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Rapid relocation from Australia to Singapore - Advice?

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aussie_dave
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Rapid relocation from Australia to Singapore - Advice?

Postby aussie_dave » Mon, 05 Dec 2011 6:23 pm

Hi all,

Just new here; and before anybody mentions it from what might be a generic topic that has been asked many times - yes I have already discovered the search feature :lol:

Anyway, I've been to Singapore many times visiting friends there - generally travelling there once or twice a year; each time having Singapore grow on me a bit more. Coming from Melbourne in Australia, I love the compact and convenient nature of Singapore... and of course the mostly consistent weather (anybody who has been to Melbourne should know the saying "4 seasons in a day"!). As of my last trip returning to Melbourne and suffering over 2 hours of delays due to poor management at the airport, then trying to fight peak hour for over 3 hours in my car - I realised enough is enough and it is time to make a move. Nothing holding me back here in Melbourne but the lack of job and work pass in Singapore...

The twist to my situation, is that I have somebody waiting for me in Singapore and I am finding the amount of stress, anxiety, frustration, and annoyance in finding a job and beginning the relocation process incredibly difficult... especially since due to extraordinary circumstances, we are both racing against the clock to find jobs there. I am considering relocation there for 2-3 years, then will perhaps relocate back to Australia or Europe... although none of this is planned, just high-level desires at this point :)

I realise these might be very specific questions, but I am wondering what the average time-frame from job-hunting to offering to relocation is for those who have made the move from Australia? Also, what obstacles and complexities did you have in the process, whether it be from government policies / processes or just simply coordination?

Any advice I would greatly appreciate!

Thanks everyone ! :D

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Re: Rapid relocation from Australia to Singapore - Advice?

Postby BillyB » Mon, 05 Dec 2011 8:21 pm

aussie_dave wrote:Hi all,

Just new here; and before anybody mentions it from what might be a generic topic that has been asked many times - yes I have already discovered the search feature :lol:

Anyway, I've been to Singapore many times visiting friends there - generally travelling there once or twice a year; each time having Singapore grow on me a bit more. Coming from Melbourne in Australia, I love the compact and convenient nature of Singapore... and of course the mostly consistent weather (anybody who has been to Melbourne should know the saying "4 seasons in a day"!). As of my last trip returning to Melbourne and suffering over 2 hours of delays due to poor management at the airport, then trying to fight peak hour for over 3 hours in my car - I realised enough is enough and it is time to make a move. Nothing holding me back here in Melbourne but the lack of job and work pass in Singapore...

The twist to my situation, is that I have somebody waiting for me in Singapore and I am finding the amount of stress, anxiety, frustration, and annoyance in finding a job and beginning the relocation process incredibly difficult... especially since due to extraordinary circumstances, we are both racing against the clock to find jobs there. I am considering relocation there for 2-3 years, then will perhaps relocate back to Australia or Europe... although none of this is planned, just high-level desires at this point :)

I realise these might be very specific questions, but I am wondering what the average time-frame from job-hunting to offering to relocation is for those who have made the move from Australia? Also, what obstacles and complexities did you have in the process, whether it be from government policies / processes or just simply coordination?

Any advice I would greatly appreciate!

Thanks everyone ! :D


Dave,

As you've likely experienced, finding a job is probably the most stressful part of relocating to Singapore, as well as securing your employment pass. After those two things are done it gets easier, although some might argue that dealing with real estate agents is a headache. But if you have someone waiting for you here, I'm guessing the latter won't be relevant.

You're also at the wrong part of the year to secure something now - Nov and Dec are historically wind down months with hiring typically gets pushed into next years budget. It's a good time to network with the recruiters for your industry, but manage your expectations that it will likely be 2012 when you start hearing the right noises in the hiring process.

Singapore has it's drawbacks but you'll find the positives more than outweigh the negatives, but its better to find this out first hand; One mans wine is another mans poison.....

The basics of opening a bank account, getting a mobile phone, credit cards are all easy to do - they are just dependent upon you finding employment and subsequently getting an employment pass.

All the best.

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Postby nutnut » Mon, 05 Dec 2011 9:16 pm

Billy has pretty much covered it, although, I am testament to the fact that getting a job any time of the year is possible, I just got one and start it 2nd January, don't be put off about looking for roles.

I saw from another very similar post that you are looking in Technical Architecture roles, as Billy says, sometimes the best thing to do is networking, especially at senior jobs like the level you are looking at and above. I know a Tech Architect that got a position and the position was never given to an agency!

Apply direct to companies you are interested in, projects you know are happening etc etc. - One of the best Agencies for IT work in Singapore is Robert Walters.

Good Luck! :)
nutnut

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Postby carteki » Mon, 05 Dec 2011 9:37 pm

If you're serious about moving here you have a couple of options:
1) See if you qualify for a PEP. This will allow you to get 6 months to get a job from date of issue (and the in principal approval gives you 6 months before that). This will be a good selling point with your new employer. You can live in SG on this too.
2) Get your "other" to sponsor you on a Long Term Visit Pass. You don't say what visa she is on, but this may be a possibility. No, you can't work - but it gets you here.

