What to Do When the Sponsor Doesn’t Meet MNI – Insights from a Sponsorship Lawyer in Canada

Sponsoring a foreign national to come to Canada can be a complex process. Certain family sponsorship programs necessitate sponsors to meet a minimum income threshold to sustain both themselves and the family members they intend to sponsor. Therefore, it’s important to know what to do when the sponsor fails to meet the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) requirement. In this blog post, we will be discussing this issue with insights from a Canadian sponsorship lawyer. We will explore how sponsors can meet MNI, what happens when the sponsor doesn’t meet MNI, and how the law can help in such cases. We hope this blog post will provide readers with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sponsorship cases.

What to Do When the Sponsor Doesn’t Meet MNI 

When a sponsor fails to meet the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) requirement for a sponsorship application, it can cause significant stress and uncertainty for the sponsored individual or entity. However, there are options available to address this issue.

First, sponsors can ask for humanitarian and compassionate consideration (H&C) if they do not meet the MNI requirement. This involves demonstrating that there are extenuating circumstances that justify an exemption from the requirement. For example, if the sponsor lost their job due to unforeseen circumstances, they may be able to demonstrate H&C reasons for not meeting the MNI.

Second, the sponsor has a right of appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD). The IAD will consider the H&C factors and hear from all parties involved. It’s important to note that the sponsor must meet the MNI for the three years that precede the filing of the sponsorship application.

Additionally, the Jugpall test, which imposes a lower threshold for granting relief, can be applied to assess the sponsor’s circumstances and determine whether they should be exempt from the MNI requirement.

It’s also possible to resolve the matter during an informal Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) meeting, where the parties involved can come to a mutually acceptable agreement.

Lastly, it’s crucial to identify and present all H&C aspects of the case to the IAD. This includes demonstrating any hardship the sponsored individual or entity will experience if the sponsorship is not approved.

Overall, when a sponsor doesn’t meet the MNI requirement, it can be a challenging situation. However, with the right approach and legal guidance, it’s possible to find a solution that works for all parties involved.

Exploring Alternative Sponsorship Arrangements

When a sponsor in Canada fails to meet the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) requirement for a family sponsorship application, the situation can seem daunting for both the sponsor and the sponsored individual or entity. However, there are alternative sponsorship arrangements that can be considered to overcome this challenge. 

Co-Sponsorship: One of the most common alternative arrangements is co-sponsorship. In co-sponsorship, another individual who meets the MNI requirement can step in and jointly sponsor the family member with the primary sponsor. The co-sponsor takes on financial responsibility alongside the primary sponsor, ensuring that the MNI is met collectively.

Joint Income with a Spouse or Common-Law Partner: If the sponsor has a spouse or common-law partner who is willing to be part of the sponsorship application, their combined income can be taken into account. This option allows the sponsor to pool their income with their partner’s, potentially meeting the MNI requirement together.

Combining Income with Dependents: In some cases, the sponsor may have dependent children who are of legal age and earning an income. Depending on the family composition and the specific program’s guidelines, the income of dependent family members can sometimes be combined with the sponsor’s income to meet the MNI.

Employment Offer in Canada: If the sponsored individual has a confirmed employment offer in Canada, the prospective income from that job can be considered in the sponsorship application. This can be particularly helpful if the offered income, along with the sponsor’s income, meets or exceeds the MNI.

Seeking Provincial Nomination: Some provinces in Canada offer their own sponsorship programs with different income requirements. If the primary sponsor does not meet the federal MNI, it might be worth exploring sponsorship options at the provincial level, as their eligibility criteria could be more flexible.

Consider Delaying the Application: If the sponsor’s financial situation is expected to improve in the near future, they might consider delaying the sponsorship application until their income meets the MNI requirement. This approach could provide a more straightforward path to approval.


If you find yourself in a situation where the sponsor does not meet the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) requirement for sponsorship, it is important to seek legal guidance as soon as possible. Navigating immigration laws can be complex, especially when dealing with non-compliance issues.

By reaching out to a sponsorship lawyer, you can benefit from their expertise in this area of law. They will be able to assess your specific circumstances, provide tailored advice, and guide you through the process of dealing with a sponsor who does not meet the MNI requirement.

A sponsorship lawyer can help you explore all available options and alternatives. They can assist you in gathering the necessary documentation, preparing submissions, and ensuring that your rights are protected. Whether it involves negotiating with the sponsor, seeking alternative sponsorship arrangements, or taking legal action for non-compliance, a sponsorship lawyer will be by your side every step of the way.

Remember, time is of the essence when it comes to dealing with non-compliance issues. Contacting a sponsorship lawyer will give you the best chance of resolving the situation efficiently and effectively. Don’t delay seeking the professional assistance you need to navigate this complex process, and reach out to Sponsorship Lawyer today!

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