Almost every person had, in one time or another, dreamed of migrating to another country.
For most Filipinos this is the best way to help their families get out of their present economic situation.
Migration is a political issue, countries whose population of workers are mainly immigrant workers face other social issues like family related problems and the “brain drain” of local workforce.
On the other hand, some citizens of the receiving countries might feel threatened to welcome foreign workers in fear of losing their own jobs.
Still, many developed countries are racing to attract highly skilled migrants and even international students by making efforts to have friendlier and easier migration policy while still safeguarding the interest and security of their own people.
The United Nations stands that “migrant labor is desirable and necessary to sustain economic growth and rise out of the current recession. Migration is important for the transfer of manpower and skills and provides the needed knowledge and innovation for global growth.”
Two of the most popular destinations of skilled migrants are Australia and Singapore.
Australia’s Skilled Migration
One way of migrating to Australia is by having your skill or occupation in the country’s Skilled Occupation List or SOL. Australia’s SOL 2015 is available online. You may also check the Consolidated Skilled
Occupation List of CSOL more occupations are included, however, a state, territory or employer must nominate you.
If your skill or occupation is listed and you have worked the minimum amount of years in 10 years then you may qualify for a visa.
You may want to visit Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection to look at a Point Test chart and have a feel if you have enough points to seriously consider this migration path. The current pass mark is 120 points.
If you passed the 120 mark required, consider looking into the website of your occupation’s assessing authority. Your assessing authority is found in the SOL as well.
Schedule for an International English Language Test System or IELTS exam. English proficiency is important in Australia’s immigration program and required by the assessing authority. Check for your obligatory score depending on your occupation.
If you get a positive skills assessment then you may lodge your application to SKillSelect and wait for your invitation to apply for a visa.
Australia’s Point Tested Skilled Migration visas are categorized as:
Skilled-independent Visa (subclass 189)
Visa subclass 189 is a permanent visa. You do not need to be sponsored by an employer or a family member to be invited. All you need is to show that you have enough (or the highest) points among all applicants to be invited by Australia. The points are gained through your level of education, work experience, age and English language score.
Skilled-nominated Visa (subclass 190)
Visa subclass 190 is almost similar with subclass 189 only, one of the states in Australia sponsors you and that your occupation is on CSOL. This means that your skill is needed in that state and you are invited to stay and find work in that state for two years.
Skilled-Regional (Provisional) Visa (subclass 489) sponsored
Is a 4-year temporary, renewable visa. An eligible relative living in a regional area should sponsor you. Your occupation should be on the SOL as well. It is mandatory to live and work in that regional area for 4 years.
Skilled-Regional (Provisional) Visa (subclass 489) state or territory nominated
Is another 4-year temporary, renewable visa. This time, a state or territory government sponsors you to live and work in a regional area for 4 years. Your occupation should be on the CSOL
All visa schemes require your skills assessed by appropriate assessing authority in Australia.
Employer sponsored visa categories are also available. If an employer is willing to sponsor you, you do not need to pass the Point test. These visas are: Temporary Work (Skilled Visa subclass 457), Employer
Nomination Scheme or ENS Visa (subclass 186) and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme or RSMS Visa (subclass 187) Direct entry scheme.
Another path into Australia is through their Student Visa. International postgraduate students are even allowed to work in a set number of hours a week. After graduation, students may apply for a permanent visa.
Singapore Skilled Migration
Singapore do not have a list of occupations that they need. Instead, an employer should first post their opening in local job markets for at least 14 days. This ensures that Singapore locals are prioritized for the position.
If there are no locals applying or suitable for the position the employer can proceed to opening it to others outside of the country. Skilled Migration is mostly employment based; therefore, employers apply on behalf of the prospective candidate.
Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower or MOM suggests that employers check eligibility of candidates using a Self- Assessment Tool or SAT. This will also help employers check the quota limit for the occupation.
Migrant workers in Singapore are categorized as Highly Skilled Professionals and Skilled or Semi-skilled Workers.
Under the Professionals category are:
A type of work permit for company owners, managers and executives or skilled people who will be working in the country with a monthly income of $3,300 or more. It is also important that you are a degree holder from a reputable university.
This is valid for 1-2 years and is renewable as long as the individual is employed by the same company. EP holders may tag their family along with them and may apply for permanent residency (PR) in a few years time.
Entrepreneur Pass (EntrePass)
Is a variant of the EP only as the name suggest, this work pass is for company owners whose business is incorporated or will be incorporated with Singapore based companies.
This pass is valid for a year and may be renewed as long as the business is still viable. PR may be possible in due time.
Personalized Employment Pass (PEP)
This is a special type of work pass because it allows the holder to work in Singapore without being tied to one employer only. You can switch jobs within the 3 year validity period provided that you are not unemployed for more than six months and you cannot start your own business as well.
This work pass has strict eligibility guidelines including a salary of $12,000 a month for those already working in Singapore and $18,000 for those based outside the country.
This pass is non-renewable although a holder may apply for PR as well.
For Singapore’s Skilled and Semi-Skilled Workers
This work permit is for mid-skilled technical professionals with a fixed monthly salary of at least $2,200. Years of relevant experience plus at least a year of full time study is required as well.
This work pass is limited to sectors in construction, manufacturing, marine, process, and services. Workers for these areas can only be sourced from specific countries.
For Filipinos, Singapore needs our services for areas in construction, marine and the process sector.
Requirements include medical insurance, security bond, quota and levy.
This pass is generally valid for 2 years. Employers are encouraged to move their most valuable work permit holders up as S Pass holder so that the employee can stay and longer in Singapore.
Work Permit for Foreign Domestic Helper
The Philippines is one of 12 source countries for this kind of work permit. This is only available for females 23 to 50 years old with at least 8 years of formal education.
Work Permit for Performing Artiste
This work permit is for performing artiste willing to work in public entertainment venues such as, bars, hotels and nightclubs.
This is valid for 6 months only. Workers are not allowed to apply for another pass even for a different job within one year after the end of Work Permit for Performing Artiste.
Singapore also encourages International students to study in their institutions but they are not allowed to work unless granted a work pass exemption. Graduates still need to acquire a work permit to work in
Planning to migrate in any of these two countries would most definitely nudge you towards getting that financial dream you have for yourself and your family.
Singapore is inviting because it welcomes different cultures and it just opened its doors to all talented individuals.
If you are highly skilled, high earner, and employable then try Singapore. It would be a fresh experience and it would give you new perspective. Although, other countries, would want you too.
In addition, since the migration scheme is employment based, it gives a feeling of security that when you come in to Singapore, you have a job waiting for you.
You could also try Singapore if you have the needed skill and experience but not enough for other developed countries. Plus, if you end up liking it there you may consider sharpening your skills and upping up your game to apply for a better work permit and maybe a PR in the future.
Personally, if you have the qualification, skill, experience and English competency try your luck in Australia. Their immigration schemes are more transparent and you can always view your application status online.
I also like that they do not have “semi-skilled” sectors that employ only specific countries. I would like to be in a country where everyone is treated equally regardless of the job you are employed in.
Then again, as they say, no one can make you feel inferior unless you let them. As long as you are in a decent job, then go where your luck (and hard work) leads you.
Special thanks to Steve for the main image.