What is CAIPS & GCMS?

CAIPS is an acronym for Computer Assisted Immigration Processing System. It is the computer system used by Citizenship and Immigration Canada for application processing outside Canada. Information is entered in the system from application forms and supporting documentation submitted by applicants for immigrant and visitor visas, returning residence permits and student and employment authorizations.

The CAIPS computer system has been superseded by a new applicant tracking system called GCMS (Global Case Management System). GCMS is being rolled out to visa offices in a phased manner and we make sure that we always request the latest format available for your visa office. (As of June 2010, all new visa files outside Canada will be processed through the GCMS.) To learn more and review a sample GCMS file please go to

Your CAIPS/GCMS file will have valuable information on the processing of your application. CAIPS/GCMS is NOT same as the "e-Client", which only provides limited information on the status of your application. To see an e-client sample, click here

To learn more about CAIPS/GCMS click here

Why is this useful?

Obtaining a copy of your CAIPS/GCMS notes can be beneficial in the following circumstances;

You have received your Acknowledgment of Receipt (AOR)

Even if you recently submitted your Immigration application, the CAIPS/GCMS file will have useful information. After you receive an AOR the CAIPS/GCMS file is updated with a preliminary points assessment. You can use this points assessment to verify that the visa office is interpreting your application in the way that you had intended. If, for instance, the visa office has computed your points score differently, then you have an opportunity to provide more documentation BEFORE it is assessed. Once the file is assessed you might have to wait 12-15 months to correct any misunderstandings. The CAIPS/GCMS file will also have an indication as to when the formal assessment will occur - known as the bring forward date

Bring Forward Date

You have been selected for an interview

The most common reason applicant's request their CAIPS/GCMS file is when they have been selected for an interview. The CAIPS/GCMS file will normally have information as to why the applicant is being interviewed.

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How do I get it?

Go to the section Services to learn more or Download the CAIPS/GCMS Order Kit 

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Additional Services

We are pleased to offer Additional Services to assist in requesting the following types of files;

  • Citizenship File
  • FOSS Notes
  • Medical File
  • Download your CAIPS file

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  • Download your CAIPS/GCMS file in PDF format. Details on downloading sent via e-mail once processing is complete.