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Foreign Talent: Australia offers more security to expats compared to Singapore

Indian national Vicky Gautam who currently lives in Sydney posted an article on Quora recently, comparing working and living in Singapore and Australia. He has lived and worked in Singapore before.

In terms of salary, he said Singapore can offer better. “Any time Singapore is better as jobs offers better remuneration or lets say in hand salary,” he said.

“There are definitely more work opportunities in IT sector in Singapore but there are many other kind of job opportunities in Australia like mining, railways, electrical, construction etc which i can’t compare,” he added.

But he also said that the work culture in Singapore is more competitive and one has to work harder. He said, “I find work culture here (Australia) to be less demanding than that in Singapore and that is a huge plus for me personally.”

“Be it work life balance or quality of life in general, I find Australia way better than Singapore as it’s more laid back, relaxing, better work life balance and a lot of nature around you,” he shared.

As for tax, he thinks Singapore is heaven. He explained, “I was paying mere 7.5% in Singapore and around 33% here in Australia. Singapore feels like tax heaven as I even got rebate/tax refund.”

It’s easier to own a car in Sydney compared to Singapore, he said. “But going to office in car (in Sydney), especially if your office is in city can cost you fortune if you do that every day,” he noted.

“I commute by train to office every day and I just live 25 mins away from my work place and I spend on an average 10 AUD $ every day too and fro, and then a little less on Friday and weekends whereas in Singapore I remember till 2015 it was super cheap may be 4–5 AUD $ a day.”

“On top of that unlike Singapore trains here in Sydney are mostly delayed by something or other. Taxi is very very cheap in Singapore as compared to Sydney,” he remembered.

Commenting on healthcare between the 2 countries, he said, “In Singapore employers provide health insurance to avoid tax penalties if they have more than 50 FTEs which is good for those working on employment pass. However there is no such rule here and you have to buy your own health insurance (compulsory for work visa). But if you are coming on a PR you will get medicare but you will still need to have private hospital cover within 1 year or when you cross 31 years of age.”

And when comes to housing, he quipped that it’s very affordable to live in a landed house in Australia. In Singapore, living in landed houses can only be a “distant dream”.

As for the weather, he said, “I like Sydney’s weather and I started walking a lot after moving here. Singapore gets too hot and humid whereas Sydney has very pleasant weather for most part of the year.”

Finally, he admitted that nothing can beat Singapore when comes to food. “Singapore offers best food for cheaper prices. I remember having delicious meal for 2 SG $ and I think that’s not even possible here (in Sydney).”

“Dairy products are cheaper though. Food courts are amazing and there are a lot of choices. No comparison here. Even Juices here in Sydney starts from 5 AU $ compared to 2$ juice without ice in Singapore,” he added.

Overall, he finds Sydney way more expensive than Singapore even though he is now earning more than what he used to earn in Singapore.

“I end up saving less here (in Sydney),” he shared.

“I felt life in Singapore is very safe and you get everything you need around the corner. Here you have to work harder than that to find things. Internet in Australia sucks, Singapore is too good in that. Night life in Singapore is way better than that here in Sydney,” he said.

“Singapore can be too artificial, too strict and at times and I ended up spending most of time in air conditioned house, bus, train, malls. I love being in fresh air and in the land of seasons (Singapore has only one season humid and hot).”

Still, he chose Australia over Singapore. He concluded, “I do miss living in Singapore but Australia offers more security to expats by offering them PR and Citizenship way more easily than Singapore. Though I still like and miss Singapore, Sydney is my second home for next few years.”