Migrating to Australia

So you wanna migrate?

The idea of migrating to Australia has been at the back of our minds since we spent our honeymoon in Melbourne back in 2009. Over the course of the last 4 years, that seed planted has been taking root and growing, as the situation in Singapore steadily got worse in most of the aspects we care about. In time to come, S will blog in detail about the various reasons why we have chosen to migrate (because that warrants a separate detailed post). At this point, suffice to say we reached a common conclusion after experiencing life in Singapore for the last 28 years, and the bottom line is this: We do not see a sustainable future here. Prospects for ordinary Singaporeans without the privilege of a silver spoon is truly bleak.

Singapore in present day. Scary enough.

To my fellow Singaporeans who feel the same way, you are not alone. 

If you also have thoughts on migration, it is my sincere hope that our subsequent posts (over the next few months) on the journey and process of migrating to Australia will serve as both an encouragement and a practical guide. 

First, a few disclaimers: I am not a migration agent nor do I intend to be one. Every individual's circumstances and background is different - I am merely sharing the process of our unique journey. Secondly, I am not encouraging Singaporeans to migrate but rather, informing Singaporeans who already have intention to migrate (to Oz) on how it can be done. Thirdly, there are thousands of migration blogs and websites out there detailing the migration process so I'm not reinventing the wheel or anything. Migration is a faith journey which has been tried and tested by mankind for centuries. We will also not offer migration advice tailored to the individual, nor will we accept any culpability or responsibility if anyone does as we describe in this post or the subsequent posts.

Migration is not rocket science.

Blogging about the migration process is very much like writing a book IMO - it begins with the content page, an overview. The chapters on the migration process over the next few months will cover the following:

Chapter 1: Do you Qualify? 
Chapter 2: It's All in the Mind
Chapter 3: A Singaporean's Guide to IELTS
Chapter 4: Skills Assessment for Migration
Chapter 5: Submitting an EOI
Chapter 6: Subclass 189 or 190?
Chapter 7: Medical Clearance in Singapore 
Chapter 8: Application for Certificate of Clearance (CoC) from Singapore Police Force
Chapter 9: Subclass 189 Visa... GRANTED!!
Chapter 10: The Great Escape
Our next segment will focus on our new life in Australia, as the migration journey draws to a close. Thanks for the many kind words of support, useful tips and resources, and for the new friends we made along the way via our blog!



47 comments:

  1. Congrats and good luck on your sojourn! My wife and I felt that your blog mirrored our thoughts for the last eight years. :) we have also started our PR journey and if all goes well, we should be in Melbourne by Oct next year.

    Why eight years? Well, it first began when I returned from Canada eight years ago in 2005. I studied and subsequently worked in Canada from late '97 to mid-2005. I thought that I had closed my life chapter on SG for good, cos' I never wanted to head back there (still don't want to be here). As people would say "never say never"...so I gave up all I had established in Canada and came back - to marry my present-day wife, and also to spend some years with my terminally-ill father.

    Long story short, my dad passed away four years ago, and we figured it's time to make plans for ourselves. However, Canadian PR was way impossible to attain by then. And since I have a sis living in Melbourne, why not? ;)

    S, like u, I was an SAF employee until Jul last year. I can totally relate to the bullying that u went through, cos' it wasn't too different for me in MINDEF HQ. ;)

    We should be looking at getting a place in Croydon when we get there. My sis lives there and it's abt a 45 min commute to town. House prices aren't too crazy over in Croydon and at least we are just half an hr from the Yarra region.

    Anyway, lets keep in touch! It's really good to know that there are like-minded couples like us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ed_Hoh

      Why didn't you apply for Canadian PR while you were in Canada? You stood a good chance though. And which part of Canada were you in? Toronto? Vancouver?

      Greetings from Canada! I'm from Canada by the way

      Regards,
      Leon

      Delete
    2. Hi Ed,

      Thanks for your kind comments and sharing. At the end of the day, which do you prefer? Canada or Australia? Then again, the final decision would depend on more than a feeling or preference.

      I do wish to visit Canada one day. I doubt we would emigrate to Canada simply due to inertia alone, but we always apply the acid test to any country we visit.

      "Would we want to live here long-term?"

      Perhaps surprisingly, the answer is usually: No.

      Canada would probably be one exception, and we did consider it as mentioned in one of our other posts.

      All the best in your PR application!

      -S

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    3. Hi S, Leon,

      Thanks for the kind words. Actually, I did apply for Canadian PR back then, but gave it up halfway due to family reasons. So the the years flew past, and I resettled back in SG, and when I wanted to apply for Canadian PR again, the terms and conditions were really unfavourable.

