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Friday, August 23, 2019

BI denies Australian nun's request for extension of visa

Australian missionary Sister Patricia Fox. (AP file photo)

THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) has denied the request of Australian missionary Sister Patricia Fox for the extension her missionary visa.

Citing the deportation order earlier issued against Fox, the BI, in a two-page order signed on Thursday, September 13, said they did not grant Fox's appeal as doing so will be inconsistent to the deportation order issued against her.

“The BI already saw that Sister Fox violated the conditions of her stay and is considered undesirable, hence a deportation order was previously issued against her,” said BI Spokesperson Dana Krizia Sandoval.

“Our legal team saw that approving the extension of her missionary visa will be inconsistent with the findings cited in her deportation order,” she added

The BI also said that Fox had already spent 27 years in the country as a missionary even as the memorandum of agreement between the BI and the Catholic Bishop's Conference of the Philippines only allows missionaries to stay in the Philippines for a period of 10 years.

Following the denial of her appeal, Sandoval said Fox is now required to apply for the downgrading of her visa within fifteen days from receipt of the BI's order.

“Downgrading will revert her status to a temporary visitor’s visa, with a 59-day validity, starting from the date of the expiry of her missionary visa,” explained Sandoval.

Fox's missionary visa expired last September 5.

Sandoval clarified that the BI may grant Fox the Temporary Visitor’s Visa, without prejudice to the resolution of her appeal to the DOJ on her deportation.

On September 3, Fox filed an appeal before the DOJ seeking the reversal of the BI's earlier decision that ordered her to leave the country and barred her from re-entering the Philippines for allegedly breaking the terms of her missionary visa.

The BI in July ordered Fox deported and blacklisted for joining partisan political activities in the country. It affirmed its order the following month, prompting the 71-year-old Fox to elevate her case to the DOJ. (SunStar Philippines)


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