What is GCMS?
GCMS (Global Case Management System) is Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC’s) system used to process applications for citizenship and immigration. The system contains a detailed record of each applicant’s file, including correspondence from and to IRCC, documents received from the applicant, detailed notes from the officers reviewing the file among others. The GCMS notes are the only accurate way of providing an applicant with the in-depth view of his file on the IRCC system, thus enabling the applicant to be well informed of the status, or take pro-active steps as needed.
Under what law is the GCMS notes issued?
The GCMS notes are issued under the Access to Information and Privacy Act. AIPT is a federal law and any person can get access to information about him from the federal government. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/atip/requests-atip.asp
Does ordering GCMS slow the processing of the file or affect adversely?
The answer is NO. Ordering GCMS is your right and its does not affect your file or your case at all. On the contrary, in some cases since the officer working on your file has to review your file before it is sent out, does update documents received from other agencies and helps your file move forward.
Why cannot I get the same information over email or phone?
While email and phone calls are always an option, they do not provide a complete picture of your file. Only a specific question is asked and responded, most likely with a generic reply. Whereas GCMS notes are a exact copy of your file as they are on the system. It is the only accurate way of knowing what is happening with your file.
How can I order GCMS notes?
If you are a Canadian Citizen or a Permanent resident you can order the notes for yourself and others, however, if you are not a citizen and neither a PR, you will need a third party to request GCMS notes for you.
Which is the best place to oder GCMS notes?
This is a matter of personal choice, but there are a few things to keep in mind. I would highly recommend https://www.getgcms.com, which is new website designed by run by some of the former members at the forum, including me. There were various issues that came to light and the answer was GET GCMS. You GCMS notes contain very sensitive information and it should be protected under all cost. None of the existing services provide even the basis security features, which is SSL. This was the first thing that GET GCMS started with. Then, all organization who get electronic information should be handled and stored in accordance with the The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). While there are tough norms to comply, none of the current service providers follow these regulations. Another factor is price. Most of the applicants are from China/India. While the Chinese clients had the option to pay via Alipay, there was no alternative for applicants from India. Many people in India have credit or debit cards and they charge extra for foreign transactions. There was an urgent need to address this situation, and that is why GET GCMS decided to allow applicants pay in Indian currency with a credit card, debit card, or bank transfer.
While the government only charges $5, why do other service provides charge more?
It can be justified that sine they are providing a service, they are there to make a profit. However, there is an additional cost of maintaining the site, employees, compliance with the PIPEDA, in case of GET GCMS, and ensuring that the information collected always remains safe and secure. This is why these sites charge more. However, at GET GCMS, we started with a vision to provide more services to applicants and this is the first step. All income generated from GET GCMS, after deducting the costs, will be put into other projects to benefit applicants. There has also been a lot of dubious cases with consultants providing incorrect or incomplete information, so we collaborated with licensed lawyers to provide additional services through the site if an applicant wishes to get them.
Why would GET GCMS have this financial model?
The answer was simple. I got together with 5 other applicants who immigrated the same time I did. We are all professionals and didn’t need this website to support us, so we decided to use the money generated by this for other projects. As we move ahead, I will keep you apprised of our work. Many of you may have interested with, or asked me questions. While I do try my best to help as many people as I can, we came up with an idea to have a database where all these questions are there in from of a blog. We are working on it. We didn’t have much starting cost since two members are engineers and someone volunteered for the graphic design, that is how it all started.
Why does it take so long to get GCMS notes?
Under the Canadian Access to Information and Privacy Act the IRCC has to respond to a request for GCMS notes within 30 days. However, 40 days is the average processing time after taking into consideration the workload on different offices and the number of pending requests.
Is there a way to expedite the process?
Unfortunately no. However, if your case is one where you have initiated a litigation, then IRCC will issue you GCMS notes within 5 days.
How to read GCMS notes?
While it is confusing to begin with, but if you pay enough time, it becomes easy as it is your information. Before you even start, it is important to understand how a case file is processed. I wrote a detailed post highlighting how an application is processed and what are the different stages of the application. The post is available here: http://www.canadavisa.com/canada-immigration-discussion-board/-t405705.0.html;msg5254511#msg5254511 . Once you know the different stages and have a basic understanding of the application, it will become very easy for your to read your own notes. To summarize, this is how it proceeds:
a. Completeness Check
b. R10 Review
What is the best time to order GCMS?
While there is a lot of difference of opinion in when to order, but the simple answer is after R10. R10 is a strict review where it is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure that his application is complete. If the application is incomplete, it is rejected and nothing much can be done, except re-filing it. Once your application crosses this stage, which is usually within the first month, that is the right time to order GCMS notes.
Can you help me read my notes?
While I have been trying my best to help as many member on the forum, it is practically difficult to read the notes for all applicants. This is the reason why this thread is being started. I am answering general questions at http://bit.ly/2begfbS and will answer GCMS related questions here.
What is one piece of advice I can give?
Be patient, this is most important. If you have done you homework and filed your application, you will get a positive decision. It is just a matter of time.
In the next few days I will continue to add more information about s16 / s15 which a lot of people see on their notes, I will also update on the difference between Agent review, Analyst Review etc.
If you have interacted with me on the forum, or have read my posts and found them informative, please think of ordering your GCMS Notes from https://www.getgcms.com, the next time you decide to order and if you are from India, use the transaction services in INR.
Have questions about GCMS – post them here and I will try my best to answer them.