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How to Immigrate to Australia From Singapore

May 26, 2022
Myer Lipschitz

Relocating to another country can be an exciting and life-changing decision. For individuals and families considering to immigrate to Australia from Singapore, there are multiple factors to consider and steps to follow to ensure a smooth transition.

Australia is an attractive destination for Singaporeans due to its high standard of living, excellent job opportunities, a vibrant, multicultural society, and a remarkable work-life balance. Australia shares Singapore’s multicultural essence, offering a wide range of cultural experiences shaped by its indigenous heritage and the myriad international influences it has absorbed over the years.

The cities of Sydney and Melbourne, renowned for their vibrant lifestyle, colourful cultural festivals, culinary delights, and thrilling sporting events, bear resemblances to the dynamic life of Singapore’s metropolis. Moreover, the architectural wonders, such as the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, echo Singapore’s iconic Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay, proving irresistible to architecture enthusiasts.

Sydney Opera House illuminated in vibrant colors during the Vivid Festival, showcasing stunning light installations

Before making the move, it’s essential to research and understand the various visa options available for those who wish to immigrate to Australia from Singapore. The Australian government offers various visas depending on the individual’s purpose, qualifications, and skillsets. Some popular visa types for Singaporeans include the Subclasses 189, 190, and 491 visas.

When planning to immigrate to Australia from Singapore, it’s crucial to grasp the cost of living, taxes, salaries, and the overall cultural differences between the two countries. This information is vital in helping individuals and families prepare financially and mentally for the life-changing journey ahead.

Eligibility and Visa Options

Australian Immigration Systems

Australia offers a variety of visa options for individuals considering to immigrate to Australia from Singapore for work, study, or to live permanently. The Australian government has designed these visas to attract skilled workers who can fill skill shortages in specific industries and contribute to the Australian economy.

Skilled Migration is a popular pathway for those looking to obtain permanent residency in Australia. The Skilled Occupation List (SOL) outlines the occupations that are in demand in the country. To be eligible for this pathway, applicants must have a suitable occupation, an appropriate level of education, and relevant work experience.

Two primary visa subclasses for skilled migration are:

Subclass 189 (Skilled Independent Visa) – This visa is for skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer, a state or territory, or a family member. It allows eligible individuals to live and work in Australia as permanent residents.

Subclass 190 (Skilled Nominated Visa) – This visa is for skilled workers who are nominated by an Australian state or territory government. It also enables eligible individuals to obtain permanent residency.

Subclass 491 (skilled state nominated/family sponsored) regional visa – this visa provides a pathway to permanent residence for those willing to live and work in regional Australia for a period of three years.

Additionally, there are other work visa options, including:

Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage Visa) – This temporary visa enables an employer to sponsor a highly qualified worker to occupy a position that is difficult to fill with suitably skilled Australian candidates.

Work and holiday visa (subclass 462) – This visa is available for young single Singaporeans aged 18 – 30. It provides limited work rights for those thinking of working while holidaying in Australia.

Employer Nomination Scheme – This scheme enables Australian employers to sponsor foreign workers to obtain permanent residency.

Australia also offers student visas for individuals from Singapore who want to study in the country. These visas vary in duration, depending on the length of the course.

Investor visas and business visas are available for individuals who want to invest in Australia or set up a business. These visas have specific eligibility criteria, such as minimum investment thresholds and business activity requirements.

Application Process

Expression of Interest

To immigrate to Australia from Singapore, one must first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect. SkillSelect is an online platform that helps to manage Australia’s skilled migration programme. It enables applicants to submit their interest in specific visas such as the Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) , Skilled Nominated Independent Visa (Subclass 190) and provisional regional subclass 491 visa.

After submitting the EOI, the applicant may receive an invitation to apply for the visa, which depends on their points-test score and visa availability. The points are calculated based on factors such as age, English language proficiency, work experience, and qualifications.

Australian immigration lawyers can walk you through this process.

Documentation and Supporting Documents

Upon receiving an invitation to apply, the applicant must prepare the necessary documentation and supporting documents for their visa application. Some essential documents include:

  • Personal identification (e.g., passport)
  • Educational qualification certificates
  • Employment references or work history
  • English language proficiency test results

It’s vital to ensure that all documents are accurate and up-to-date to avoid delays in processing the application.

Skill Assessment

Both the Subclass 189 and Subclass 190 and 491 visas require applicants to undergo a skills assessment. This assessment is conducted by a relevant Australian authority and evaluates the applicant’s qualifications and work experience against Australian standards. It’s crucial to ensure that one has a positive skills assessment before proceeding with the visa application.

