“Communicating hope and trust in our time.”

- Pope Francis

Immigration denies extension of Australian nun’s missionary visa

Sister Patricia Fox. (CBCPNews)

MANILA, September 16, 2018–The Bureau of Immigration (BI) denied the petition of Australian Sister Patricia Fox to extend her missionary visa.

In a two-page order issued Thursday, the BI denied Fox’s request for extension citing the July 19 deportation order it 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 said.

In defending its decision, the Bureau also said that Fox had already spent 27 years in the country as a missionary.

It said that based on the Memorandum of Agreement between the BI and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, “foreign missionaries stay in the country for only ten years”.

“She is required to apply for the downgrading of her visa within fifteen days from receipt of the denial order,” said Sandoval.

“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,” she added.

Fox sought the issuance of another missionary visa after it expired on September 5.

The 72-year-old nun has been ordered deported from the Philippines for allegedly joining partisan political activities, violating the “limitations and conditions” of her missionary visa.

Sr. Fox has also been placed on the blacklist of undesirable aliens.

But the BI’s deportation order against Fox had been temporarily stalled after she filed a motion for reconsideration before the Department of Justice.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra earlier said the BI’s order will have to await the DOJ’s resolution on the appeal.

Sandoval said they may grant Fox the Temporary Visitor’s Visa upon downgrading, without prejudice to the resolution of her appeal to the DOJ on her deportation. (CBCPNews)

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