By Jun Ramirez
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said it respects and will abide by the decision of the Department of Justice (DOJ) reversing its order cancelling the visa of Australian missionary Patricia Fox.
“We received the resolution on Sister Fox’s Motion for Reconsideration, and we submit to the directive from the DOJ on the disposition of her case,” said BI Spokesperson Dana Krizia Sandoval.
Sandoval, however, stressed that the DOJ order nullifying the BI’s decision did not mean that Fox is already off the hook and that she could already stay in the country without fear of being deported.
“The DOJ’s order merely ruled that Visa Forfeiture is not in our Omnibus Rules of Procedure governing the issuance of visas,” she said.
She added that what the DOJ stated is that the BI should have initiated visa cancellation instead of forfeiture as such procedure is the one provided for in the bureau’s rules.
Sandoval explained that visa forfeiture would have downgraded Sister Fox’s visa from a Missionary Visa to a Temporary Visitor’s Visa, and would require her to leave the country within 30 days.
“But visa cancellation would have the same effect as it would result in the revocation of her visa,” she said.
Sandoval also stated that visa cancellation, under BI rules, may be based on allegations of deportable offenses,” including Fox’s alleged involvement in partisan political activities.
Nonetheless, in view of the DOJ’s ruling and pending resolution of Fox’s deportation case, the BI will be reinstating Fox’s visa and reactivating her ACR I-Card.
Fox is the subject of a separate deportation charge for her alleged involvement in political activities. (Jun Ramirez)