Health and Character Requirements

As part of the application process to immigrate to Australia from Singapore, applicants must meet specific health and character requirements set by the Australian government. This includes undergoing a health examination, providing a police clearance certificate from Singapore and other countries where applicants have resided in the last ten years, and satisfying any additional requirements as requested by the Australian authorities.

The application process to immigrate to Australia from Singapore and apply for permanent residency involves several steps, starting with submitting an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect, gathering the necessary documentation and supporting evidence, passing a skills assessment, and meeting health and character requirements. By adhering to these guidelines, applicants can enhance their chances of a smooth and successful migration journey to Australia.

Prepare and Submit your Visa Application

Each visa type requires specific documentation. Once you have gathered and prepared all the necessary documents and fulfilled other requirements, you can proceed to submit your visa application. Thoroughly understand the documentation requirements for your visa application. To ensure accuracy and completeness, organize and verify all necessary documents, such as passports, educational certificates, employment references, and financial statements.

Wait for Visa Processing

Upon successful submission of your visa application, the next step involves waiting for your visa to be processed. This involves a thorough review of your application by Australian immigration authorities. Processing times can vary considerably depending on the visa category, the complexity of your application, and the overall volume of applications at the immigration department.

Acceptance and Migration

Once your visa application is approved, you will receive a visa grant notification from the Australian immigration authorities. This notification will include your visa grant number, the validity date of your visa, and any conditions attached to your visa.

Now you can proceed with your migration arrangements, including securing housing, organising transportation of personal belongings, and enrolling in the healthcare system and schools if necessary. Once you’ve migrated to Australia, it’s essential to respect the conditions of your visa. Failure to comply can lead to serious consequences, such as visa cancellation or even deportation. Make sure you fully understand your visa conditions and seek advice if there are aspects you’re unsure about.

Singapore does not allow dual nationality although Australia does. It’s not compulsory to acquire Australian citizenship and many Singaporeans prefer to live and work in Australia on resident visas without acquiring an Australian citizenship so as not to jeopardise their Singaporean citizenship.

Visa Approved: Celebrating the journey from Singapore to Australia with the Singapore flag proudly displayed

Lifestyle and Moving to Australia: A Perfect Blend of Work-Life Balance

Cost of Living

When considering to immigrate to Australia from Singapore, it is important to be aware of the differences in the cost of living between the two countries. The cost of living in Australia varies depending on the city, but generally, it is relatively affordable. For example, excluding rent, life in Melbourne is around 1.84% cheaper than in Singapore, and rent is 29.66% lower on average. Furthermore, public transport in Sydney is slightly more expensive than in Singapore, with an adult one-way ticket averaging SGD$4.16.

Quality of Life

Australia offers a high quality of life in terms of its economy, education, work-life balance, and natural resources. The country is known for its strong and stable economy, providing a safe environment for Singaporeans to work and invest. Australian citizens generally enjoy good job opportunities and a competitive income compared to their Asian counterparts.

The work-life balance in Australia is particularly appealing to many Singaporeans. Employed individuals often benefit from flexible working hours, which allows for a more balanced lifestyle between work and personal commitments. Additionally, Australian cities are known for their liveability, making them attractive destinations for Singaporeans looking to relocate.

Higher education is another important aspect of the Australian way of life. The country’s world-class universities and institutions make it a popular destination for international students, including those from Singapore. This contributes to a vibrant and diverse academic environment that strengthens Australia’s reputation for quality education.

Lastly, the abundance of natural resources and picturesque landscapes in Australia provide numerous recreational opportunities, enhancing the overall quality of life. From pristine beaches and vast national parks to vibrant cities and cultural experiences, Australia has much to offer as a destination for Singaporeans seeking a new adventure or a more laid-back lifestyle.

Congratulations on taking the exciting step to immigrate to Australia from Singapore! This decision opens up a world of possibilities, promising a remarkable new chapter in your life. As you prepare for this transition, envision the incredible experiences that await you in Australia.

If you are living in another location such as Hong KongUnited KingdomNew ZealandCanada, or South Africa, or the United States we also have useful guides to assist you in your journey to immigrate to Australia – just click one of the links above.

Migrate to Australia

Our immigration lawyers and registered migration agents in Melbourne will be able to find you the best visa for your unique situation. Fill out a FREE Preliminary Evaluation to assess your eligibility to immigrate.



Myer Lipschitz

Myer Lipschitz was born in Johannesburg and is a graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand. In 1985 he was conferred the degree Bachelor of Laws. Myer completed his Articles of Clerkship with Ivor Trackman, Attorneys and was admitted as an Attorney to the Supreme Court of South Africa in 1988. Myer immigrated to New Zealand in 1989 and was admitted to practice law in New Zealand as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand...

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