Jul 282013

Janet Altamarino, chief executive of Ultimate Visa Corporation, is committed to providing Filipinos with a legitimate visa processing service and is the only agency that caters to all visas to other countries.

MANILA, Philippines – When life gives you lemons, you can become just as bitter, or you can make lemonade, as the saying goes. Janet Altamarino, chief executive of Ultimate Visa Corporation, did exactly the latter — she made a lot of lemonade, only on a grander scale.

Ultimate Visa is the leading visa and immigration consultancy in the Philippines that she and her partner, Atty. Jonnah John B. Ungab, started in Cebu City five years ago. Today, they have already established a second headquarters in Makati City, and have recently been dubbed the Most Trusted Immigration Services Company by the National Consumers’ Choice Awards Council.

Altamarino wanted to explore greener pastures abroad as a young graduate. After entrusting her savings to a visa-processing firm, the company disappeared. It happened two more times before she learned her lesson. “You turn the misfortune into an opportunity when you experience difficulties instead of crying over it,” she says.

After hearing similar tales, she went on a quest to help other visa applicants in their processing — never again would they be conned. “Most applicants forego the background check on agencies. They sell their business, their assets, others pawn their family home and farmland, and then nothing happens with their applications,” explains Altamarino. “It’s heartbreaking.”

“I wanted the opportunity to put up an ethical company. In Ultimate Visa, we are upfront and legitimate,” she says. Ultimate Visa can process tourist, fiancée, spousal, student and immigration visas to a number of countries such as Australia, the US, UK, Canada, Norway, Europe, and Asia, for Filipinos and foreigners alike — with a high percentage of visa approval.

“Our consultants check the client’s applications. If they are qualified for the visa, we process the documents. If they don’t qualify, we advise them of their options,” she adds.

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Many who wish to work abroad cannot articulate the reasons why they would like to immigrate. Poor communications skills deny them the chance of a new lease on life. “We do the presentation, gather the facts, and help with the documents,” she says.

“It’s not magic. We do things right and focus on the strengths of the person,” she explains. At the end, it still depends on the case and the client’s qualifications. In-house lawyers to assist in legal and complex immigration matters, a strong research team, and expert advisers on visa and immigration, help, of course. Aspiring applicants can conveniently undergo a free assessment online at www.ultimatevisa.com.

These days, her company has grown from a small space near her home in Cebu five years ago, to a coveted ground floor office — near where a Plantersbank branch was also located at the heart of Cebu City. “Banking has become even more convenient for us and for our clients because the branch is so near our office and the people in the branch are always able and ready to assist us,” says Altamarino. Plantersbank has been with them since the business started, and continues to be their partner bank. “I’m very pleased with our relationship,” she says on growing together with the SME bank.

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