Election is over, Singaporeans have spoken and that message says PAP is good for you in the next 5 years. Young Singaporeans who support what the government is doing are blessed but for the noisy minority who have pinned their hope on this GE, let’s wake up and realise change is not happening to Singapore.
When I contested in GE2011 at the age of 23, I told myself to give it all and if the PAP still win, I would move overseas. This year, I have safely landed in Sydney Australia and am looking to get my permanent residence very soon.
So this post is to share my emigration experience and hopefully this proves as a useful guide for Singaporeans who wish to step out. I would love to have more Singaporean presence here in Australia! However do take note the advice here are not officiated immigration advice and I am not an immigration agent.
I am here in Sydney Australia on a skilled graduate visa (subclass 476), I will explain more below. The guide I give below is mainly for skilled migrants, I will of course provide other options later:
- International English Language Test System (IELTS)
For English-speaking countries like Australia and America, an English test is needed for skilled migrants. Unlike Singapore, these countries emphasize on integration and social cohesion. You will need to get your English tested and score a minimum of IELTS 6.0.The test is made up of 4 components – Writing, Reading, Listening and Speaking. For Singapore, register yourself here in this link. It costs S$330 in Singapore and remember to take the IELTS General paper for migration purpose because it is slightly easier (I have taken both). IELTS Academic is good for university admission and migration purpose, which is another alternative to emigration for those who wish to emigrate via the study option. You will get your result in two weeks’ time.
Do take note in my case, although I have a 8.0 in average, the Australian immigration law ruled that I only have a 7.0 because all scores must be minimum 8.0 to get an 8.0.
- University degree
For those who do not have a university degree, emigration is going to be hard. You can however enroll yourself in a part-time degree course with private universities like MDIS. Remember your choice of degree is important, just look at this link here for skills shortage in New South Wales state of Australia.I borrowed from Maybank around S$17,000 for a S$26,000 engineering degree, that is to be paid over an 8 year installment. It costs me around S$260 every month to pay, and once you have a job here in Australia, the salary here will dwarf these 8 year installment to just loose change.If your degree is not taken in Australia or in the foreign country, you will need to send them for verification in the respective industry authority. For my case, I spent around AUD$800 and 3 months waiting for Engineer Australia to verify my degree and work experience. They check foreigners’ degree here in Australia, unlike Singapore, using a fake degree will land you in immigration offences. Duh. Unlike Singapore.
- Working experience of 3 years minimum
My best advice is not to switch too many jobs for 3 years because you will need to get a written certification from your ex-employers, which is quite a hassle, to get the points you need for emigration.
- Check your points here
Australian immigration is based on real meritocracy and not how rich you are like as the case in Singapore. You will need to fulfill a minimum of 60 points to qualify to apply. Do take note that even if you qualify to apply, you must be invited to apply (again, unlike Singapore where foreigners can try their luck and throw in PR applications for S$250).You will first need to register a SkillSelect Account online (it’s free) here.
- Choose the type of visa you want
Go for a state-sponsored permanent residence scheme if you are looking for PR as they give you 5 points. For those who don’t know what is a state, Australia is made up of 6 state governments and 1 capital namely, New South Wales (where Sydney is), Queensland (Brisbane is the city), Victoria (Melbourne is the city), South Australia (Adelaide is their city), Western Australia (Perth is the city) and Northern Territories (Darwin is the city) and lastly, Australian Capital Territory (Canberra is the city and also the Capital of Australia). How to apply for state-sponsorship, please google their respective state up. The jobs are those in the big cities, which explains why I picked Sydney.It is hard to get employer-sponsored visa here because citizens comes first, unlike Singapore. If you are really lucky, getting a 457 visa (like Singapore’s S and E Pass) means an automatic pathway to permanent residence.Fresh graduates (within 2 years from graduation) can apply for skilled graduate visa 476 like myself, and you get 18 months to live and work in anywhere in Australia. During this phase you can apply for 189 or 190 permanent residence easily, since you qualify for skilled graduation visa anyway.
For those who still can’t make it, go to the gym and buff yourself up and make yourself talk like Leonardo Dicaprio. Find an aussie chick and tell her how much you love her, get married and voila.
Those who are desperate to get out of Singapore do not need to spend an expensive degree in Australia, you can apply as an international student for TAFE (like Singapore’s ITE). Google it up, get the student visa and work part-time if you like. People get by well living with Minimum Wages (AUD$18.99/hour in NSW and its the lowest among the different states). Finish your one-year course in TAFE and you get apprenticeship and so on and so on. Can’t find a job? Get another cheap TAFE course and continue forever.
For those who are ultra-desperate? Exercise your full-fledged freedom of speech and make a video like this, or write a really good analysis of our CPF retirement system and get yourself facing a defamation suit by Lee Hsien Loong or jail term by the PAP government. Fly to Australia as a tourist and apply as an asylum-seeker, that guarantees you a PR. They won’t deport you back because it is against the law to deport someone to a country who will be persecuted or jailed for his political beliefs. Forget about paying people smuggler and taking a boat to Australia because you will be sent to refugee detention camps if you didn’t die en route in the sea.
I have never looked back since I landed in Australia in March. There is nothing you can’t find on Google.
If you can’t change your government, change your life (: