Hello A & S,
I was brought to this blog after reading your exchanges with LIFT (those who know, knows). Kudos to the two of you for documenting your journey to the land of Oz and of course, for articulating the disappointment and resentment of many Singaporeans. I am one of the 'silent majority' who feels the brunt of everything wrong with this society and never have guessed that I would be making a comment on a blog or on any platform for that matter. Well, it took me this long.
Admitedly, I did not read the entirety of your blog and only managed to skim the highlights but I gathered that the two of you are now gainfully employed in Australia after crossing the immigration hurdles. Congratulations.
Having done a little research on the criteria for making the move a few years ago and after reading some blogs on the process (including yours), I'm still perplexed how the average Singaporean could have successfully migrated to Australia, university educated, no less. Allow me to elaborate on my doubts: the SOL clearly indicates a shortage in fields such as metallurgy, dentistry, rheumatology and welding among many others that we would normally consider 'niche' in Singapore. After all, how many metallurgists do we personally know of? Considering that job-search visas would not be granted for people who wish to 'try their luck' for a few months, how on earth do people actually set foot in Australia, let alone find a job at all?
Which brings me to the next question: we have obviously heard of people who are permanent residents of Australia working in jobs that are evidently not listed on the SOL, for instance, marketing (the infamous Amy Cheong comes to mind). I am going to assume that Amy Cheong obtained her PR the legitimate and legal way so it is all fair play here but I am quite certain office-based positions such as marketing, branding and what-nots are clearly not what Australia desperately lacks, so what gives? And I am not going to speculate that Amy Cheong was 'flexible' enough to retrain as a welder before receiving rights to remain in Australia and changing jobs thereafter. Obviously not.
The more I read about how people land in Australia without first having a job on the SOL, the more I feel something is not clearly explained; like the missing link in mankind's evolution for lack of a better analogy. It is almost as if a plumber told you he was elected to chair the committee of Genetic Research in Australia. We would be applauding and lavishing compliments for him having achieved that, and only to be struck by the realisation that something about the story is not quite complete. Not totally implausible for that to happen but you get the idea. What I am asking is, how would the average university-educated non-metallurgist non-cardiologist non-super-niche worker be able to gain entry into Australia? Would you like to shed some light here? Thank you.
Thanks for the comment and the depth of thought put into it. You raised quite a few points and asked valid questions.
1. Occupation Shortages in SOL
Besides metallurgy, welding, carpentry and other trade jobs on the SOL (which are admittedly not terribly glamorous and therefore 'niche' occupations in SG), there are also many jobs/fields listed on the SOL that Singaporeans could already be qualified in. These include:
- Teachers of all levels (the number of staff in MOE is more than half the ENTIRE civil service)
- Internal and External Auditors
- Solicitors and barristers
- Engineers (some more specialized than others)
- Many, many other occupations in the healthcare industry
2. Job Search Visa
I'm not sure what you mean by 'job search visa'. If you are referring to working holiday visas, of course the chances will be slim because the employer will need to sponsor you if they hire you. If you are referring to tourist / visitor visa, I believe it is illegal to try to gain employment without first converting your visa to 457, which requires sponsorship. There are plenty of locals/PRs who are already in Oz and qualified - cold knocking with the wrong type of visa is highly unlikely to achieve sustainable results. If you are referring to 457, then the comment doesn't make sense because those on 457 already have a job to begin with? Admittedly I have not 'studied' all the visas so there may be an option for job seekers I'm not aware of...?
3. The Missing Link
In response to your reading about how people land in Australia without first having a job on the SOL, let me state that my previous job in Singapore was on the Australia SOL, so I obviously do not belong to the special category you mentioned. I do believe at least one person in a family must offer an occupation on the main SOL or any of the State Nomination Occupation Lists (SNOL) in order to gain entry as a skilled PR under 189/190. Those who married PR / citizens or are children / parents of PR/citizens could also gain entry without being specially qualified (after a very long wait, but possible).
It's what you choose to do when the odds are stacked against you that defines you. If your job is NOT on the SOL or you are not married / related to any Australians and you wish to migrate, what would you choose to do about it? S and I personally know a fair number of people who belong to this group and they chose status quo - to do nothing. We also know a very small number who are in the midst of taking IELTS, switching their careers or considering further study in Australia. Which group are you?
From the perspective from someone who has already migrated, I would say you can only complete the story when you are on the other side. The intangible missing link for us is faith in the unknown, living with uncertainty, determination to make it work and shattering the deeply ingrained Singaporean mindset. Each migrant's story is so different so each migrant's perspective after coming over may be quite different. Please do ask other migrants for their opinions!
I hoped I've answered your question(s) to some extent. To put it very bluntly, the average degree holder who is not particularly skilled/talented nor married to an Australian nor working in a job on the main SOL/State's SOL will find it very difficult to gain entry as a Permanent Resident or Temporary Resident. The average person is unlikely to migrate. The average person will find excuses and complain about his circumstances. The average person will probably not change his occupation to gain entry into Australia. The average person will live an average life and wonder why he is unhappy.
The extraordinary, however, will find a way.