Whenever Possible, Always Go for the PR

Dear Singaporean son!

How are you doing? Hope everything has been going well for you at work and for your family. Really appreciate you spending time blogging and sharing so many things online!

I'm a Singaporean daughter! My name is Ruth and I have been following your blog since 2013 when I graduated for UniMelb (Landscape Architecture) and came back to Singapore to serve my bond. Since then I have been making plans to go back to Australia specifically Melbourne. My bond is finally ending, I have to be honest I'm 25 but I find myself struggling in a quarter life crisis.

My partner and I we bought a BTO flat as an future investment which would be ready in 2019. We are still planning on applying for a permanent residence in OZ but he still has 2 more years in Uni (No thanks to NS for the delay 😟)

Getting to the point now.. While waiting for my partner I'm hoping to go to Melbourne / Sydney to find a related job ( I saw that crazy Singaporean son MJ's story I can totally relate to him).

I know you rarely talk about Temporary Residence but I hope you can help! I was initially thinking to apply for a work holiday visa but realised Singapore is not even listed as one of the countries to apply!

Would it be possible to still apply even if I don't have a confirmation from an employer? Or would you recommend me to just take that leap of faith and go over to OZ? I would just have to get on OZ soil as a tourist and start finding jobs and pray hard an employer hires me and apply a temporary visa for me?

Sorry if this email sounded all over the place there's too much adrenalin rush as my bond is ending next month and I totally have to make a decision soon.

Look forward to your reply


Dear R,

If you don't mind, allow me to get something bothered me off my chest. The life expectancy of Singapore women is 85 years old, already ranked the 4th best in the world. So it may be quite optimistic to project your lifespan to be 100 years. Thus being at 25 years old is close to a third of your life really. You are probably experiencing a premature mid-life crisis. I often told my friends how I wished mine happened earlier in my life. Or to put it more succinctly, I wished I took action to address it promptly, instead of procrastinating. Thus I'll leave you my advice: identify what you really want for your life and work towards it relentlessly, whether or not you'll gain any useful information to the questions in your mind from me and never lose sight of your goal after your adrenaline rush is long over.

I may be wrong (do check it out yourself) but a quick check on the immi website showed me that your nominated qualification is on the SOL. So, if you have plans to be an Australian permanent residence, you should apply for it as soon as you can, as a graduate. (I hope you are still within the window). Once you are not eligible for that, you will have to go through the standard skilled migration like many Singaporeans, where a number years (depending on vocation) of working experience is required. In that case, it will set you back a few more years to accumulate that few years of working experience, if you find the relevant position. Landscape architect? NParks, URA, and a few private consultants around. You don't really have much choices. Since you were serving a bond, I'd assume you have a job. You have no reason to delay your PR application. Waiting for boyfriend? This isn't a school excursion to Gardens by the Bay. Your application has no link or whatsoever to your boyfriend, unless you have plans to get married and apply as a family unit.

Excuse me for being blunt. I'm passing you the wisdom from the failures of the others. Over these few years, I've lost count how many emails I've came across by Singaporeans who lamented to me how they missed their boats. So if you have the intention to be work and live in Australia in the near future, apply for it while you are eligible. As I have no information about your boyfriend's course, I'll let you sort out how to get his done later on. Worse comes, you can apply for the Spouse Visa for him after marriage. To make things easier for the both of you, you need to get on the boat first, while you can.

Instead of trying your luck by moving to Australia on visitor's pass to find a job and sponsor, you will be better off applying for the PR right away, continuing working where you are and save money fervently. Save your ass off. The money will come extremely useful. You'll thank me when the time comes. Doubt me not.

If you get your PR approved before your boyfriend graduate from university, make your initial entry to Australia to confirm your PR and you may choose to return to Singapore to work while waiting for your boyfriend to graduate from university and take it from there. You should have sufficient time to sort things out before your PR expires. When you make your move to Australia with as a permanent resident, you will find a lot of flexibility in terms of finding a job since you do not have to restrict yourself in finding jobs in your field. You will also avoid the pressure of not finding an employer to sponsor you before your temporary pass expires.

Feel free to debate against my arguments.



  1. Landscape architecture, I have known many graduates who couldn't find related work, market too small. But then good luck, listen to Nix. Melbourne overcrowded, so do consider Perth as well. :)

    1. Stay in Singapore, Australia is overcrowded, full of racist shits who can only play cricket, and Singapore will be going places in the next 50 years with PAP in power.

  2. Hi Ruth, since you are a grad from Melbourne, do you qualify for visa 485? Engineers qualify for visa 476 (NTU/NUS) within 2 years of graduation. Or you can apply directly for visa 190 with state sponsorship as the main applicant, and your partner as the spouse.

    - Mr N.

  3. Apply for pr before you apply for job

    1. I agree with Nix but I am more blunt: I would be pissed off about people talking about quarter life crisis.

      The fact is people have much more choices and can access more information in their twenties now compared to a mere generation ago. Talk about under stress for having too much choices and options. Last time there is only 2 universities and a couple of polys and then you just take what they pay you.

      Now people can compare this and that, and learn to be even more unhappy knowing someone is always going to be better off than you, but forgetting there are plenty who is worst off than you.

      You got many choices, life can throw a curve ball at you. What you think is sure thing is just an illusion. World changes in a few years if not months. If people is asked to predict the fall of investment banks and the GFC, or the 1mdb crisis with the Malaysian PM dragged into it, you will think it is impossible. Just like listening to government about learning biomed to be technicians and scientists and did that guarantee job for those people? At the end of the day, young people must do what they like doing and study for things they enjoy, no organisation or government can guarantee a long term career, nor do they owe you one.

      We can give as much advice as we like, but we don't tell you what you must do; that decision comes from yourself not us.

  4. Hi Ruth,
    Nix is absolutely correct, as well as the earlier satirical poster about Oz being too crowded. The key is, don't regret later that you didn't try while the door was open to you.

  5. Thank you guys! Felt a warm fuzzy feeling having people I haven't met to spend time and type these advice for me. I don't mind bluntness at all. It's all cool, I need to hear it. Thank you Nix especially for reading my email and taking time and interest to reply my email through the blog post.

    Unfortunately, I am not eligible for subclass 485 as I completed my degree in 2 semesters. UniMelb gave me 2 years of exemption due to related course in Polytechnic. I am in the midst of engaging an agent right now to help me with my PR application. Of course their fees are super duper expensive, I am re considering on doing it on my own.

    Australia may be overcrowded, but so is Singapore. There are so many architects in Singapore and due to the terrible economy right now many companies are actually not hiring graduates due to the lack of projects locally and globally.

    Precisely the point that XYZ brought up, we have too many choices now which puts us in a back and forth situation to decide which option suit us best. I have to say though many friends at my age just stick to whatever they are doing at the moment even if they are not earning enough/ don't really like what they do. I refuse to get comfortable and I am determined to change my fate.

    "identify what you really want for your life and work towards it relentlessly" -WORD

    Thank you all again!
    I'll keep you updated again Nix :D


  6. Hi Ruth, i am in the midst of my 190 application. I dont think the paperwork is that complex to justify thousands of dollars for a migration agent who probably will do the exact same things that any applicants doing it themselves. Just my 2 cents.

    - Mr N.