Top countries to immigrate to in 2018

After working abroad for some time, I began to consider more about permanent residence. There were 2 reasons:

  • With a working visa, my residence ties to the company I’m working for. Should anything happens to my job, I have to leave to country right away.
  • I can’t plan anything for the long term, for example: having kids, buying a house, investing, or even buying furniture for the apartment that I’m renting, etc. Basically, I live with the notion that I may have to leave anytime.

Even though I enjoy my life here in Singapore, it’s not always pleasant having to live with all of these uncertainties, especially considering I’m not young anymore. So I started to explore many other options.

Today I will share about some countries that I think would be the best to immigrate to. They are not in any particular order, any country could be a feasible option.

1. Singapore:

Requirements to stay:

  • have a job in Singapore.

The benefits of Permanent Residence (PR):

  • Able to buy a second-hand apartment (HDB).
  • Have a higher priority in the queue for buying apartments, sending your kids to public schools, etc.
  • Contribute and have access to the CPF (Central Provident Fund) which has a decent and very stable interest rate. You can use it to buy houses or invest later.
  • Can apply for citizenship after a few more years.

The process to apply for PR:

  • To be eligible to apply, you have to live in Singapore for more than 6 months before applying.
  • Submit a PR application.
  • Wait for 6-12 months for the result.

The difficulty of obtaining a PR:

  • Impossibly tough nowadays. Nobody knows the exact criteria for selecting PR candidates.
  • Singapore is a relatively small country. There’s not enough accommodation for everyone so they have to become stricter with their PR process.
  • But I believe if you live in Singapore for 5-10 years and integrate your life deeply here (have kids, invest in Singapore, do charity), you may get a PR eventually.

2. Canada:

Requirements to stay: there are 2 paths.

  • Have a job in Canada.
    • But this path is unusual, unless you apply for a US company which has a branch in Canada. Because Canadian companies tend not to hire foreigners.
  • Does not have a job in Canada.
    • You can apply for a PR even before coming to Canada through a process called “Express Entry”.
    • It’s a point-based system where you will be given points based on your education, work experience, language proficiency, etc.
    • To have a higher chance, you may need to have:
      • Minimum IELTS result with listening 8, reading 7, speaking 7, writing 7.
      • Have 3 years of work experience in a field that is in high demand in Canada.
      • Have a master degree.
      • If you don’t have a master degree, you can compensate with:
        • a good French language certificate.
        • Or your spouse needs to get good IELTS result (above 7).
        • Or you need a job offer from a Canadian company.

The benefits of PR:

  • Free education until high school. For universities, if you’re a citizen, you will get huge subsidies from the government so it won’t cost much.
  • Free healthcare for everyone in your family.
  • Can apply for citizenship after 3 years.
  • Once you become a citizen, you have the right to go and work in the US with a special visa.

The process to apply for PR:

  • Have your universities degrees evaluated by a trusted party in Canada.
  • Take the IELTS test.
  • Submit your Express Entry profile in the government website.
  • Wait to be selected.
  • Once you’re selected, you need to submit the remaining documents, including proofs of your work experience.
  • If you’re approved, you will get a PR in your passport.
  • Fly to Canada to activate the PR.
  • Wait for some time to receive the actual PR card.
  • You now have the right to live and work in Canada.

The difficulty of obtaining a PR:

  • It is a point-based system so you will compete with hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
  • But if you have the requirements as I mentioned above, you should be good to go.
  • The process is clearly documented in the government website and has been discussed in a lot of forums. You will find all the information that you need there.

3. Australia:

Australia has a similar process as Canada. Actually, Australia was the first country to introduce such immigration system, Canada just followed suite.

Here are a few differences in the Australia immigration process:

  • Minimum recommended requirements:
    • IELTS band 8 in all skills, or PTE > 79. (PTE seems like an easier choice)
    • Have a bachelor degree.
    • 5-7 years of work experience in a high demand field.
  • The competition is way tougher because the amount of vacancies annually is much less than Canada, and there are still too many applications submitted every year.
  • With an Australian PR, you are also eligible to work in New Zealand or the US on a special visa.

4. UK:

Requirements to stay:

  • Have a job in UK.

The benefits of PR:

  • Have access to healthcare, pensions and other social benefits.
  • Can apply for a British citizenship after one year on PR.

The process to apply for PR:

  • Live and work in UK for at least 5 years.
  • Submit a PR application online.
  • Wait for the result.

The difficulty of obtaining a PR:

  • I don’t think there will be much difficulties. You just need to live there for 5 years and get a PR.

5. US:

Requirements to stay:

  • Have a job in US.

The benefits of PR:

  • Free to live and work anywhere in the US. This point is worth mentioned because US is such a massive country.
  • Can sponsor PRs for your family and relatives. This point is worth mentioned because almost everyone dreams of immigrating to the US.
  • Can apply for a US citizenship after 5 years on PR.
  • No healthcare or education benefits, just a bit of discount.

The process to apply for PR:

  • The company that you work for has to be willing to sponsor for your PR.
  • Follow the instructions from a lawyer in your company, mostly just submit documents.
  • Wait for the result.
  • Attend an interview.
  • Get your PR (green card).

The difficulty of obtaining a PR:

  • For Vietnamese, it’s quite straightforward. We just need to ask the company to start the PR process and wait for 1-2 years to get it.

As you can see, there are many options to choose from when it comes to immigration. But whichever path you take, it’s going to require hard work and patience.

I hope you find this article useful. See you tomorrow.

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