The club confirmed the Brazilian would not be available for selection at the Etihad Stadium after they were informed of a matter regarding his residency in the UK.
No further details have been given but the issue will not have helped manager Chris Ramsey's preparations for a vital Barclays Premier League game.
Rangers, bottom of the table following results on Saturday, needed to beat City to have any chance of avoiding relegation.
A statement read: "The club can confirm it was informed by the Home Office on Thursday May 7 that there is an issue with Sandro's UK residency visa.
"The club are working with Sandro and the Home Office to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. While this is ongoing, the club have been advised not to select Sandro for match involvement.
"The club will be making no further comment at this time."
Sandro, 26, joined City in a £6 million move from Tottenham last summer.
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