While waiting for a decision to be made on your Canada immigration application, you can get an update on its status by requesting a Global Case Management System (GCMS) note, through the Access to Information Act (ATI).

GCMS Notes are the notes prepared by government officers to in the GCMS, which is the software used by the government of Canada to process applications.

They include complete records of visa application, case history and notes created by assessing officers.

The file can be requested by those applying for temporary residence, as soon as their application has surpassed the R10 completeness check. The current processing time for GCMS Notes is 20 days, as IRCC and CBSA need to respond to ATIP requests in 30 days of request.

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The period in question can be stretched for a further 30 days in certain circumstances.

The process to request a GCMS note is to firstly submit an ATIP request, for which one either needs to be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, or an individual residing within Canada.

Those from outside Canada can also apply for GCMS Notes through a representative who is Canadian or a Canada PR, or a Canadian corporation, and will apply for an ATIP and will complete the Consent for an Access to Information and Personal Information Request Form on the applicant’s behalf.

Details required to submit your request include your full name, address, date of birth, application number, Unique Client Identifier (UCI), and other ID numbers.

If you are in Canada, you can submit an ATIP request directly to IRCC. If not, you need to rely on an immigration lawyer or consultant to handle the request on your behalf.

The application can be submitted via mail or online.

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The cost of GCMS notes is $19, while the cost of copies of GCMS notes an copies of your uploaded documents is $35.

Requesting electronic notes from CBSA would cost $25.

The file will be sent to your provided email address in a password-protected PDF.

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