15 Months of Perth

Whiteman Park

When Singaporeans talk migration, it has been always about push/pull factors, mainly focused foremost on economic comparisons. Then standard of living and work-life balance come into play. And ends it all with the stayers bashing the quitters, citing the degrading about their new class of citizenship and their pride.

The first questions a migrant wannabe will ask are how to apply for a permanent visa, whether there are jobs for them, will they be treatedf like how Singapore treats their foreign workers, will we be discriminated at work, is there racism, will we earn more money than back home. As someone who walked the path before you, I will like to share that these are trivial matters. Most of these are either procedural or there is nothing much you can do about it other than choosing to buy the rumors or find out the facts yourselves. 

The tricky part will be the moment you received that permanent visa approval. After the euphoria dies down,  you can break out in cold sweat not knowing what to do next. We are a bunch of structured, organised folks who find control in our lives mind-settling. That source of control comes from knowing what is going to happen next - even if we don't quite like what the future looks for us. Living in Singapore, life is smooth and predictable. Your house is not going to be ripped off by a hurricane today, even if it is supposed to be the end of the world. Work, as work, will be work tomorrow. Life goes on like a well oiled machine in Singapore.

From the point you get your PR approval, all these will come crashing down on you. You have to give up the all assuring certainties to walk into a tunnel with no light at the end in sight. You don't know where this will lead you, you don't know where you'll emerge at the end of the tunnel. You realise it is much harder to move, to make the real move than actually getting yourself legitimate to move.

How would you explain this to your friends? Some would not see your plan as seeking for a better work-life balance but an act of betrayal. How would you break the news to your beloved family members you are not bringing along? How do you ensure they will be well taken care of in your absence to perform your piety duties? Some of you may even find a bother to leave your beloved boss and colleagues.

While you are flustered about migration mechanics, never forget to mind your mental state and prepare yourself early for the emotional challenges. For these are severely undermined by many, it has brought many migration plans crashing down and will continue to do so.

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