Immigration Officer's Electronic Notes

Immigration Officer’s Electronic Notes – ATIP & GCMS

Immigration Officer's Electronic Notes

Antônio is a Citizen of Brazil. He applied for immigration to Canada last year. Unfortunately, he received a refusal letter the previous month. Consequently, Antônio wonders why they refused his application. A close friend of Antônio told him he might apply for the immigration officer’s electronic notes through a process called ATIP request. Antônio wants to know more about this process.

The Access to Information and Privacy Act is a law that allows people to have access to Canadian Government documents.  If you intend to get access to those documents, you need to place an ATIP request. Of course, the Government does not share everything with everyone. For example, they do not share classified information with the public.

In this article:

Who May Place an ATIP Request?

The following people may place an ATIP request:

  • Canadian citizens
  • Permanent residents of Canada
  • People who are currently in Canada
  • Corporations that are present in Canada

If you do not fall into any of the preceding groups, you may hire a professional to apply on your behalf. However, you need to fill out a consent form. For example, IRCC has a unique consent form for immigration-related requests. Click here to download a copy. If you are requesting the CBSA notes, then download and fill out their consent form.

What is a GCMS Record?

GCMS stands for the Global Case Management System. It refers to an IT system that IRCC officers use to store and manage immigration application files. Consequently, a GCMS record applies to the information stored under an immigration or visa application.

What are the Immigration Officer’s Electronic Notes?

Officers enter their opinion about applications in GCMS. If you open a GCMS record, you will find several pages of information about the application. However, most of them are less relevant to the reasons for refusal. For example, they may refer to the office that reviews the application or the status of the application. The officer’s notes are usually one or two paragraphs in that long list of information. While you may learn a lot from the GCMS record, the officer’s electronic notes are generally an essential part of it.

How to Get the Immigration Officer’s Electronic Notes?

To see the officer’s notes, you usually need to file an ATIP request and ask for the GCMS records, which also include the officer’s electronic notes. The following screenshots help you achieve this goal. However, keep in mind the sequence could change over time.

ATIP Request Main Page
  • Accept the terms and conditions and click “Continue.”
  • From the list of agencies, select “Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, Canada.”
Selecting IRCC as the agency
  • Scroll down and select the status of the person who submits the request (i.e. you).
The status of the ATIP request applicant
  • Fill out the rest of the form. The information you enter reflects the name and contact information of the person who requests the ATIP report.
The information of the ATIP applicant
  • If you are applying on your behalf, then fill out the rest of the form accordingly. Of course, if you are applying on behalf of another person, you need to enter their information. You also need to upload a signed ATIP Consent form (i.e. IMM5744).
Requesting ATIP for yourself.
  • Continue to the next page. Now select “Access to Information Act” and “Immigration/Citizenship Records” respectively.
Accessing Immigration Records
  • Scroll down and enter the applicant’s information such as the Unique Client Identification (UCI) number and the application type.
Entering the UCI and Application Type
  • Select the “Status Update of File/Reasons for Refusal/Officer’s Electronic Notes” option.
Requesting Officer's Electronic Notes
  • Enter the file number associated with the application.
  • Click “Continue” and upload any files you need to upload.
  • You may then continue with the payment.

They currently charge $5.00 for every ATIP request.

ATIP Request Processing Time

IRCC usually email you the GCMS record, including the Immigration Officer’s electronic notes in four to eight weeks. However, you may receive the report outside this period.

How to Make Sense of the Officer’s Notes

A typical report could be more than 40 pages. Don’t get intimated though. Scroll down to the last few pages and look for the Officer’s electronic notes. Read them carefully. You may hire a professional to help you understand the content of the notes. If you have difficulty submitting or analyzing the officer’s notes, you may consider contacting us. Our services are not free, but you will receive official immigration advice based on the form.

Do you need our help?

I can submit an ATIP request on your behalf. I will even review the report and let you know what I think about it. This service is for only CAD$300. If you are interested, make the payment and we will contact you. Of course, only make the payment if you could share the IRCC communications with us (e.g. the refusal letter or the submission letter which includes your UCI and application number):

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Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

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This article provides information of a general nature only. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.

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Al Parsai

This article has been expertly crafted by Al Parsai, a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University. A respected member of CICC and CAPIC organizations, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.