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Financial Inadmissibility

Are you unwilling or unable to support yourself and/or your dependents?
Have you been found to be financially inadmissible?
At Bellissimo Immigration Law Group PC we can help!

Who is inadmissible?

Section 39 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) sets out that a foreign national may be found to be inadmissible to Canada where they are unable or unwilling to support either themselves or any dependents, and have not arranged for satisfactory alternative care and support other than social assistance.

Notably, protected persons are granted exception from the requirements of section 39, according to s. 21 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).

Spousal Sponsorship and MNI

Sponsors must be aware that any receipt of social assistance may become relevant in determining whether or not the foreign national they are sponsoring is financial admissible. Subsection 133(1)(k) of the IRPR in fact states that an officer shall not approve of a sponsorship application if there is evidence that the sponsor was in receipt of social assistance at any time from the date of filing of the application to the date the decision is made.

Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) thresholds have also been established for individuals hoping to sponsor their parents or grandparents.

Determination Process

Financial inadmissibility findings are typically made upon review of evidence that support the foreign national’s current financial situation, including:

  • bank statements and bank books;
  • current and past employment;
  • letter of employment;
  • pay stubs;
  • letters of support and/or statutory declarations from friends or relatives attesting to current financial situation; and/or
  • Notices of Assessment.

Documentation demonstrating inadmissibility that may be relied upon in determining inadmissibility may include:

  • evidence of dependence on social assistance;
  • benefit cheques;
  • cancelled receipts; and/or
  • statements from social service authorities.

For sponsorship applications, it is important to demonstrate that, where the sponsor has received benefits for a disability (which is not technically social assistance), that the applicant has not any associated benefit from these disability payments as this would render the foreign national inadmissible. The burden of proof remains on the applicant to establish that they are willing and able to support themselves, and that there are adequate arrangements for their care and support in Canada that do not involve reliance on social assistance.

Establishing MNI

MNI thresholds are released on an annual basis by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). They are developed using Statistics Canada’s Low-Income Cut-Off (“LICO”). The MNI thresholds vary depending on how many individuals are currently living in the sponsor’s household (including the sponsor). They take this number and add the number of family member(s) being sponsored in order to arrive at a figure that represents how much income is required to provide the care and support for all members of the household. Canadian citizens or permanent residents hoping to sponsor their parent or grandparent must meet the MNI applicable to their situation, plus 30% for each of the three consecutive years preceding the date on which the application is submission.

Sponsors typically provide their Notices of Assessment or “Option C printouts”, T4s and other government-issued financial documentation to show proof of meeting this threshold. Note that sponsors must maintain or exceed the MNI throughout the processing of the application. IRCC may reassess financial information at any point during processing, from the time of the application until the permanent visas are issued.[1]

Overcoming financial inadmissibility

Foreign nationals suspected of being financially inadmissible ought to be afforded the opportunity to respond to these concerns through a procedural fairness letter from IRCC. The foreign national may also be scheduled for an examination interview, and/or may be asked to provide evidence that they are no longer in receipt of social assistance.

It is crucial that documentation in support of a foreign national’s financial admissibility and their ability to support themselves is provided to IRCC should a procedural fairness letter be issued. When addressing financial inadmissibility, it is often useful to draw upon particular factors pertaining to the foreign national which support their likelihood of becoming economically self-sufficient once in Canada. This includes by pointing to language proficiency and youth, which are two of the most important factors in the economic success of immigrants as determined through IRCC research. Work experience, skills, and education should also be emphasized. Generally, it will not be sufficient to simply state that a foreign national will find employment upon coming to Canada; credible proof and supporting documentation should also be supplied. Finally, counsel ought to invoke humanitarian and compassionate grounds as compelling reasons to overcome any potential financial inadmissibility.

Please contact Bellissimo Immigration Law Group PC for further information and how we can help to address financial inadmissibility!

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