Obtaining your CAIPS / GCMS or FOSS

Obtaining your CAIPS / GCMS or FOSS

Welcome toMCIS File Check system – if you would like a detailed update on your open application with the Citizenship and Immigration Canada, then the first step is to obtain your CAIPS / FOSS or GCMS notes and check the status of your application. This applies to all types of applications, whether it is a work or study permit application, permanent residence application, family sponsorship etc. Obtaining and understanding these files is essential to figuring out your next steps.

Here are some situations where you might want to consider requesting a detailed file report:

  • You want to know the status of your application, and what has happened with it so far
  • You have applied to Canada for something before, but you do not remember what information you gave in that application
  • You application status has been in process for a long time and you have no news on your file
  • You want to know the results of an immigration medical test
  • You have been invited for a visa interview
  • You want to know what you said to an immigration officer during an interview
  • Your visa application has been denied and you want to know why
  • You want to understand the processing steps of your application
  • You want to apply for a Canadian visa for a second time

What Are ‘CAIPS’, ‘FOSS’ and ‘GCMS’ Files?

CAIPS is an abbreviation for ‘Computer assisted Immigration Processing System’. It is a Computer System used by all Canadian Visa Offices/Consulates to process VISA applications. It is a computerized record of all visa applications made by an applicant up to the current date. CAIPS contains information on the various processing stages of your visa application and comments by various visa officers. It also contains the transcripts of all your past Canadian visa interviews which took place outside of Canada. Currently, CAIPS is being replaced by GCMS.

FOSS is an abbreviation for ‘Field Operations Support System’. It is the computer system historically used by CIC offices within Canada and CBSA officers at all Canadian Ports of Entry, such as airports, sea ports, and land border crossing stations. It is used to track all immigration-related information for an applicant. FOSS also contains all your past interviews and casual conversation with CBSA officers at Canadian Ports of Entry. FOSS is currently being replaced by GCMS.

GCMS is an abbreviation for ‘Global Case Management System’. It is a newer version of CAIPS and FOSS that Citizenship and Immigration Canada is rolling out across their offices. GCMS is a unique integrated immigration file system which does not need two different systems for files within Canada (FOSS) and files outside of Canada (CAIPS). Each Visa Applicant is allotted a unique Client ID which never changes. No matter how many types of visa applications you make, and no matter how many times you apply, your Client ID will remain. Through GCMS and the Client ID, past and present immigration information is available to CIC and CBSA anywhere in the world.


At any stage of your application, you can contact us to request a full report on your file. Our services vary from simple file report request, to explaining all the details of your application for you. Please contact us to find out more about this services.


Canada: +1 (604) 468-5747
Vancouver Office Address: 1500 West Georgia Street, Unit 1300, Vancouver, BC V6G 2Z6
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