you applied for, followed by a 9 digit number. 

For example, if you have applied for economic immigration programs under the Express Entry system, then your application number will begin with E, followed by numbers such as E123456789. 

  • For the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), your application number will begin with EP, for example, EP123456789
  • For study permit applications, application numbers begin with S, for example, S123456789
  • For work permit applications, application numbers begin with W, for example, W123456789
  • For temporary resident visas (TRV), visitor records, or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTa) applications, the application number begins with V, for example, V123456789 
  • For Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) applications, application numbers begin with D, for example, D123456789
  • For citizenship applications, your application number will begin with C, for example, C123456789
  • For Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds consideration applications, your application number will begin with H, for example, H123456789
  • For refugee applications, your application number will start with L, for example, L123456789
  • For refugee resettlement applications, your application number will start with G, for example, G123456789
  • For rehabilitation applications, your application number will start with R, for example, RHB123456789
  • For removal orders, your application number will start with N, for example, N123456789

IRCC may request your Unique Client Identifier (UCI) number for more reliable processing of your request. However, it is not mandatory. You receive a UCI only after the processing of your application has started. 

Unlike an application number, you will only receive one UCI even if you have more than one application. A UCI usually has 8 digits separated by a hyphen, for example, 01234-4567 or 10 digits separated by two hyphens, for example, 01-1234-5678. 

How to Apply for GCMS Notes?

Choose Your Notes: 

You can use your application number and the UCI to find your GCMS notes. You will be required to pay a certain fee to access those notes.

Complete the Consent Form: 

You will be required to fill out a form including information regarding your application number, UCI / Client ID, and type of visa program as this helps the IRCC to accurately process your request. You can find your UCI, also known as Client Identification Number (Client ID) on any official document issued to you by IRCC. 

Receiving the GCMS Notes: 

You will receive your GCMS notes in your mail if you applied electronically within 30 days of applying. If you also requested documents with your GCMS notes, then your request will take 40 calendar days to be processed.

What Are the Benefits of Getting GCMS Notes?

Clear Reasons for Rejection

GCMS notes will help you clarify and understand the reasons for refusal of your visa application. This is very useful when reapplying for a certain visa program as it helps you avoid initial mistakes.

Checking Your Application Status: 

Requesting GCMS notes is a good way to check the status of your application if the processing time is taking longer than usual. GCMS notes will disclose which immigration department is currently processing your application.

Obtaining Copies of the Documents: 

If you request documents submitted at the time of application along with your GCMS notes, then it will help greatly during reapplying for the visa program as you’ll get all the documents you need.

When Should You Request GCMS Notes?

There is an R10 completeness check stage for Canadian permanent resident applications. The Regulation 10 (R10) stage of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) is a stage of processing of the application where all the documentation and information is complete.

This stage is reached within one month of applying to the IRCC. The perfect time to request GCMS notes for your permanent residence application will be 2 or 3 months after this stage has been completed.

You can also request GCMS notes after a decision has been made by the IRCC on your temporary or permanent residence application. If your application was refused for some reason, then the GCMS notes will also include the exact and detailed reasons for refusal.

How Long Does the IRCC Take to Respond to GCMS Requests?

IRCC is mandated by the Access to Information and Privacy Act to respond to GCMS requests for information within 30 days. However, it is normal for IRCC to take up to 40 days to respond to these requests given the average processing time and the workload on different departments, and the number of pending requests. Requesting GCMS notes will not affect your visa application. 

Questions About Immigration? My Visa Source Has Answers.
My Visa Source stays updated on all immigration news and announcements across Canada and the United States, including sudden changes in government law. Our legal solutions help individuals, families, businesses and investors from North America and around the globe.
Get The Personalized Help That You Need and Deserve!
Securing personalized legal help is quick and simple. Begin with our one-minute online immigration assessment form or call us toll-free at 1-888-509-1987. Book a personal consultation to speak with an award-winning immigration lawyer either in person, over the telephone, or through a video conference. We're open 6am-9pm PST & EST, 7 days a week and are ready for in person, phone, and video consultations.
Canadian Flag
Latest Articles from Immigration Magazine