Singapore Revisited Log 5.12: Migrate to Taiwan

Maggie and Aku were technically 'jobless' today. So they thought it was a good idea to have a 'farewell' breakfast with me early in the morning, before I head down to Chinatown to fix up my chronic neck issue. True to their word, the couple appeared at 7.10am smiling in the shortlived, cool Singapore morning. They were in good spirits for they would be flying off to Taiwan for their yearly retreat. "Not very often you see happy jobless people," they quipped. 

Not exactly. 

A quick flashback reminded myself about my jobless days in Singapore. They were among my happiest days in my life. As I found out, the only problem about unemployment was a lack of income. There wasn't any issue whatsoever regarding motivation or life purpose that some 90 year old zombie who refused to stop work have been suggesting. If anything, unemployment inspired me to discover my life goal - and that is to be unemployed as soon as I could, after my inevitable return to employment.

I queried the couple why they decided to holiday in Taiwan so regularly. (As they have refused to visit me in Perth so far) Both of them like the place so much that Maggie even casually researched how to.migrate to Taiwan before. All I needed to do, she revealed, was to bring NT5 million ( about SGD$210,000) to Taiwan for 1 year and a long term visa will be granted. She backed her claim by sending me a link of an article which elaborated on what she claimed. 

Thought $210k wasn't a small amount to raise, it wasn't exactly out of reach. Moreover, they were only require to hold it there for a year, in which the funds will be released back to the applicants afterwards. If Aku and Maggie were to raise $50k themselves and borrow another three portions from others for a year, promising them a generous interests, they would be able to set forth northwards for a year where they will be permitted to work or operate a business. A few days ago, Stephen rubbished the notion of migrating to Taiwan when I told him about it. He reasoned that if the economy of Taiwan is that good, there will not be so many young Taiwanese on work-holiday visa in Australia. I don't disagree that Taiwan is facing a graduate 'glut' like Singapore. I don't deny fresh graduates are not paid fantastically - that is if they can even get a job.

Still, we have to take note these things may be merely playing in our minds. For example, for someone who does a migration related blog, I receive emails from Singaporeans trying to get the fuck out all the time. It is easy for me to assume a lot of Singaporeans are trying to migrate. In reality, even if you factor in all Singaporeans who have migrated and those who are intending to, the figure only makes up about 1% of the Singaporean population. Not many countries boast low employment rates like Singapore but does statistics like that tell the whole story? Our elderly people collecting trays at the food court are barely surviving with the pittance they are being paid. So are the 'licensed buskers' on the streets. All these people will be counted as employed. I could spend months and months of sending resumes during my final years in Singapore and my invitation count for a job interview was a big fat zero. Low employment rates? So fucking what? Strange to speak, I got a job in Perth before I could pronounce 'G'day mate' properly despite Australia's high unemployment rate. As for Taiwanese on working-holiday visa in Perth, it will be shocking to hear if they think conditions back home are good for them. Otherwise why are they here?

When it comes to migration, the question of jobs and income will always be one of the first things that pops up. For someone like Stephen who gave it all up and came to Perth risking everything, in his comfort zone these days, could forget the rules behind. You may leave for jobs but it's the flowers that makes you stay. With great weather and beautiful scenery, I would say Taiwan has plenty to offer. A job is not everything in life. If we can take anything that comes by, survival is a non-issue. Our Singaporean daughter [link] who moved to Thailand is still happily living life there. We will only know a place properly if we drop our pre-conceived ideas of it. If I didn't drop mine, I wouldn't have came to racist, high tax Australia.

If all fail, maybe a plausible a back up plan?

Since Maggie revealed that it was possible to rent their flat out for around $1.7k and since they were paying a mortgage of $700 a month, it was possible to achieve a handy supply of about $1k (NT24,000) to aid their survival up north. Is NT24,000 a month sufficient for a couple to sustain a year in Taiwan? Why don't they find out during the trip? If not, surely a menial job will be enough to supplement the cost of living? Maybe they could even 夜市人生 over there haha.

From the status she posted in Facebook, Ah Mag must have enjoyed so much and clean forgotten about it. Anyway I was just kidding around with the couple. I knew they would rather break at arm than to contemplate a possibility of moving to a place they loved so much. Perhaps regular visits is the better way to go. Renting may be better than owning in some cases.


  1. There is compulsory military service in Taiwan. Not ideal if you are planning for a family.

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  3. 依據入出國及移民法第25條第1項第3款及其施行細則第16條第1項第2款規定,外國人非以我國國民配偶身分申請永久居留證者,其應具備「有相當之財產或技能,足以自立」,包括下列情形之一:

    check w a singapore who migrated to taiwan serveral years ago, abv is shared by him.
    but rental in taiwan is edy 800 per month in outer skirts of taipei. and u may not cook inside.