The Concerns of a Singaporean Mum About Setting Up Camp

Hi Nix,

Please correct and pardon me if I've got your name wrong.

I first came across your interesting and helpful blog a few months ago but have been reading your blog daily in these recent weeks.

I decided to contact you as I feel that you have been really helpful to Singaporeans who have the wish to migrate to Australia. From reading your answers to the many different types of queries that you posted, I can feel your sincerity and enthusiasm in helping anyone who has doubts and problems with migration.

Many thumbs up for you!!!

 I  am planning for migrating to Australia, but as my husband and me doesn't hold any degree, we cannot accumulate enough of 60 points to apply for PR.

The other way out for us is to apply for visa 489 (skilled regional provisional) instead, meaning that with this visa granted, we are allowed to work and reside in designated areas of Australia.

It seems to me that this is the only choice for now.

Abit about myself and my family :

I am 42 of age with a diploma in civil engineering with 21 years of drafting experience. Since hubby only got ITE cert, so I became the principle applicant. I got 3 kids, age 18, 16, 8. got a pet cat with us too.

My purpose of migrating is seeking a less stressful environment for my family. and more importantly, I hope that my kids will be able to study there and my boy to grow up in a better environment.

Currently , we are already in the process of migrating, my skills are now being assess by Vetassess and results will be out somewhere next month.(keeping my fingers cross).  

Then i will be able to submit my EOI and hopefully I can get sponsorship from any states.

Hopefully if everything goes well, we hope to move off this year end.

My concerns are :
1) the right place to choose to reside?
     since we cant just stay anywhere we like, I am looking at Adelaide, since it is the only 2 of the cities I can live in.(the other is Darwin)
I hope there is some help available from Adelaide.
2) worried about settling down issues since we know no one there. (Haiz)

3) schooling for my boy, renting a place and getting a job.
    (FYI, only me, hubby and my 8 yrs old boy is going over first, the 2 girls later after we have settled since still halfway studying)

4) I wonder how long we will get to settle down, cos I can only roughly prepare SGD10K to bring over. Can this last us for 3 months for basic needs?    I hope to get settled down within 3 months. is this time frame realistic ?

I am grateful and  hope to hear from your advice soon.

Many thanks to you.

Thank you for getting my name right and your many thumbs up and sorry to put you through the ordeal of reading my blog daily. 

First, please double check if you will be able to accumulate enough points if you go for Visa 489. There will be some who will still fall short despite the extra points from a State Sponsorship. I believe much lies in your Vetassess results. If you are able to get full points from that, the points from State Sponsorship will make up for the points you lost at the Age Category. If your points are sufficient, you will be invited to launch your EOI.

The end of the year time frame is a tough call though. What's the hurry? It must be for the little boy. If that is the case, don't let this stress you out. It is ok to let your son start school halfway through. Don't be afraid that your kid is "losing out" a few months of education. It won't hurt him as much as we think. If that is an utmost concern for parents, I'll advise them to let their son finish National Service before moving to Australia. 

Regarding where to move to, I believe this is too early to worry about at this stage, since nothing has been finalised. When you receive your State Sponsorship, it will be the appropriate time to focus on your destination. I have 2 contacts in Darwin, Satki Yoda and Chiobu Kopimaid and 1 contact in Adelaide, Mistress Sei. These trust aides will be able to give you sound advice about which suburb to shortlist in accordance to your needs. With this, I solve concern 1), 2), 3a) and 3b).

Jobs is the trickiest business for any newly migrant to fret about due to the unpredictable nature of getting it done quickly, as it varies from industry to industry and much also depends on being at the right place at the right time or knowing the right person. A few common approaches I've learnt from fellow migrants so far are;

1) Moving the whole family over (waiting for your daughters to finish schools in your case) and renting out the HDB flat (if it is paid up) to supplement your jobless days in Australia. I understand that it is unlikely that you will favour this option because I just noted your son is at a strategic age and could be part of your urgency to move. Nonetheless, an option.

