Go the Easy Way, G


I have read your blog on your journey of migrating to the land of the kangaroos... I like it alot as you really let me sees the life in Australia through your eyes and experiences.

Well also about your personal family life and find that it was kinda interesting.

Anyway, my main objectives of to email you is to find out about the procedure of applying for PR or VISAS.

I have read up your blog on some of these information and have googled it as well. Perhaps I'm just not that bright, I'm still confused about how to go about getting myself into Australia.

I know I can just take the easy way out by approaching a migration agent.. but.. their fees is just too much for me to handle. And so, I wish I could get some information from you so I can apply the the VISAs / PR myself.

Would really appreciate if you can offer your wisdom to me.


Contact: xxxxxxxx


Hi G,

How are things from the land of Merlions? It has been some time since I've gotten any updates about my home. 

Let me do a short calculation for you about agent (legit or shady) fees by presenting to you a variety of case studies. You'll decide for yourself if you feel the fees of migration agents are too expensive or not later.

Case 1: [link]
Rahman, Afghani, came to Perth by boat. Spent a total of A$20,000 for his adventures. Earning about A$1,000 a week in a factory in Perth now. After tax, rental and expenses, he told me he saves about $200 a week.

Recovery ratio: 20,000/200 = 100 weeks


Case 2: [link]
23 year old Bangladeshi Amran spent US$7,000 to come to Singapore to work as a construction worker. From my previous experience as a project manager in construction, a typical worker earns approximately $150 - $200 a week in Singapore, on a 6 full days work week basis. I'm being generous here, some workers take in less. How much can a worker in Singapore save per week? I'll let you do an estimation. I'll go with about $70 at most

Recovery ratio: 8563 (based on 1:1.22 conversion) /70 = 122 weeks


Case 3: [link]
Chen spent S$3,600 to leave China to work in Singapore. Initially she was paid $550 a month. She claimed that she spent $300 for food, $250 for rent and $60 for transport. Her expenses total up to be $610 a month. To make ends meet, her employer generously gave her an additional grant of $150 for housing and $30 for transportation. So she was able to draw in $680, saving $70 a month. She worked overtime (100 hours a week) so that she could draw about $1,200 a month but this figure is generally unsustainable. (that's a 14 hours a day, seven days a week regime by the way)

Thus she saves (70 x 12 / 52) = $16 a week

Recover ratio:  3600/16 = 225 weeks


Now let's see how worse off we Singaporeans will be if we pay off migration sharks to work in Perth. The current visa application cost for the Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa that most Singaporean will be using is currently set as A$3,060. That will be the cost if you apply it yourself. If you use a migration agent, he may charge you an additional few thousand bucks. Let's say the guy chose to charge you another S$3,060 to so that he can feel like a slave labour master, your total outlay will be at worst, 3891 (based on 1:1.27 conversion) + 3060 = $6951.

Wow. That sounds exciting already right? We are set for a slave labour adventure here. Are you going to be worse off than any of the above?

If you find a common job paying A$20 an hour, working 38 hours a week, you'll take in $760 a week. Your tax will be $84. If you are interested how I get this figure [click here] Spend $150 a week to get a room. Ok you don't have a house of your own from the beginning, but you're better off than all of the above cases who had to share rooms and toilets with others. $160 a week here should get you a proper personal room at this point of time. If you spend $100 a week on transport (that's 76L of petrol btw, you don't need that), $200 a week on food (eating out 2 meals out of 3 everyday, you should cook it yourself really) and $200 for 'pain relief' on a call girl each week, you'll save about $100 bucks a week.

Your recovery ratio: $6951/100 = 69 weeks.

You're still better off than Rahman, Amran and Chen. Not that bad isn't it? Without information provided, I'm have no slightest idea what your background is. But I assume you can clean because I can and I know I'll be picking up this job if I am jobless today.

So can you. If you can find a job related to your expertise, I'm sure you'll be much better off. That will reduce your recovery ratio significantly for sure. So what are you waiting for? Call your nearest shark migration agent now! Don't ask me to recommend any though, I won't do it unless they pay me to.


  1. Nix, I was introduced to your blog by my dad who strongly encourages me to migrate. Took me a while before I started reading it and there was a mention of a migraton agent whom I contacted. Started the process with them in July 12 and on 12/12/12 I received the invitation from Skillselect asking me to put in my visa application. It could have been faster but I delayed taking my IELTS test and submitting my EOI for about 2 months.
    Regarding your assessment about the cost, I feel it is valid but for me, paying for someone to look through my qualifications, assess my eligibility, advising me the best pathway to take, preparing all the paperwork, following up with the various authorities and submission work is worth the price to pay. Especially given the hours we work in Singapore, we really don't have the time to follow up and you don't want to start the process and drop the ball. The cost does add up as the IELTS test and skills assessment and state sponsorship cost, medical, visa cost are separate but you pay those whether or not you use the agent.

    1. Hi jac,

      My friend Edmund mentioned over the previous dinner that he felt that there seems to be a trend forming whereby parents are asking their children to leave the country and he thought that it was a sign that the country is not doing as well as before. Now that you mention your situation, Edmund's words rang loud and clear to me.

