Canada is among the countries that are a dream destination for many for studies, work, tourism, etc. And, the country runs many visa programs to welcome people there. For studies, it has the top-class universities ranked among the top hundred universities of the world. For work, the country has the best organisations ideal for career growth.

For tourism, there are so many beautiful places to visit. It even has a spouse visa program to accompany your spouse while they work or study there. But, the process for visa application is a bit delicate. So, if you find that your application is stuck or refused, you can apply for GCMS notes. The notes are extremely useful in cases of refusal.

People often get study permit rejections or work visa rejections, and it is not always apparent about the reason for refusal. You can write a good letter of explanation after refusal. Or, you can write a better SOP for Canada Student visa after refusal or for any other visa program you may have applied for.

What are CAIPS notes?

CAIPS stands for Computer-Aided Immigration Processing System. CAIPS notes are electronic notes consisting of information on the visa applicants. The Canadian High Commission (CIC) documents the details of all the applicants. The details include data like the location of submission of visa application, assessment details, and the remarks by the visa officer on the application. These electronic notes are also a medium for the people applying for visas under any category, study, spouse, work, etc., to know about their visa application.

What are GCMS Notes?

GCMS stands for Global Case Management System. It is a software system that Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) use to process the applications related to citizenship and immigration. So, whichever visa program you may have used to apply for a visa- student, spouse, work, or tourist, the system keeps detailed records of your application file.

The details include the documents sent by you, notes from officers who assessed your file, the response from the IRCC regarding your application, among other details. The GCMS notes give you accurate details on how your application was reviewed by the visa officers. This allows the applicant to stay updated on the status of their application and take any proactive steps as and if required.

In 2010, GCMS notes replaced both the old systems, CAIPS and FOSS. So now, only the GCMS system is used and not CAIPS and FOSS.

Is there any difference between CAIPS and GCMS notes?

GCMS is the system that replaced the CAIPS system in 2010 to process immigration applications overseas. The CAIPS system is now used for database purposes only. IRCC is enabled to look for applications and information using GCMS in CAIPS.

Why are CAIPS or GCMS notes required?

The GCMS notes provide you with a deep insight into your application and the reason for its refusal. Following are a few cases to understand why CAIPS/GCMS notes are important:

Visa Application Refusal

CAIPS/GCMS notes are required in the case of your Canada visa refusal. In this case, you can refer to the CAIPS/GCMS notes to know the grounds on which your visa application has been rejected. The notes will provide proper reasoning for the rejection of your application, and you can get a clear understanding of where exactly your application was lacking.


In case the visa officers find any issue with your visa application, like they may need a particular detail or document. Then there’s an off-chance that you might get called for an interview to mitigate these issues by the Immigration and Citizenship Canada (CIC) or the Canadian High Commission.

In such a scenario, your CAIPS/GCMS notes will be a huge help to help you prepare better.

Visa Status Delay

You can access the CAIPS/GCMS notes to know the status of your visa application. This comes in handy, particularly in situations like when it has been a lot of time since you have been waiting for their response. Then you can apply for CAIPS/GCMS notes, and it will help you know where & why your application is delayed. You’ll also be able to see the response or remarks from the officer who reviewed your application.

Access Documents filed for the visa

While applying for a visa, you are required to submit certain documents and evidence. Your application must contain all the required details and evidence. In case your application has been refused, or you haven’t got a positive feedback, CAIPS/GCMS notes will help you understand what exactly led to that situation. The notes have all the information on your file, so you’ll know if your file is missing something.

Visa re-application

People reapplying after a Canada visa refusal should ensure that they are dodging the mistakes they made before. The CAIPS/GCMS notes will help you know where you had fallen short in your last application. The CAIPS/GCMS notes give a detailed reasoning about the reasons for refusing an application. So, be it documents, SOP, or any other reason, you would know, and while reapplying, you’ll work better on it.

Medical issues

You are sometimes required to submit your medical reports with your visa application to verify and confirm that you do not have any medical issues. Because if any medical issue is found, then it can delay the final status of your application. The GCMS notes will help you determine the exact problem in your application.

How to apply for GCMS notes?

GCMS notes are provided as they come under the Access to Information and Privacy Act (ATIP). ATIP is a federal law that allows the permanent residents of Canada to access information from any government department.

IRCC does not give the exact details about which stage the application has reached. You need GCMS to accurately track your application in case you need to prepare for any proactive measures or prepare for an interview. The following are the steps to apply for GCMS notes.

  • Only a permanent resident of Canada can request GCMS notes on your behalf. Therefore, you’d need a sponsor. If you’re already in Canada, you can ask for yourself and apply for free under the Privacy act.
  • If your sponsor is requesting on your behalf (principal applicant), you need to send them a consent form. You can send it via email, and they can apply for it under the Access to Information act.
  • The GCMS notes will take about 30 days to reach you. The document consists of about 30-300 pages, and you can find the detailed notes by the officer in the last 8-10 pages.

What to do after receiving GCMS notes?

Once you receive the GCMS notes, you can get to work to get a better understanding of the reason behind the delay or refusal of your visa. Then, you can draft a strong letter of explanation after visa refusal or your SOP for Canada study visa after refusal. For instance:

Rejection Reason:  Study visa refusal due to low scores

In your SOP or letter of explanation, you can add the following:

  • Show your improvement. Compare your low scores to the higher scores you got after that to show your commitment towards your studies. Reflect that you did not give up after a bad score and instead worked hard to get better. Also, mention your commitment to work even harder to improve.
  • Not all the subjects in our degree are not core course subjects. For example, if you’re studying computer science, then subjects like accounts are not core subjects of the course. So, you can show that you have got acceptable marks in this subject and your scores in the core subjects are up to the mark. Also, explain that the core subjects play a more vital role in making your career in your field.
  • If you have any personal reasons like medical issues, do not hesitate to mention that as well.


CAIPS notes were used before to get all the information on a visa applicant’s file. But today, that system is replaced by GCMS, and CAIPS is used as a database. That is the only difference between the two notes. GCMS notes come under the access to information and privacy act.

The CAIPS notes or GCMS notes are beneficial and constructive if a person wants to track the status of their visa application or know the exact reason for the refusal of the application. It will also help the person prepare better if they have to give an interview or take any other proactive steps to secure a visa.

Only a person who is a permanent Canadian citizen can apply for GCMS notes under the access to information act. So, the principal applicant needs a sponsor who is a permanent Canadian resident to get the GCMS notes. Also, the sponsor only needs to be a permanent resident to apply, and it is not necessary to be physically present in Canada to apply for the same.

The applicant is equipped with information to write a strong letter of explanation or SOP after refusal with the GCMS notes.

If you are looking for professional help for your refusal case, then you can get in touch with our team. Contentholic provides the best SOP writing services in India. Our Professional SOP writers are well-versed with the standards and formats of SOP as well as the refusal cases.