“Nothing is impossible”— this is the very first statement Mrs. Joana Tumaliuan said when asked for a reaction after knowing that her visa application to Australia was approved. It was initially her husband’s dream; she fulfilled it. But now, after being separated for almost eight months, they will now be reunited to fulfill this dream together. They say, it was “all thanks to God” and The Visa Center.
Dubai—Joana May Revilla, 28, originally from Rizal, Philippines and Theo Pagulayan Tumaliuan, 39, from Isabela, first met in a Christian church in Al Ain way back in 2015. Theo was swoon with Joana’s charm and admired her love for God. He pursued her, and after two years of being in a relationship, they tied the knot in Dubai on June 8, 2017.
As they ventured into their marriage, this enthusiastic couple thought about their long-term goal and reflected on where they would want to establish their future. After some time, they have concurred that it is in Australia that they foresee themselves growing old and raising their own family.
“One of the best countries in the world in terms of growing economy, education, and health system. Gusto ko rin ang climate doon, particular sa Brisbane, para similar sa Pilipinas,” shared Theo.
It was Theo who initially signed up with The Visa Center (TVC); a migration consultancy firm based in Dubai that he first knew about through a kabayan whom he sat with on a bus one day on his way home. He searched for The Visa Center’s page online and eventually visited their office.
After having been assessed as qualified for migration, he then signed up with The Visa Center and his dream to migrate to Australia started. He handed over his documents, cooperated with the team, and devoted a lot of prayers.
But during the process of careful analysis and evaluation by the processing team of The Visa Center, it appeared that the better option for the duo’s migration dream was to invest in Joana’s skills improvement by studying cookery in Australia. She has a rich background in the Food and Beverage industry apart from working as a Sales Advisor for more than five years.
It was entirely different from what they planned.
“Hindi natin alam kasi kung hanggang kailan tayo mag-i-stay dito sa UAE. So, this is the time na mag-decide tayo na… pumunta sa ibang country tulad ng Australia,” shared Joana.
With full confidence, they heeded to The Visa Center’s advice and proceeded with the processing of her student visa application.
After a few months, her visa was granted.
“Walang imposible. This is our prayer, na ma-grant ‘yung visa. This is it! Nothing is impossible!” said Joana during a live interview with TVC where she was asked for her reaction upon learning that her visa got approved.
But apart from her faith in God, she also shared that The Visa Center played a big role for this dream to manifest.
“Alam namin na trustworthy sila and ‘yung processing nila talagang on time, and almost the whole team, naka-focus sila and talagang thumbs ako sa kanila,” shared Joana.
She went on to thank the people who processed her application.
“We thank Mr. Lorenzo Dizon, Mr. Brayant, TVC staff, especially kay Ms. Anna, talagang kahit madaling araw, sobang supportive. Tumatawag siya sa akin. Tuwing kinukulit ko siya, talagang magko-call back siya. Wala akong masabi sa The visa Center,” she said.
Her husband, Theo, admitted that he primarily felt bittersweet about the news.
“Masaya at malungkot. Actually, ang desisyon namin is, after the assessment, ‘yun nga, mas magiging successful [kami] kung pauunahin ko muna sya… Support muna ako sa kanya, and hopefully after a few months, makasunod,” said Theo.
Joana left for Australia on August 2019. She started taking up cookery in a university in Brisbane.
And now, eight months after, Theo can finally join her to fulfill their migration dream after being granted a subsequent entrant visa to Australia.
“I am so much grateful with God answering this specific prayer. Napakasaya naming mag- asawa,” said Theo.
A subsequent entrant visa is granted by the Immigration of Australia to help unite families who have relatives studying in their country. Through this process, Theo can work fulltime to support Joana’s educational finances. Joana can also work alongside her studies as it is totally allowed by the Australian government.
“We [don’t have any] relatives in Australia to guide us in our application. So, we just completely depended on TVC—it was worth the trust,” he said.
“They have a very professional and friendly team,” he added.
When asked what is their advice to other aspiring migrant couples, Theo said, “think about the best and long-term goal, where they can establish their future. [Choose] where there is a chance of being a permanent resident.”
Joana similarly answered, “To all Filipinos, especially dito sa UAE, do it now. ‘Wag nang mag- waste ng time. And then try until you succeed. Walang mangyayari kung ‘yung money lang natin ay sini-save sa bank. We need to invest sa worth it.”
“We are from Al Ain pa pero it’s worth it kahit mag-travel kami to Dubai. Basta may result na ganito, sobrang worth it talaga,” added Theo.
They plan to put up their own restaurant in the Philippines apart from having their own family.
In a matter of time, this couple will soon be reunited in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; fulfilling their dream of shaping a better future— together.
Filipinos and other expatriates who wish to follow this couple footstep's journey in Australia can contact The Visa Center located at 101 NBQ Bldg, Bank St, Bur Dubai UAE, or call 04-331-0006. Abu Dhabi branch is located at 823 Al Ghaith Tower Hamdan St. Abu Dhabi and call 02-508-9066. Office Timings are from 09:00am-08:00pm daily.
Earlier, The Filipino Times already ran stories of a Kampampangan OFW chef who began a new journey at Brisbane, as well as a Filipina accountant who has fulfilled her dream of living in Perth. These stories shared how The Visa Center became instrumental in providing resettlement solutions to professionals with complete transparency.
by Justin Aguilar