THE GROWING number of immigration petitions a US-based visa processing provider has been receiving prompted the firm to expand its operations in the Philippines.
RapidVisa customer service manager Jerome Hermosilla said their clientele growth over the years pushed them to launch an office in Cebu, six years after they set up a base in Manila.
“We have so many applicants already. We wanted (the) Manila (office) to concentrate on the walk-ins,” he said during last Monday’s launching of RapidVisa’s Cebu office on the 12th floor of Park Centrale Building in IT Park, Cebu City.
Hermosilla said the Colorado-based company was founded by a member of the American Air Force who married a Filipina. He said RapidVisa’s website was launched in 2009, with only about 10 users then.
The firm’s operations have grown to process an average of 400 walk-in and online visa petitions every month in 2015, 95 percent of which came from the Philippines.
RapidVisa also has an office in China.
The company offers walk-in and online visa processing services such as for K1 fiance visa, spousal visa, parent Visa, adjustment of status and removal of conditions for Green Card holders, and US citizenship.
Processing for student visas, work visas, and tourist visas, however, is not supported by the company.
Hermosilla said that since it started operations, the company has had over 20,000 successful petitions, registering a 99.7 percent success rate.
What sets RapidVisa apart from other visa processing firms, he said, are the types of services they offer and their level of service.
“We take pride in being the fastest and cheapest, unless you know of other companies that charge lower,” he said.
Hermosilla said Filipinos, as well as immigrants from over 194 other countries, can get their family visas to the US within five to six months.
RapidVisa, he clarified, is not affiliated with the US government nor does it offer legal advice or representation unlike what other companies in the industry do.
Hermosilla agreed that despite the Philippines’ robust growth in the past, many are still seeking greener pastures in other countries such as the US.
He would not hazard a guess on why these Filipinos migrate to the US because his company only makes sure their reasons are legal, but he did say why many take interest in going there.
“(It’s because) the middle class in the US is becoming more stable. . . . With immigration in the US, goods and labor will become cheaper,” he said.