      I lived in two places - Vancouver and Montreal. Suffice to say, -40 deg C (with windchill) isn't exactly where I want to be in Quebec or any part of Eastern Canada. So I would have much preferred to settle down in Vancouver where the weather is milder and where most of my good friends and contacts are, anyway.

      At the end of the day, it's all the same to me - Australia or Canada - since I'm pretty adaptable anywhere (except SG). I quite like Australia as well, and having a sister and some friends there do help. The weather is something I'm used to in Oz, and I figured it's not too bad a place to raise my kid. I'm adopting that same attitude I had when I embarked on my Canadian journey 16 years ago - keep an open mind, open attitude, and watch for opportunities. It's been a helluva ride in the Great White North...time to ride in the Down Under! :D

      Delete
    4. Hi Ed hoh,

      I know your post is long due but between canada and australia. Which of these two you prefer. Why?

      Delete
  2. I'm so glad to chance upon this blog. We are in the middle of our class 189 application. If we have read this blog earlier, our whole whole application process will be smoother.
    We love Melbourne as well as. Hopefully our application is successful.

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  3. Thank you for writing such an insightful blog. It provides a simple step by step guide to to anyone who has the intention to migrate to Australia. We are currently at the stage of our skill assessment with the Engineering of Australia. Reading this blog has affirmed that our decision to apply for PR is right. We love Melbourne as well. Hopefully our application is successful.

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  4. Anon and Pris Teng, thanks for your comments and we wish you the very best of luck in your journey!

    -S

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  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  6. I am a Filipino Engineer working in Singapore. I am in the process of getting my 189 visa. After that, I will bring the rest of my family there. Thank you for this informative blog. God Bless you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi there,

    I am truly blessed to come across this super informative blog. Both me and hub are trying to migrate as we felt that the quality of life here is getting absurd. Appreciate the kind advices to where should we start? Should we find a job first overall?

    Maria

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  8. Please provide some useful informations for people who are not rich to migrate. Not just for those who have it. Everyone in the world knows what's Internet full of resources with legal laws to compliance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You don't need to be rich. Just.. resourceful. And driven.

      We aren't rich by any measure, nor do we aim to be.

      -S

      Delete
  9. Dear author, I see no updates for one more month. how are you doing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good :). Might do one final post for our blog, as we move on to the next chapter of our lives. I think this blog has served its purpose for us.

      -S

      Delete
    2. wow after reading ur post i really feel like migrating over there
      as i felt that singapore isn't what it use to be anymore
      everything here is money~
      but really don't know if i can adapt to the change over there~~~

      Delete
    3. ronq, you are not alone in feeling that way. My gf and I are also taking the plunge to Australia. Don't let fear stop you. There is nothing more pathetic than to accept one's circumstances without even trying. Please don't give up without a fight.

      Delete
    4. migration too old oredy3 July 2014 at 20:38

      dear editor

      you should not give up writing and updating as it helps a lot of people and some of them still on the fence. The grass is always greener on the other side and its true. and if you don t have a job that can get you redundant easily you will get by, Buying a house may be affordable for those with cpf monies stashed over the years (say 20 years) you can afford to buy with monies withdrawn once you give up Singaporean citizenship. however if you are sole bread winner on $60k a year it may be hard to get bungalow even in the outer suburbs,

      For those wanting to be prepared go find the book' So you want to migrate to Australia, meh" written by 2 brothers it tells people don t follow the herd instinct and believe in hype cos it s difficult to u turn. good luck to intending migrants.. do your homework and check if you have support system eg relatives and friends whom is most important for your assimilation into australia

      Delete
    5. dear Sir 'migration too old oredy',

      I'm not sure what your point is. If you have any, that is.

      Anyway it's our blog so WE decide whether to post and update (or not). If readers have read our entire blog and done their homework and still not made up their mind, then no one can make up their minds for them. This blog was never meant to convert people and migration is not a religion. We have merely presented one perspective - ours.

      Migrating to Australia is DEFINITELY NOT herd instinct. You will be surprised how much resistance we were subjected to from several "well-meaning" friends, family and those who think they care about us on this topic.

      To other readers, if you require frequent updates on life in Oz, please visit the blog next door, asingaporeanson. He writes in a more interesting manner and makes stories out of his experiences in Oz. :P

      -A

      Delete
    6. Hi,

      I find your post very informative.

