Case status request: GCMS or direct communication

When seeking to understand what is going on with your immigration status, one generally may use two options: GCMS (formerly CAIPS) request or direct contact of immigration authorities. Let us quickly look at these alternatives.

Immigration process could be complicating, challenging and difficult to understand at times. Unfortunately, introduction of Express Entry system has not made things easier as file processing after ITA (invitation to apply) is still hidden from applicants.


Option 1: Contacting IRCC (CIC) office

If you are looking to see why your case is delayed, or what is going on with it now, you may choose to communicate with IRCC office directly and hope that they would respond.  On average, local Canadian visa offices are committed to reply within 21 working day to incoming requests. Offices addresses could be found here:

The issue is, these replies would usually contain zero information about your file status. In most of cases, a request would either be ignored or responded with standard “wait, it is in process” message.

For applicants currently in Canada there is also an option of reaching CIC support line by phone and, after a couple hours waiting, same standard answer would be provided.


Option 2: GCMS (CAIPS) request

For each person seeking for answers there is an option of GCMS notes requests. These notes allow every Canadian visa applicant to read and analyze their case status same way and in the same format as immigration officers see it.

This tool has one major drawback: processing times. It could take about 30 days for the notes to arrive. In most of situations, IRCC tries to reduce this time, though.

How to request

If you would like to receive GCMS notes and want to understand your situation, GCMSnow team is ready to help. We have implemented an online system allowing each applicant to request their notes within just a few minutes. Simply click here and get your file ready!

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