How long does it take to get a job? Could be 1 day, could be 6 months. I've seen both.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 05 Dec 2011 10:10 pm

^^^^
+1

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Postby BillyB » Tue, 06 Dec 2011 10:14 am

nutnut wrote:Billy has pretty much covered it, although, I am testament to the fact that getting a job any time of the year is possible, I just got one and start it 2nd January, don't be put off about looking for roles.

I saw from another very similar post that you are looking in Technical Architecture roles, as Billy says, sometimes the best thing to do is networking, especially at senior jobs like the level you are looking at and above. I know a Tech Architect that got a position and the position was never given to an agency!

Apply direct to companies you are interested in, projects you know are happening etc etc. - One of the best Agencies for IT work in Singapore is Robert Walters.

Good Luck! :)


Surely you mean one of the worst?!

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Postby nutnut » Tue, 06 Dec 2011 11:32 am

BillyB wrote:
nutnut wrote:Billy has pretty much covered it, although, I am testament to the fact that getting a job any time of the year is possible, I just got one and start it 2nd January, don't be put off about looking for roles.

I saw from another very similar post that you are looking in Technical Architecture roles, as Billy says, sometimes the best thing to do is networking, especially at senior jobs like the level you are looking at and above. I know a Tech Architect that got a position and the position was never given to an agency!

Apply direct to companies you are interested in, projects you know are happening etc etc. - One of the best Agencies for IT work in Singapore is Robert Walters.

Good Luck! :)


Surely you mean one of the worst?!



Nope, one of the least bad.... ;)
nutnut

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 06 Dec 2011 12:11 pm

Picking headhunters like like picking a US president. Usually have to just settle for the "lesser" evil. :?

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Postby aussie_dave » Tue, 06 Dec 2011 4:22 pm

Thankyou all kindly for your words of wisdom!

I figured this time of year would be much like anywhere else as far as employment prospects, being near Christmas and all - but when the heart pulls one way, and reality pulls the other... well unfortunately the politics of reality more often than not come into play :(

nutnut wrote:Billy has pretty much covered it, although, I am testament to the fact that getting a job any time of the year is possible, I just got one and start it 2nd January, don't be put off about looking for roles.

I saw from another very similar post that you are looking in Technical Architecture roles, as Billy says, sometimes the best thing to do is networking, especially at senior jobs like the level you are looking at and above. I know a Tech Architect that got a position and the position was never given to an agency!

Apply direct to companies you are interested in, projects you know are happening etc etc. - One of the best Agencies for IT work in Singapore is Robert Walters.

Good Luck! :)


Thanks for the advice on Robert Walters, I will take a look into here and see what I can find. Are there any other lesser known recruiters out there who others may be able to recommend in IT Engineer / Architecture?

carteki wrote:If you're serious about moving here you have a couple of options:
1) See if you qualify for a PEP. This will allow you to get 6 months to get a job from date of issue (and the in principal approval gives you 6 months before that). This will be a good selling point with your new employer. You can live in SG on this too.
2) Get your "other" to sponsor you on a Long Term Visit Pass. You don't say what visa she is on, but this may be a possibility. No, you can't work - but it gets you here.

How long does it take to get a job? Could be 1 day, could be 6 months. I've seen both.


That is a very interesting point around the PEP... I think I need to investigate this further. Being able to live in Singapore on something like this, and given my skills are very much professional IT skills - maybe it will be possible? Looking at the MOM website at http://www.mom.gov.sg/foreign-manpower/passes-visas/personalised-employment/before-you-apply/Pages/default.aspx, it seems to mention the requirement of a monthly $8000 salary. Any ideas whether that is in SGD?

As far as relying on my other half to sponsor, not so easy since she is from China and on a study visa, having just finished her studies and now looking for a job too. That is part 2 of our journey I suspect...

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Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 06 Dec 2011 4:36 pm

What do you mean "IT Engineer/Architecture"? "Engineer" has become such a buggerized word since those in the IS/IT industry decided to adopt it to refer to technicians and programmers. And what do you mean by "Architecture"? Can you design networks and server farms? Develop AD/LDAP infrastructure? Design a large Exchange mail system?

Low to mid level IT staff are a dime a dozen... the average guy who plugs in parameters and patches, does minor trouble shooting and such. Not that a senior guy can't get in... but for most MNC's with significant APAC infrastructure, the marching orders for design comes from headquarters in US, UK, or EU. Stan Chart is one notable exception.

Not saying that you can't land a senior job, just that they are few and far between, and even the major IT vendors keep very few on staff, preferring to import talent when a major project comes on board.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 06 Dec 2011 4:39 pm

Yes, that's SGD. And that's base salary as well, sans perks, commission or bonuses. But if you qualify, it a good way to go. However there are some drawbacks as well as it's only good for 5 years and only issued once. If you, 2 years down the road, decide to go back to Aus, you lose it. Full Stop. And it will not be re-issued. And, if you are still here, you must then hope your employer can justify your hire as they will then have to jump through the hoops to convince the MOM that they need to continue to have a foreigner on their payroll. It shouldn't be a problem, but that is the downside and nobody knows what the future holds in store for them. Forewarned is forearmed.

