It’s final: Sister Fox can’t renew missionary visa

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced on Monday, October 8, that it has denied “with finality” the motion of reconsideration by Australian nun Sister Patricia Fox to extend her missionary visa.

This means she needs to apply for a 59-day tourist visa, or else she faces a second deportation case.

In an order signed Thursday, October 4, the BI Board of Commissioners said Fox’s motion contains “merely a reiteration or rehash of arguments already submitted, and found to be without merit.” They added Fox “failed to raise any new and substantial arguments.”

Fox, 72, is the Australian nun whom President Rodrigo Duterte ordered investigated, and the BI ordered deported, for allegedly engaging in political activities. The nun denies this accusation, and is appealing her deportation case before the Department of Justice.

Her missionary visa had expired on September 5, but the BI on September 13 refused to renew it because this will be inconsistent with the deportation order against her. Fox on September 17 appealed the BI decision, and this was the subject of the BI order dated October 4.

Fox, who has lived in the Philippines for 27 years, could be the 4th foreign missionary deported under President Rodrigo Duterte, seen by critics as a sign that the Philippines is on the road back to dictatorship

The BI on Monday said Fox is now required to have her visa downgraded to a temporary visitor’s visa.

“Downgrading is the process that will revert her status to a temporary visitor’s visa, and she will be given 59 days starting from the date of the expiry of her visa,” said BI spokesperson Dana Krizia Sandoval.  “Noncompliance with the order may result in another deportation case against her.” –