What is CAIPS?

CAIPS is short for 'Computer Assisted Immigration Processing System', which is the name of the computer system used by Citizenship & Immigration Canada to process all visa applications in overseas offices, such as permanent resident, work permit and study visas.

When a immigration application arrives at the visa office, the immigration officers create a CAIPS file. It is the CAIPS file number that is printed on an Acknowledgement of Receipt ('AOR'). The CAIPS file number is normally the letter "B" followed by 9 digits, e.g. "B 123 456 789", although for a study permit, it will begin with an 'S' and for a visitor visa application it will begin with a 'V'.

CAIPS maintains all information relevant to your permanent residence immigration or visa application, including :-

  • notes and comments from all the visa officers that have reviewed your application
  • points computations relevant to your application
  • background checks consisting of security clearances and criminality checks
  • medical assessments

Workflow Management

The CAIPS computer system normally manages the 'workflow' in most visa officers through the 'bring forward' system. Each CAIPS file is allocated three pieces of information :-

  • a code to indicate the current location of the file
  • a code to indicate what will happen next to the file
  • a code to indicate when this action is scheduled to happen

Visa officers log into CAIPS on a daily basis and CAIPS provides a list of tasks that need to be completed.