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Postby aussie_dave » Tue, 06 Dec 2011 6:50 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:What do you mean "IT Engineer/Architecture"? "Engineer" has become such a buggerized word since those in the IS/IT industry decided to adopt it to refer to technicians and programmers. And what do you mean by "Architecture"? Can you design networks and server farms? Develop AD/LDAP infrastructure? Design a large Exchange mail system?

Low to mid level IT staff are a dime a dozen... the average guy who plugs in parameters and patches, does minor trouble shooting and such. Not that a senior guy can't get in... but for most MNC's with significant APAC infrastructure, the marching orders for design comes from headquarters in US, UK, or EU. Stan Chart is one notable exception.

Not saying that you can't land a senior job, just that they are few and far between, and even the major IT vendors keep very few on staff, preferring to import talent when a major project comes on board.


Absolutely agree terms "Engineer" and "Architect" heavily overused... in my case it is more related to server and network infrastructure design and architecture. Things like server and virtual hardware, monitoring, performance analysis... those sort of areas. "Technical Architect" is probably closest description I guess, but in Singapore this role seems to mostly cover software design I've noticed. My role previously has involved advanced support functions, such as level 4 diagnosis and capacity planning etc. I have yet to see roles such as "Infrastructure Architect" listed, which are very prevalent in Australia at least...

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Postby aussie_dave » Tue, 06 Dec 2011 7:11 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Yes, that's SGD. And that's base salary as well, sans perks, commission or bonuses. But if you qualify, it a good way to go. However there are some drawbacks as well as it's only good for 5 years and only issued once. If you, 2 years down the road, decide to go back to Aus, you lose it. Full Stop. And it will not be re-issued. And, if you are still here, you must then hope your employer can justify your hire as they will then have to jump through the hoops to convince the MOM that they need to continue to have a foreigner on their payroll. It shouldn't be a problem, but that is the downside and nobody knows what the future holds in store for them. Forewarned is forearmed.

sms


Hmmm so if I understand correctly, going with the PEP means it is possible to relocate to Singapore without a job at the time... but has the limitation of initial 6 months in trying to find a job, with a 5 year maximum period and cannot be renewed once it's lost? If so, the only alternative as far as maintaining a standard job is really through a work permit it seems. Is it actually possible to migrate from a PEP to a Work Permit?

From what I'm reading on the MOM website too, it also seems that the employer is somewhat responsible for the well-being of the employee when using a work permit - as there is mention of things like medical insurance in the policy documents... is this something that is not available through the PEP either?

All this is really insightful information, definitely gives me some serious food for thought!



PS. I realise this topic may be slightly off-topic for the relocation section now... I hadn't realised just how complex the job permit aspect of relocation could be in Singapore!

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Postby aussie_dave » Tue, 06 Dec 2011 7:52 pm

Maybe a somewhat dumb question, but how does one interpret the question "Eligible to work in Singapore"? I have noticed many of the recruiters (including the aforementioned Robert Walters) ask this question; but it is not clear what this entails - whether it is in-principle (ie. meets the requirements for a work permit / PEP set out by MOM, $8000/pm SGD salary etc.) or whether it requires an approved application?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 06 Dec 2011 9:03 pm

aussie_dave wrote:From what I'm reading on the MOM website too, it also seems that the employer is somewhat responsible for the well-being of the employee when using a work permit - as there is mention of things like medical insurance in the policy documents... is this something that is not available through the PEP either?


Please do not misinterpret Work Permit and work pass, Work Permit is for low wage, menial labour or Domestic help. "work pass" is generic to encompass Work Permit, S Pass & Employment Passes (Q, P2 & P1) and the previously mentioned PEP. As an Aussie, you will not be able to get a Work permit as these are for those from "traditional sources" e.g., Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China, etc. The lowest pass you would be able to get (qualifications being met of course), would be the S Pass which is between full Employment Pass and Work Permit. Medical insurance is required to be furnished by the employer for WP (Work Permit) & S pass holders only. The rest is up to you. Or your employer if they provide group insurance. But it is not a requirement by law.


aussie_dave wrote:Maybe a somewhat dumb question, but how does one interpret the question "Eligible to work in Singapore"? I have noticed many of the recruiters (including the aforementioned Robert Walters) ask this question; but it is not clear what this entails - whether it is in-principle (ie. meets the requirements for a work permit / PEP set out by MOM, $8000/pm SGD salary etc.) or whether it requires an approved application?


Not banned for some reason. Could have overstayed on an earlier visit. Been deported from some other reason. Maybe a convicted pedophile. Anything that would otherwise prevent you from working in Singapore. Obviously having the right qualifications for the pass being applied for, but that isn't what they are talking about as the pass issuance process is a twofold process. Both the Employee and the Employer have to qualify.


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