Saturday, 3 August 2013

Migrating to Oz: How much $$ does it cost?

This is one of the most common questions I've been asked by family, friends, colleagues and even acquaintances, when they find out about my migration plans. It's a valid question, really, given that Singaporeans are generally pragmatic people. In this short post, I shall cover the details surrounding the monetary cost of migration for the 2 of us.

How much does it actually cost to migrate?

The table below covers the complete costs for our migration so far:

Actual Cost
(for both of us)
Mainly for primary applicant only, unless you are claiming skills points for your partner
Skills Assessment
Depends on what your occupation is. Mine is relevant for all teaching professionals only.
or approx S$700
Submission of EOI
Application of State Nomination
For subclass 190 applicants only
Formal Lodgement of PR after invite
For both subclass 189 and 190, before 1 July 2013. After 1 July, please refer to here.
or approx S$3600
Medical Clearance
For primary applicant and each dependent / secondary applicant. Cost reflected is accurate as of July 2013, but may change with inflation rates
S$131.61 x 2
Police Clearance
For primary applicant and each dependent/secondary applicant above 18 years of age.
S$45 x 2
Miscellanenous Fees
DHL courier express for Skills Assessment (of course, you can choose to send by post for about a third of the cost)

The above table does not include other costs that we have yet to encounter, such as one way air tickets, movers, transport costs etc. But you get the general idea. Also note that the lodgement fee is non-refundable except under very special circumstances. Therefore, I say this again: Migration is not for the faint of heart - unless you have a lot of money! 

Your next question is probably this: Is the monetary cost worth it? For us, it's a resounding YES! Monetarily speaking, here's my top 3 reasons why:
  1. Housing Grant. First-time home buyers (for Australian Citizens and PR) are given a housing grant of between A$7,000 to A$15,000.
  2. Car. It is well-known that cars in Australia are much cheaper because there is no such thing as COE. Cars are a necessity in Australia but a luxury in Singapore. To compare apples with apples, a new Toyota Camry easily costs S$170,000 in Singapore (according to sgCarMart). The equivalent in Oz costs A$30,000 (according to Huge savings there!
  3. Furthering Studies i.e. Masters by Research/PHD. Pursuing a PhD or Masters (by Research) is free for citizens and PR. Given both S and I are already degree holders, this is a very attractive option indeed.

Some of you may comment at this point that the costing above for living in Australia is grossly incomplete. At the moment, of course it is. I haven't taken into consideration food, housing, welfare, healthcare and many other living expenses. However, my point is this: based on the 3 merits listed above, I personally deem that my $5k+ is already well-spent. (In fact, I'm guessing most of the time, costs are only a secondary factor as to why Singaporeans choose to migrate... No?)

Are you afraid to consider migration? So were we, at some point in time.
But if you never try, you never know.

There are, indeed, many other reasons (that has nothing to do with money) on why our answer is a resounding YES, which I shall leave to another post, another day. Stay tuned!

Update: In a semi-related post, S outlines the process of moving our money to Australia.



  1. Last time what I understand is interest free study loan for undergrad degree course only and it is given to Australia citizens only.

    Australia PRs are excluded since 2005, they have to pay for 25% of their own uni tuition fees while the Australian govt subsidies the remaining 75%.

  2. Well, A was referring to Masters/PhD. Apparently the Oz govt would like more people to be interested in furthering their studies than is the case.

    For PR, undergrad tuition fees are much cheaper as you have mentioned. There's an additional 10% for Oz citizens but I don't think I could wait that long, IF I am taking up a new degree.

    Thinking of Zoology, perhaps! :p

  3. I'm a Singaporean who has been living in Melbourne for 5 years now and migrated based on the former 136 Skilled migration visa for Accountants and I am not aware that there is any free education for Masters/PhD courses? Where did you get that from? I recall having a part-time Australian Masters student who was working part-time to pay for his Masters course?

    1. Hi Anon

      You can check out the melbourne uni website for the graduate courses. Those that mention "RTS Only" are technically FOC as long as you are eligible for the course and can get a supervisor to monitor your project for the duration of the course. These are the PHD and Masters by Research courses only I believe. Most other Masters are not FOC. The FOC courses are only available to Aussie citizens and PRs, not sure about those under 136 visa. I also got an ex-colleague whose husband is a PR (subclass 176) taking PHD and he confirmed that they did not have to pay any course fees...

      - A

  4. Hi Neurotic Ramblings,

    I am a Singaporean and Hubby a Malaysian.... since 2009, can't shake off the idea of moving to OZ. We have finally agreed to make the first move, sitting for the coming IELTS exam. I'll be applying under subclass 189, bringing my family (hubby & 2 girls).

    The cost of application is a significant sum of $ to us. May I know if you have any idea if we got rejected, will there be a refund?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. No, there will not be a refund if your application is unsuccessful..


  5. LOL means we paid $5012 for the migration fees then we still have to wait isit successful or not? If it is like that , then how do we make it successful??

  6. Hi Neurotic Ramblings,

    I am a Singaporean, I would like to start a fresh in OZ with good work life balance. I am relatively new to this and does not know of the migration process and fees. I am aware that agents fees are very expensive so I hope you can give me some directions on this. Currently, I am working as a safety officer in the construction industry and having only a diploma. My total family size (6 Kids) is eight inclusive of me. Hope you can assist.

    Many thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Viar,

      You clearly need an agent.


    2. hi VIer ,

      how is your application going by now? I am also in the safety field .


  7. hi there, came across your blog while searching for migration cost. the costing table above did not indicate agent fee. may i know which agent you went to? will you withdraw all your cpf money one day and buy a house in aussie instead?

    1. Try reading a few more articles on our blog... Your questions are answered in the various posts


  8. I just got a quote from migra agency in sg, charge $36000. In three progressive payment, each $12000.