Fox asks BI to overturn denial of missionary visa extension

MANILA Australian nun Patricia Anne Fox on Monday asked the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to reverse its decision rejecting her request for the renewal of her missionary.

In a six-page motion for reconsideration, the Catholic nun's camp argued that contrary to the ruling of the BI, the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) it has entered into with the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on November 10, 1997, did not preclude the extension or renewal of the missionary visa for another 10 years.

Thus, when on September 5, 2014, the BI approved the conversion of Sister Fox's tourist visa into a missionary visa, she was given a new or a fresh period of ten (10) years from the said date or until 2014 to stay in the country, Fox's camp said.

But she needs to re-apply every two or three years after the date of the grant. This was for which reason that on July 21, 2016, the BI issued an order granting the extension of Sister Fox's Commonwealth Act 613, Sec. 9(g) (missionary) visa from September 5, 2016 to September 5, 2018, they added.

At the same time, the group noted the deportation order against Fox is not yet final and executory as the same is under appeal with the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The decision to grant or deny the application for extension or renewal of her missionary visa should not be based and hinge on the order of deportation, the MR said.

And even Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said that the decision of the BI whether to extend her missionary visa will be without prejudice to the resolution of her appeal, it added.

Last week, the BI denied the request of Fox to extend her missionary visa, citing the MOA with the CBCP wherein foreign missionaries are allowed to stay in the country for only ten years.

The Australian nun has been in the country for 27 years. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency