May 19, 2007

Undergrad Planning To Emigrate

I received this email:
Hi Mr Wang,

First of all, I would like to say i am a frequent reader of your blog and enjoy your posts immensely. I would like to seek some advice on emigrating and hope you can offer a fresh perspective on this dilemma.

Currently, I am a SMU undergraduate(with majors in IT and Finance) intending to graduate in the next 6 mths and have decided on emigrating elsewhere (either Australia or Canada). What are the possible routes for a fresh graduate to migrate?

Given this current predicament, I am thinking of either enrolling in a masters program in an overseas university or work for a year to get the necessary experience in order to qualify for a work visa. Would you suggest any of these options and if not, what would be the best (hopefully quickest) route to migrating?

I don't really know the answers. But the good thing about this blog is that it has so many readers that SOME of them must know. If you have any tips or advice for Jackson, please comment.


Anonymous said...

Jackson: U can go check to the Australian Immigration website to see whether u qualify for migration into Australia. If u don't then u can get an employer to sponsor u. Afer 16 years of economic boom, there is a shortage of workers. The minning sector in WA is the best pay master. Alternatively do a master degree in an Australian U and proceed from there.
Good luck.

Anonymous said...

You can also try to find an internship there to try it out first.

Migration is not a trivial decision to make, so do take the time to make it.

Anonymous said...

A double major is an advantage. Get good grades, participate in extra curricular activities and apply for graduate programs offered by the MNC(s). Most of the people in my orientation program averaged D’s to HD’s. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

If you wanna apply for immigration - canada - australia

Or else, apply for a masters degree in either country. For australia, just work for 2 years after your masters and then apply for a PR. They have stopped giving automatic PR after the masters. If you cant wait so long, after completing ur masters, look for some lawyers who will do the necessary dirty work and get u the PR.

For Canada, the PR is pretty easy. Once u complete ur masters, just apply for PR and you can get it. You can even apply while you are doing ur masters. Once u get ur PR, just take the next flight to the US as its easy to get a US H1-B visa once u are a Canadian PR.

I mentioned the US option in case you have no intention of working in Canada after getting the PR.

Cheers - Philip

Anonymous said...

Consider sponsoring your parents over once you become PR.

Anonymous said...

Well, I think seriously before you consider emigration, do an MA or MS in a country of your choice first because it allows you to live and experience life abroad to see if the grass is REALLY greener on the either side.

For the US, it's also pretty much the same. Given your IT leanings and if you do a Master's degree in Comp Sci or say EE, you'd probably get a job pretty easily in Silicon Valley. Opportunities are also available in the finance side of things but you need to make sure your communication skills are top notch.

For the US, again it's easier to go through the student route as (1) you get to intern with companies during your MA/MS studies, (2) gives you time to network and meet people. Once you have that, I suspect with your good work ethic and capability, companies would be more than happy to sponsor a work visa (H1B that lasts six years) and subsequently permanent residency, IF that's what you want.

Keep your eyes peeled on what's going on in the US congress now as the immigration law here changes from time to time.

Anonymous said...


do the masters.

and the immigration dept for oz is

when you're there, ask around for a migration lawyer.

Anonymous said...

Hi all, really appreciate all the advice.Thanks


Ned Stark said...

Check this out.
Since Canada is one of your options i guess it would be appropriate for you.

Anonymous said...

Come to New Zealand. Apply for a PR. Stay on for 2 years and earn a indefinite return ticket.

After 2 years, if you still prefer SG, you can always return but at least there's other options in future. Alternatively, the word is your oyster. Working experience here can probably get you to UK, Australia etc..

NZ seems to be the only country that allows you to hold on to the PR without renewing it. Even SG's PR has a 10 yrs renewal.

Critical mass of shortage for IT staff here in NZ. Auckland or Wellington would be your best options

Anonymous said...

These days, there seems to be a strong Anti-FT sentiment in Singapore

Anonymous said...

Apology reader, the last comment about FT was meant for another post. My mistake

Rush said...

Hi Jackson. I am a fellow SMU student considering my options post graduation as well. I am currently entering my 3rd year.

I try to take a pragmatic approach to the issue. Even if I was not (and I actually am) dissatisfied with life here in Singapore, I would still want to go overseas to work or study at this point of time in my life and career. I believe the exposure I can get now while I'm young and mobile would be valuable as I develop personally and professionally.

I say this because I enjoy understanding cultures and I enjoy being forced out of my comfort zone. We hear constantly that Singapore is such a multi-cultural, multi-religious, multi-ethnic melting pot - but in reality most major cosmopolitan cities of the world are probably more so.

For me the prospect of understanding different cultures, societies and soaking in the combined rush of the human condition is exciting. I never knew I would enjoy visiting museums until I had the Met and the Moma within walking distance.

I do know certain individuals who have moved away from Singapore physically but never managed to disengage from the Singaporean mindset. For example, a mindset that retains the highly developed set of Singaporean stereotypes. Forging an open mind is probably the biggest step.

Regarding skilled migration to the States, you might be interested in following the upcoming congressional debate on immigration reform. Much of it has to deal with illegal immigrants from the Mexican border, but observers generally believe there is an entire immigration system overhaul in the works. This follows reports that the annual quota for skilled (migration-intent) visas was reached in a day, on Monday Apr 02, 2007. 150,000 applications were lodged for 65,000 places.