2) Moving with your son first as the advance party with husband providing income for the family in Singapore. I've seen at least 3 of such cases personally. Whether it could work or not depends much on how independent you are as well as your capabilities of running (half of) your family respectively in both countries.

3) Moving together (without daughters as planned). The success rate of this commando approach relies on lucky you are to find a job first before your money runs our and how willing you are to pick up ANY job to pay the bills before you do. Yes, there are jobs that locals are not willing to do, just like in Singapore and these jobs pay bills.

I used to approach the nature of your last question ("Can this last us 3 months of basic needs?") with ease but after meeting too many Singaporean migrants here I am not so confident of answering that anymore. The fundamental problem, I realised only later, is that my basic needs are very different from the basic needs from many (if not most)(if not all) Singaporeans. 

Let me give you an example. I had a friend who stopped communicating with me since our last conversation 2 years back. Our last topic was a debate which he couldn't accept my refusal to agree with his stand that an air conditioner is an absolute need in Singapore living. On a lesser extent, I observe friends in Singapore get unusually defensive whenever I rebut the need of owning (the 10 year lease of) a car in Singapore. While we are at the topic of cars,  just to share with you my circumstances further, I had met Singaporeans who slapped down $5,000 to $24,000 for a car among the first things after their feet land on the airport here, even before their shelter is established. It confused the hell out of me because I was taught that shelter, food and sex are basic human needs. I supposed some Singaporeans have sex with their cars. 

So let's face it, it is a question impossible to address unless we define what is your basic needs. A good rule of thumb is to let me know what are your monthly expenses (including all usual indulges) in Singapore. With that, I will be able to do a safe forecast for you.

I will be waiting for your updates.


  1. "he couldn't accept my refusal to agree with his stand that an air conditioner is an absolute need in Singapore living"

    As a polar bear born in the tropics who walks around in tshirts and shorts in 10 degrees, I recently visited Singapore in March and endured the heat at night with a fan. Or slept on the floor. No big deal. Your ex friend is a gu niang.

    "Singaporeans who slapped down $5,000 to $24,000 for a car among the first things after their feet land on the airport here"

    Obviously all the maths Olympiads questions in the world are of no use to teach Singaporeans that cars are a waste of money. Let me rephrase that: If you need a car for work or other things yes you need a car, but buy the CHEAPEST car. Why pay more for bragging rights, or to be satki? It should be more satki to pay less for the same thing. People should be awed that Nix has bought a car for $2000 and not $20,000.

    1. Uncle here buys the cheapest car with working airbags

    2. Well done Uncle! Proud of you!

  2. "he couldn't accept my refusal to agree with his stand that an air conditioner is an absolute need in Singapore living"

    Uncle here can live in SG with a fan 12 months a year but in Darwin particularly Nov - mar die die cannot Tahan day and night heat unless you live near the sea. Within 1 km. no joke it's normally 35 degree in the shade in Darwin.

    Sometimes I sit in aircon in the car a bit longer after the drive home, just to cool down a bit.

    Call me a nu Ning uncle I don't care as long as my balls are cooled down

    Back to topic: interesting choice choosing between Adelaide and Darwin. Is that what DIMA says.

    There are jobs here, probably more in Darwin than Adelaide but the question is that if it is your area expertise.

    I don't know enough about drafting work in Darwin to advise

  3. Dear Sg Mum,

    Nothing to be concerned about at this time for your case. For us 40-somethings, Skills points no enough, no talk. Can close shop on moving to Oz. Praying at church/temple for the Vetassess officer to award you full pts is key now. These (un)professional bodies can get very subjective.

    Next will be your convincing application to NT & SA for regional state sponsorship.

    Get your SS visa approval, then you can happily work out the ground concerns. By then, would it really be such concerns, since it is FIRM you CAN move to Oz?

    Good luck!