  2. For sure you can recover the costs eventually, but IMHO there is value in a DIY (do-it-yourself) migration approach. I don't know about the Aussie process since I chose Canada, so I am going to share based on my Canadian immigration experience.

    Many people are surprised that I DIY, but actually whether DIY or through agent, the time taken is the same for Canadian immigration. There is no "special immigration quota reserved for agents" -- it is a myth, probably propagated by agents looking to earn a quick buck. In the process of DIY, I learned a lot about the way the Canadian bureaucracy works and developed confidence in communicating with the Canadian authorities. E.g. There was some delay in processing my application (the receiving officer misplaced my medical examination package), so I spoke to an immigration officer who was most apologetic for the mistake at their end (i.e. the Canadian High Commission in Singapore).

    This confidence to handle issues with authority figures is something that I find missing in some of the other immigrants, especially the China Chinese and/or Filipinos who used agents to come into Canada. They would run to their agents or any 3rd party for help whenever they need to deal with "authority figures" instead of learning to stand/speak for themselves.

    E.g. A Filipino schoolmate, who has been in Canada for over a decade, claimed emphatically that English is her 1st language (bwah-hahahah! *evil laugh*), but asked me for help to write an appeal letter to the nursing board over the expiry of her English assessment. I turned down her request due to strategic reason. [I have another appeal in-process that would benefit more of the internationally educated nurses, and so I wanted the nursing board's focus to be locked on that one strategic issue.] Anyway, she should be able to DIY if her English is as good as she claims and if she is as "Canadianized" as she claims from her decade of living here.

    In short, the confidence that one gains from DIY is not something that money can buy. It may affect how one handles challenges that one will inevitably face as an immigrant.

    1. Hi Winking Doll,

      I agree wholeheartedly. If there is anything worth doing it yourself at all, this should be one of them. Not only we save quite a big sum of money, we do gain confidence doing it. Imo, it is the same situation as getting a wedding planner and doing it yourselves. Some people insist to do the planning themselves because they see the painful part of planning as part of the rites.

      So why not DIY the migration process? It could be the second biggest life-changing decision of your life.

    2. I agree tk a certain extent. Having gone through my migration process thru an agent, i think (on hindsight) thst it would not have been too difficult to do it on our own. Just a little more legwork (on the web) and a little more self-discipline to follow through, that's all.

      The greatest value add my agent had for me was his guidance in filling out and submitting documents like the RPL, so that it passes 1st time, his witnessing of my certs as true copies (he is a JP so I saved a bundle there) and his consistent follow up to ensure that I did not drop out halfway thru the process. His total fees were about 2.5K +/-, IIRC, but I felt it was money well spent, but YMMV.

    3. Hey WD and G,

      I do agree that by doing it yourself, you get to save like 2k++ or so AUD (Australia dollar) as the current market rate. Or the person can try a lawyer that specialized in such issue and they charges about 1.5k AUD.

      There are risk involved if you apply yourself. Australia requires you to fill up the form 80 and it will also ask for a lot of personal information. All copies of your identifications (IC, birth cert, etc) needs to be witnessed and signed by a 'justice of peace'. You can find them easily in Australia from the town council and such. (Not sure how it is done in Singapore) By employing an agent, you get to avoid such issues. The copies has to be legible, or they will ask you to re-do it and send them a copy again. It can delay your applications up to months or in worst case scenario, rejected.

      Remember to book your medical checkup. Singapore is through raffle medical group. (Agent will book for you.)

      For certain skill migration (eg. nurse), you will also need the certification from the respective authorities like ANMAC. There is also a 'job assessment for jobs in healthcare that needs to be sent via their respective state registration board. Eg. AHPRA needs to send a certificate of registration to ANMAC and cannot be sent by yourself. And if you practiced in Singapore, you will also need a certificate of good conduct from the nursing board in Singapore and it has to be sent by them, not the applicant. There is also an authority in Australia for IT.

      And for male Singaporeans, you will need a valid exit permit and apply for a 'certificate of good conduct' from the Singapore police once the application gets through. (Females only need the cert of good conduct from police)

      In current context, once you hit 60 points in Australia in skill select, it is an 'expression of interest' (EOI) and will not be given PR until invited. The person will only need to pay 3060 after receiving an invitation. Should the person reject the offer, gets rejected because of insufficient information or didn't have the 3060 AUD in bank at that time, he/she can only re-apply 1 more time. (2 time in total.)

      There is a difference between living in Australia and 'Oversea' as you will be given transitioning visa if you are staying in Australia. But from the article, I believe he is staying in Sg, so I will cut short of the transiting visa.

      It needs to be re-applied every year if the applicant did not receive the invite even though all the information are complete. And should that happened if you are applying via agent, please take note that there are fees like 1k++ or so for their service again!

      You can consult the agency if you are eligible for immigration for free. Please take note that they will attempt to make you their customer if you happens to be eligible. Some agencies actually charges, just look for those that offer free consultation.

      Think through what you believe is the best course of action before attempting to apply by yourself or via agent.

      Best of luck to G.