      My husband and I are planning to embark on our migration process. However, we are completely clueless. We spoke to a migration agent over the phone, were asked to pay usd $1.5k before we can proceed to take an online assessment. We stopped right there as it seemed rather dodgy to pay someone after only speaking to her for 20mins. It seemed your applications were 'ala-carte'. Please advise if such migration agents are necessary or even trust worthy.

      Thank you in advance!.

      Delete
    7. Hi Carine,

      I am of the personal opinion that unless one is very lazy or the employment / family situation is very complex, one should try to avoid migration agents. I consider many of them to be in the same league as lawyers, real estate agents and salespeople, if you know what I mean. Having said that, a good friend of ours did hire an agent and it worked well for him in the end. So it really depends.

      The short answer is you have to decide based on your own ability / your husband's ability on whether you have the confidence to digest all the required information online with no external help. 'Professional' help from agents will cost, that is without a doubt. I personally did not hire an agent so I can't recommend any (nor would I recommend any) - however if I waned to hire an agent I would read external reviews on their services and make sure I get a non-dodgy one. Someone asking for 1.5k after a 20 in conversation doesn't sound legit.

      Cheers,
      A

      Delete
  10. Dear A, I have greatly enjoyed reading your blog. It is highly informative and has been instrumental as a guide to my PR application. All the best in your endeavours!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi ! Thank you for sharing your experience with us! I have applied for a subclass 190, just cleared my health status and waiting for the police clearance certificate. This has been a long journey - getting my skill accreditation, registration and finally down to the PR. Crossing my fingers and toes that the visa will be granted in 2015 :p Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi sir
    I am about to complete my degree in marketing my Murdoch university in Singapore.i am sick and tired of life in Singapore both politically economically and spiritually .my sister is studying her master in speech pathology at curtin university and is about to graduate. my cousin too stays with his wife and children in Belmont Perth. I understand that ir is difficult to migrate to Perth Australia if you have a marketing degree and you need a master at least(Even having a master may not guarantee you PR). so my question is what are my options after I graduate

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do a trade certificate and work your way from there. Choose your trade from the SOL..

      And forgive yourself for choosing to do a marketing degree.

      After you get your PR (assuming you do), you can then do whatever with your life, including using the degree. Based on current rules anyway.

      -S

      Delete
  13. I have two diplomas. one in chemical and pharmaceutical technology and a specialist diploma in molecular biotechnology. in addition to the marketing degree I am about to complete. I heard of technicians and other blood collar job workers who have cerfiticates but are not recognised in Australia. the other thing I would like to ask you if you were to study in Tafe which is the equlivient of the polytechnics or ite in Singapore does that give you an advantage. like if I have a diploma in laboratory from central institute of technology which is a tafe school you may have an advantage

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  14. I mean will they even consider my two diplomas s valid

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  15. Hi sir
    have you considered migrating to the US. I understand that it is difficult even with the green card scheme but have you ever tried applying just wondering
    Yours sincerely
    Jeremy wong

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. Considered and dismissed as unsuitable.

      As in, US is unsuitable for us, so needn't bother with finding out if it's mutual.

      -S

      Delete
  16. Dear sir
    one thing I like about perth is the time difference. it is the same time as Malaysian and Singapore. heaving live in Singapore for so many years I am used to the Singapore time zone. I heard that Melbourne is 2to 3 hours ahead of perth and Singapore can you stand the time difference
    yours sincerely
    Jeremy wong

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's the lamest comment I've ever seen.

      But to answer your question, two hour or three hour time difference? Couldn't care less, mate.

      When are you moving back to sg??? =D

      -S

      Delete
  17. I'm guessing you are not in US because of time difference, eh?

    You're funny!

    -s

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  18. Dear s
    I am not in the us because of the strict migration laws and I am afraid of mad people using firearms to kill other people like Virginia tech to provide one example. On the contrary I like the us because of its time difference it is 12-13 hours behind Singapore and I like the time zone there because it means I age less. just like when you are a astronaut in space you aged lesser
    Yours sincerely
    Jeremy wong

    ReplyDelete
  19. it's getting worse in singapore here....i am thinking of migrating in a few years' time too

    ReplyDelete
  20. Dear S,
    I am planning to visit melbourne in december for first 2weeks. May i check the weather condition of summer night in december? Is it unbearably hot at night? Like in singapore, unable to sleep without aircon? I am planning to book an apartment and that do not have airconditioning. So i am abit worried if i will be able to survive the nights. The trip is to observe melbourne before deciding on which city to migrate. ;) thanks in advance for yr time taken to kind reply
    Regards,
    Jas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jas. You will likely miss all the fun weather (scorching heat and spectacular cool changes) in December.

