What Will My CAIPS File Tell Me?

Note: CAIPS is used slightly differently in each visa office. The information here defines the typical usage in Canadian visa offices, and may not mirror the usage in your specific visa office.

CAIPS Notes will be useful to you in the following scenarios

1. You have just sent your application:
If you have not received your Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR), your CAIPS file will most likely not have been created yet, in this case the file request will come back blank.
Some Canada visa offices do not send out AORs as proficiently as others – and so the nonexistence of an AOR might not mean that the CAIPS file has not been produced. Obtaining your file in these situations is tentative, but will verify whether the visa office has started processing your application or not.

2. You have just received your Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR):
The CAIPS file will usually have at least one useful piece of information: the file’s official bring forward date will inform you when (in theory) your application will be place on a immigration officer’s desk for formal assessment.

3. You have been invited to interview:
The CAIPS file will have the immigration officer’s notes entered when he evaluates the file and decided whether an interview was required, as well as your early point’s assessment. The CAIPS notes will usually indicate why you need to be interviewed and may give pointers for extra information you will need to present at the interview to argue your immigration case.

4. You have taken your medicals but are still waiting:
The typical reasons for delays after you have taken your medicals are either waiting for the medicals to be rubber stamped, a wait in CSIS (Canadian Security and Intelligence Service) security / background checks (there are not strange for applicants who have travelled extensively or are applying from certain countries), or some absent documentation. CAIPS will point out if security checks have been completed, and what other steps are outstanding if any. Though, it will not show any details about the real processing of your background checks.


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