Australian Permanent Residents/Citizens enjoy many benefits while living in Australia. Most of us would like to share these benefits with our relatives and friends who are outside of Australia, and who might still be living in the Philippines or in other countries. However, sometimes it is not easy to convince our relatives and friends to come and migrate to Australia. I have spoken to many people who find it difficult to communicate these benefits in migrating to Australia to their family and friends. Therefore, I have written this article to give a few tips on how we can convince them, and I have grouped them into three categories based on their age groups.
25 to 39 years of age
At this age, they might be at the peak of their career or might be running a successful business; they are still healthy; they might have started a family with very young kids; and they are very well connected with their family and friends. These are some of the reasons why they do not feel the need to leave and migrate to another country. The best way to convince this age group is to talk about their future and compare the opportunities and benefits they can get from Australia versus the Philippines or other countries. Here are some of the benefits that might convince them to come and live here permanently:
- Access to quality education for their child/children or future child/children. Primary school to high school in a public school is free for Permanent visa holders/Australian Citizens. Tuition fee for primary school to high school for temporary visa holders can range from $11,000 to $16,000 a year.
See the link below for the standard international tuition rate in Victoria, https://www.study.vic.gov.au/Shared%20Documents/en/StandardTuition-FeeRateCard.pdf.
Let’s have a quick calculation on the tuition fee if your relative sends his/her child to a quality (not an international school) in the Philippines. Let’s say the tuition fee is P100,000 a year, that’s AU$2,500 a year multiplied by 12 (year 1 to 12), this equates to AU$30,000 of savings per child. If the child goes to an international school in the Philippines with at least an annual tuition fee of P400,000 a year (AU$8,000), that’s $96,000 savings for 12 years of tuition fees!
I got the approximate tuition fees in the Manila from the article, https://www.townandcountry.ph/people/heritage/how-much-it-costs-to-study-at-some-of-manila-s-top-high-schools-a1600-20170713-lfrm5.
- Access to free or subsidised health and medical services in hospitals, medical centres, or any health care facilities through Medicare. Giving birth is free for Medicare card holders or if you have a private health insurance that covers for pregnancy. I gave birth 19 years ago in the Philippines and I still remember how much I paid for a caesarean birth, that was P60,000 (the professional fee of my OB was even waived). I gave birth in Australia nearly four years ago and I paid nothing. I even got about $10,000 as parental leave bonus which I was not expecting. This is another benefit introduced by the Australian government in 2015 for mothers who are Australian Permanent Residents/Citizens/New Zealand Citizens who have been working for at least 12 months before giving birth.
- Job opportunities with high salary and super-annuation
There are many jobs available in Australia in different fields. Australia’s minimum wage is one of the highest in the global scale currently sitting at almost $19 an hour or about $720 a week for a 38 hour work week. On top of this, an additional 9.5% of your total salary goes to your super-annuation contribution. Working in Australia lets your relative/s or friends get exposure in a multicultural workforce with fair working practices.
18 to 24 years of age
At this age, they might have just finished year 12 or they might be in the process of finishing their Bachelor’s degree, or might have been working for a year or two or they might be struggling to find a job, are still living with their parents. This group might still be too young to come to Australia as Permanent Residents via the General Skilled Migration stream. You can encourage them to study here and get access to our quality education. This is if they have the funds to be able to study here and work part-time while studying. Depending on their course of study, they might have a chance to stay longer on a graduate visa (give them at least 18 months of full work rights after completing their course) or if their course leads to a role in Australian’s skilled occupation list and they have the required migration points, then they might have a chance to stay in Australia permanently and enjoy the benefits I have listed above.
40 years of age and above
Most people I met in this age bracket are the ones who are keen to migrate to Australia. However, due to low migration points they are not eligible for a Permanent Residency visa. The ones that need convincing are the parents of Australian Citizens or Australian PR visa holders. We would want our parents to join us here in Australia, but they usually get bored when they are here. The common complains are, “I have no friends here.” Or, “I always have to wait for you to come home so I can go somewhere.” When your parents come and visit next time, bring them to Filipino community gatherings and see if they can find friends there. We have so many Filipino community groups that they can join and even the council run activities for seniors. Sign them up on any of these activities and see if that can help them decide to stay here in Australia.
The Filipino groups and council- led community activities are also something that people from younger age brackets should look into such as joining sports groups, choir, etc.
Whichever age bracket your family and friends are in, it would be best that you invite them to come here and experience the beauty of Australia. This is one of the most effective ways of convincing them to stay (if they are eligible). Introduce them to credible and honest advisers (people in the same career that they want to pursue, people who were also reluctant in migrating to Australia at first but are now very happy and successful) to help them make the right decision.