Philippines denies extension of Sister Fox's missionary visa
MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration announced on Sunday, September 16, that it denied the request of Australian nun Sister Patricia Fox to extend her missionary visa.
The BI rejected Fox's request through a two-page order signed on Thursday, September 13. The agency cited the deportation order previously issued against Fox.
Fox is now required to have her visa downgraded to a 59-day temporary visitor's visa. The validity begins from the date of the expiry of her missionary visa, which was September 5.
"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 in a statement on Sunday.
"Our legal team saw that approving the extension of her missionary visa will be inconsistent with the findings cited in her deportation order," Sandoval added.
The agency also pointed out that Fox "had already spent 27 years in the country as a missionary," whereas a memorandum of agreement between the BI and the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines states that ordinarily, "foreign missionaries stay in the country for only 10 years."
The BI noted, however, that Fox has a pending appeal before the Department of Justice (DOJ) about her deportation. Sandoval said the BI needs to wait for the DOJ's decision before acting on Fox's deportation, but the BI "may grant Fox the temporary visitor's visa upon downgrading, without prejudice to the resolution of her appeal to the DOJ on her deportation." – Rappler.com