(What this doesn't tell you is that graduating foreign students at US universities will have no visa options come commencement; they may be able to stay in the States legally on an extension of their student visas which allow up to 24 months of work - but they cannot transfer their status to migration intent visas simply because there are none left. If the system remains unchanged they may try again next year, but the quota remains unchanged.)

(Source: Sydney Morning Herald)

Rush said...

apologies, my source link above is faulty.

Here's one that works: Sydney Morning Herald: US reaches visa cap, high tech workers out of luck. April 5, 2007 - 4:25PM

Anonymous said...

Some factual errors in roger's posting. Students are allowed to stay in the States for up to 12 months with their student visa without a H1 i.e. you can find work etc during that period.

Also, the H1 pool is divided into Bachelor and Advanced degrees pool. The quota for BS was snapped up on day 1 i.e. Apr 1 but the advanced degree pool went up fast as well i.e. till the end of April.

But yes, pay attention to what the latest congressional hearing says. I think the current intent is to increase the pool of H1s.

Anonymous said...

I was 26 when I did my Masters in Australia. By their standards, the Aussie kids considered me a "matured" student, so I missed out on their fun stuff on campus, e.g. making love on the univ lawn when the sun comes out after a cold winter. It was more of another competitor in the job market. Or potential dole bludger. The kids whose rich parents sent them over to do the matriculation exams have it better, as they started building local friendships at an earlier, more innocent age. Boys and girls move out as young as 14, to stay in dormitories or shared apartments. Adjustment to life in a foreign country is harder for the oldies.

Jimmy Mun said...

Anonymous wrote "I missed out on their fun stuff on campus, e.g. making love on the univ lawn when the sun comes out after a cold winter"

You cannot find a partner to do it with you, or the couple doing it won't let you watch, because you are too "matured"? :P

Anonymous said...

Getting a real job in a good company is much harder than getting PR. You don't want to end up delivering pizzas. AU, CA, NZ, UK or US - You will find that your greatest advantage is the ability to communicate effectively in English. Something Singapore’s educational system prepares you well for.

Anonymous said...

"You will find that your greatest advantage is the ability to communicate effectively in English. Something Singapore’s educational system prepares you well for."

I have my reservation for the above comments after moving out of Singapore. Yes, English language is our first language, but language encompass accents and different language structures and discourse.

All my life, I thought I have no problem with this 'first language' proclaimed in our home land, until I move to NZ. We certainly have an advantage over other Asians who can't communicate effectively in English, but I would not say Singapore's education system did a fabulous job in preparing us for global mobility.

The way Singaporean speak is rather 'unique' and we do have to make some extra effort to speak differently (and I am not even talking about the accents, it's simply restructuring our sentences) to make ourselves comprehensible.

This is just another yet another revelation that what we had thought ourselves to be 'world class' in, is sadly the case only in our small little island.

Anonymous said...

"in our small little island."

Matrix Island. Lifelong Brainwashing by PAP.

Anonymous said...

If I was you- I'd apply to work in Australia - get your PR- then your citizenship. (You also automatically get New Zealand PR) The whole process should take about 3 years or so to complete. There's no need to give up your Spore citizenship. Once you got your Aussie citizenship- you're now in 1st world league- meaning if you get trouble in Mongolia or Britain- you can depend upon the Aussie consulate to help you out. If you get tired with living in Australia- and be careful where you stay- some places have got serious crime - you can always come back to Singapore and work. Main thing in life is to have options. Never allow yourself to be stuck in one single place.

The Human Battery said...

What a coincidence. I blogged about this a week ago. Read here, paying special attention to the bold words in the comment section where I detailed how it can be done.

On another note, Roger and others who are concerned about the limited availability of H1B visa should understand that it does NOT apply to Singaporeans. As part of the Free Trade Agreement with USA, Singapore citizens get to use H1B1 visa - which is not subjected to the general H1B visa quota.

Ironically, this is exactly the reason why many people from India and China took up Singapore citizenship - so that they can get H1B1 visa easily to work in USA. Also, later, when they want to become PR, they won't be subjected to the quota that USA impose on countries that send too many immigrants to the States.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
Getting a real job in a good company is much harder than getting PR. You don't want to end up delivering pizzas. AU, CA, NZ, UK or US - You will find that your greatest advantage is the ability to communicate effectively in English. Something Singapore’s educational system prepares you well for."

Well, at least you are able to make a living out of delivering pizzas in those countries.......

Anonymous said...

our education system gives you the hard skills. to succeed in the anglo countries or pretty much anywhere else, you need softskills.

Anonymous said...

"Well, at least you are able to make a living out of delivering pizzas in those countries......."

thats because they have strong labour policies (and welfare).

Rush said...

You cannot apply for a green card with a H1B1 US-Singapore FTA visa.

H1B is probably the only category which is relevant here since it allows for dual intent (work and migration intent). I'm not well versed with the other visa categories (intra-company transferee L, etc)

I stand corrected regarding the work extension for F-1 holders. If I am not mistaken (you probably will want to check this up yourself if you are going to rely on any of this), I stated 24 months because I mixed it up with the 24 months OPT option for J-1 visa holders.


Anonymous said...

Hi Human Battery,would like to ask u some questions.Would you have an email address?