      Try end January to mid February, then you have a good chance of having a real Victorian summer.

      On all but a few nights, it's nice and cool at night. In the summer of 2014 we needed A/C. For 2015 we never needed A/C at night. Even if you do need A/C, it's likely to be for just a couple of days.

      We saw 40-ish days in both 2014 and 2015.

      Hope this helps.

      Btw, prepare for cool weather as well. It *can* be cool in early December. If you consider mid teens at nigh cool. For us, that's balmy :)

      -S

      Delete
  21. Sorry, may have double posted, but I noticed this is comparatively more recent ;-)
    Some questions need your help
    1) Does PR enjoy same medical and other benefits like citizens?
    2) Once u get a PR visa, by when MUST be be there? Must stay how long?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. Same medical benefit, Medicare plus family tax benefit if you have kids for new migrants, after two years of waiting period, you will be eligible for all benefits except study loan from AU govt.

      2. One year to land after PR visa granted, no need to stay if you don't want to, just validate your passport and PR visa at any AU airport.

      Delete
  22. Hi,

    I hope someone can help me with my query.

    My husband and I are physiotherapist and both of us are keen to migrate to work as physiotherapist in Australia ( any state!). Do both of us have to make individual expression of interest in Skillselect or only one of us have to express interest?

    We definitely would want to work in the same state and we are afraid that we might be separated and have to work in different states or area ( rural and metro)

    Any assistance will be appreciated!

    Regards,
    Stella

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anyone of you who has high chance of getting PR visa can apply as main applicant, if points not enough then main applicant can claim spouse points.

      Delete
  23. Hi, I'm a Singaporean who is planning to take Australian Permanent resident, however I look through the ATO website, it states that I'll be taxable on not just my Australia income but also my Singapore income yet I can claim a tax return ... So the interest earn from my fixed deposit bank account and the rental income from my Singapore will be tax according to Singapore income tax or Australia income tax ultimately I will be claiming tax return from the taxes I paid in Singapore ? Because the tax I pay is lower in Singapore compare to if it is in Australia context, so the income I earn from Singapore will be tax accord to Australia ? I just hope to have a clearer picture on the tax issue whether I will be paying the Singapore income accord to Australia or Singapore income tax, if I get my Australia PR and consider as a Australia resident tax payer. thanks !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AFAIK, Overseas income is taxable after you become an Oz resident. You will probably wish to consult and accountant once your first tax return is due, and ask how to go about settling that portion.

      -S

      Delete
  24. Dear A & S,

    First of all happy new year to both of you. And after that tons of thanks for creating this blog. Like every reader I would say this is very informative blog but I guess the true beauty is that all of the information is present under one roof. So I request you to keep writing and share your journey of life in Australia with us. I am not sure about others but I am closely following this blog. Kudos to both of you. Such a vast information. I am also planning to migrate to Australia from India. Can you suggest me any other blogs that I can follow. Would you recommend any book that have such detailed information.As of now I have cleared my PTE exam and will be applying for skill assessment soon.

    Thanks,
    RG

    ReplyDelete
  25. Full of BS.

    Singaporean always complain Singapore is no good yet find tons of excuses cannot migrate overseas. Yet themselves has enjoy tons of benefits in which no other country can provide.

    No Money, Cannot Leave Family, Cannot Find Employment, No Job etc.

    Dear Singaporeans, if you want to be here just stay in Singapore and enjoy the socio-economical benefit and stop talking over lunch,tea break and dinner with others. If you don't want to be in SG just get out of SG.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Full of BS.

    Singaporean always complain Singapore is no good yet find tons of excuses cannot migrate overseas. Yet themselves has enjoy tons of benefits in which no other country can provide.

    No Money, Cannot Leave Family, Cannot Find Employment, No Job etc.

    Dear Singaporeans, if you want to be here just stay in Singapore and enjoy the socio-economical benefit and stop talking over lunch,tea break and dinner with others. If you don't want to be in SG just get out of SG.

    ReplyDelete
  27. bookmarking for (hopefully soon) future reading. thanks for the hard work put into this detailed blog.

    ReplyDelete
  28. i think he is busy enjoying the life he have in australia. i am also in the process of working out this migration thing. 1 step at a time but i join in the race too late...due to age and my part time studies, my points are miserable. so i would really need to do well in IELTS. do visit http://www.techkie.net/#!Chronicles-of-My-Migration-Journey/c2011/577372750cf249bc2453bfbc and comment for new migrants wannabes

    ReplyDelete