What is GCMS Notes, is it the same as CAIPS Notes and/or FOSS Notes?

GCMS Notes refers to the Global Case Management System. It is a centralized system maintained by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA), and other departments of the same authority to record information and/or keep accurate track of all visa processing/categories.

It contains detailed information of the respective application assessed at each processing stage by the Canadian immigration or visa officer when reviewing an application and its supporting documents in its entirety.

For applicants, having access to the GCMS Notes by requesting it, is the only way to have the know-how of an accurate view of the ongoing application status or to understand how to address the visa officer’s refusal concerns.

CAIPS Notes refers to the Computer Assisted Immigration Processing System which is now commonly known as GCMS Notes. Both functions serve the same purpose especially for applications made from outside Canada.

Foss Notes refers to the Field Operations Support System which also serves the same purpose as the GCMS/CAIPS Notes but is only used for visa applications made from within Canada.

The GCMS Notes can only be requested with a correct and valid application number assigned to the visa application by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) whilst the UCI number is optional.

Absolutely No! The GCMS is a Central database system that allows the information of all applicants in the respective visa categories to be stored in a single system formation by the visa officers or visa processing offices around the globe. 

As instructed by IRCC, a person requesting the notes directly from IRCC must be a Resident, Citizen, or Corporate body in Canada. This is why GCMSWriters.com offers this service to help applicants retrieve their GCMS Notes.

Applicants who find themselves in the following situation should be swift in requesting the GCMS Notes.

Category I

It gives better clarity and confidence in filing for a re-application because it provides proper and detailed insights on the visa officer’s concern(s) and how to address it.

Category II

Instead of staying in limbo on what current activity is ongoing with an application; requesting for the GCMS Notes helps track the processes, stages, and status of the application. It as well helps to know the primary and secondary visa office handling an application.

Category III

On most occasions, there might be delays either in the processing of an application or updating a forwarded supporting/additional information/document(s) i.e. upfront e-medical slip or other documents containing personal and sensitive information. Thus, requesting the Notes helps to understand the cause of the delay and if a forwarded information/document was successfully received.

Category IV

The visa officer might not swiftly communicate an additional document request to applicants. With the Notes, the revelation becomes known.


The same also applies to medical update delays especially if the medical test result isn’t satisfactory. The visa officer may want the applicant to undergo further testing, but might not immediately communicate it to the concerned applicant.


If a visa officer requests for an applicant to appear for a possible in-person interview, and such applicant was proactive enough to have requested for the GCMS Notes, the discovery will be known beforehand. This may be an edge to gather relevant information/document(s) and how well to prepare in responding to the questions of the interviewing visa officer.

It takes about 30 – 35 days. However, in some exceptional cases like backlogs from IRCC, it could exceed the stipulated time frame. On some occasions, it could come early, less than the stipulated time frame.