Questions on Spouse Visa, HDB Flat and Jobs

Hi there,

I've been reading your blog on and off over the past couple of years, ever since I got married to an Australian lady.

We're both currently residing in Singapore, she is a PR here but we've talked about moving to Australia for good. In other words, for me to migrate there.

It sounds promising, the opportunity to start life fresh but I won't lie to you that I feel there's a huge hurdle to cross. Buy hey, if you can make it, why can't I right? :)

I guess the main reason why I feel stuck is because we bought a resale HDB flat last year, and we can't sell it off till couple of years later. It's also difficult for me to simply hop over to Australia without having a job waiting for me (I'm in shipping industry by the way).

In any case, we're starting to apply for the Partnership Visa now, which means once I get it I don't need to apply for the short-term visit visa anymore, and that I am able to work there? The plan is to stay there on the partnership visa and wait till I'm able to then apply for the PR status, and subsequently for citizenship. Pls correct me if I'm wrong in my plan here.

How easy is it to get a job in Australia, especially if you have to really switch industries? And how realistic is it for me to be living and working in Australia while renting out the HDB flat in Singapore? Am I going to have to pay for income tax in both countries?

I've been going back to visit the wife's side of the family every year (they live in Rockhampton, Queensland) and from what I've seen, there's quite a limited opportunity for me to continue doing what I'm doing at the moment, so there's that big question mark as to whether I can land a job that will provide for my family in Australia and maintain the mortgage of the HDB at the same time.

Any advise is very much appreciated.


Hi Shafiq,

In a hurry bro?

You did not state how long you have been married. I'm not nosy. If you have gone through my Spouse Visa Guide [link] you will know why I asked.  It is harder (not impossible) to complete a spouse visa application properly if you are newly weds, unless you knew each other for a few years prior to your marriage and kept proper records that the immigration department will be expecting to see. If not, it is time to start accumulate your documents from today. In such a situation, by the time you are ready to lodge an application, plus the waiting period before your visa is approved, you should be eligible to sell your HDB flat and move on. No mortgage to worry about. Perfect timing.

In my opinion, you have no need to rush. Unlike most other Singaporeans who get their Permanent Visa through a skill select scheme, there is a reason to hurry because of the Age criteria in the scheme. Basically, the younger the applicant, the more points he gains from this criteria. You are not affected by that. Your  only challenge is to convince the immigration department that you are in a genuine relationship with your wife. So unless your wife is unwilling to stay in Singapore for a few more years, there is no reason you should be in a hurry. In the meantime, you can use the waiting period to decide what you want to work as when you move, as well as building up your war chest.

If you think about it, your wife is a better person to look for answers when it comes to the ease of finding a job of your choice. If an Australian couldn't give you an answer, a Singaporean is unlikely to. Besides, you have been visiting the country to get a feel, you should be able to gauge this by yourself. Let's assume it is counter-productive to find a similar job in your current industry, you can consider re-training when you move to Australia and enter your new industry when you are done. That goes back to my previous suggestion, in the meantime, think of what you want to work as in Australia. Once you have a shortlist, you can talk to the training schools about job prospects of your respective choices. Another possible way to gauge the demand of your profession is to look at jobs websites or talk to the locals. Don't limit yourselves to what I mentioned and check out whichever way you can think of until you are confident about your knowledge of the potential industries. You have a lot of opportunities to do so since you visit Australia regularly. When the time comes, make your choice.

Your remaining questions:

1) No there will not be a double taxation.

2) Spouse visa grants you Temporary Residency for 1 year. If you spend 1 year in Australia, you will be eligible for a PR. The eligibility requirements to be a citizenship are as follows;

4 years lawful residence in Australia. This period must include 12 months as a permanent resident immediately before making an application for Australian citizenship and absences from Australia of no more than 12 months in total in the 4 years prior to application, including not more than 90 days in the 12 months immediately prior to application.

Lawful residence means residence in Australia on a temporary or permanent visa.

3) Sure, you can apply to rent our your house after your MOP is up. But be prepared for any new rules coming our way that makes it extremely inconvenient, financially unfeasible or even illegal to do so. Much will depend on the results of the coming GE, I suppose.



  1. Rockhampton is a mining town, for shipping industry, get out of there!

    1. Not true

      Rocky is more like cattle country. Known as cattle capital, although most grazing ppty are at least a few 100 km away. Also it is an important area for ore and coal transport, though most mines are at least 4-9 hours drive from rocky.

      If you are looking for shipping work then you should look at Gladstone 1 hr south of rocky which recently built 2 bunkers to store liquified natural gas for export. Though a relatively small port, it is busy enough to be a proper stop fom coastal ship from Brisbane going north.

    2. Btw

      For all other sin chiao new bird soldiers nix included, rocky is near where shoalwater bay training ground for SAF is..

  2. If you've been married for more than 3 years, or 2 years if with children, you'll go straight to a PR partner visa (100) without going through the temporary partner visa (309)

    If not, you'll be granted a temporary visa (309) and after 2 years upon application, be eligible for PR (100).

    So save yourself the trouble of a two stage PR process, apply only after you've been married for 3 years (or 2 years, if with kids).

    If you're already married for 3 years, apply now. If you apply now, you have about 6 years to make the big move to Oz. Its takes 1 year to process your PR + 5 years (PR validity) = a total of 6 years

  3. Hi Nix,

    I'm the author of the post, and pardon me for not checking up on your blog to even know that you took time to reply to me. Life happened and everything went by and now we're in 2017. sorry! :)

    Anyway, thanks a lot for taking time to answer my questions. Just to let you know, I applied for the partnership visa last Aug and by Dec I was given the permanent partner visa (100). So this means I'm considered a PR of Australia already?

    I'm still looking at Brisbane (that's where wife's family is) or Melbourne (that's where most shipping jobs are) but honestly, after almost 10 years in shipping, I do feel the urge to do something else. I know the job market in Australia isn't that rosy as compared to Singapore, but I've taken that into consideration the day I decided to apply for the visa. I don't even mind doing carpentry or gardening, cos in the past year I found some sort of personal happiness doing hands-on stuff.

    I'm planning to make the move in the 2nd half of this year, or even earlier depending if my lucky stars bless me with a job first. It would be great if Nix or any of his readers have contacts for me to get in touch with.

    Have a great 2017!

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  5. Thank you for the detailed advice! It's reassuring to have clarity on the steps ahead. We'll proceed with planning and hope for a smooth transition to Australia.
    Immigration australia sydney