Data analyst Marvin has long toyed with the idea of moving to another country for good and the deciding factor could be the outcome of the May 9 elections.
The 25-year-old is betting on his pick for president to lift the nation from the pandemic. In video calls with two of her sisters who have migrated to the U.S. and UK, he can’t help but get jealous whenever they talk about the perks they get for living in abroad.
“Mahirap din magdesisyon lalo na kung mahal mo naman ang bansa. But sometimes you really have to be practical. Do you really want stay here in this political atmosphere?” Marvin, who refused to give his real name, told reportr.
“I really hope it will not come to that point,” he added.
Marvin is not alone. In a December 2021 survey by research firm Tangere, four in 10 Filipinos said it would be better for them to migrate to another country regardless of who between Bongbong Marcos and Vice President Leni Robredo wins for president. Four in 10 Filipinos are also willing to live abroad due to the traditional politics in the country, the same survey showed.
“Ang pinaka-push factor talaga recently is whatever's happening in our government and in the politics. You want a stable country right? Yung alam mong gumagana, may sistema,” said Charity Delmo, the CEO of Ideal Visa Consultancy who has been helping Filipinos migrate since 2014.
“When they saw the opportunities and the government benefits in other countries, mas lalong naging mataas yung naging desire ng mga Pinoy na makaalis. Nakikita kasi nila paano inaalagaan yung residents sa ibang bansa,” she told reportr.
Why Filipinos want to migrate
While many Filipinos who migrated to other countries were motivated by government shortcomings, others have a more practical reason --- their earnings are not enough to put food on the table and meet their daily needs, Delmo said.
Take nurses, for example. While other countries gave more benefits to these health professionals for their work during the pandemic, nurses in the Philippines were overworked and underpaid.
“Of course, we want to serve our country. But to what extent are we going to serve our country without getting the right treatment and the right compensation?” Delmo said.
Some Filipinos also migrate because they want better education for their children, something that other countries can offer, according to Delmo.
“Dumating na rin tayo sa punto na wala na halos natutunan ang mga estudyante at nagc-clamor ang parents to bring their kids abroad. So ang ginawa ng ibang parents, sila ang nag-aral, they brought their kids, their kids are now studying in other countries,” she said.
So you’ve decided to migrate, how do you do it?
Migrating to another country can be a long and tedious process, but it becomes easy when you have the right pathway. For Delmo, the surest way to become a permanent resident of another country is through the study-work to residency program.
Under this program, those who want to migrate will have to take short courses in universities in other countries which they can use in finding full-time work, Delmo said. The short courses are needed because bachelor degrees earned in the Philippines sometimes have no equivalent in other countries.
“These short courses will allow Filipinos to work part-time while they are studying and will also provide opportunities for them to bring with them their family where the spouse or live-in partner can work full-time,” she added.
Once you finish your studies, you will be granted a post-study visa which you can use while working full-time in the country of your choice, Delmo said.
“Kapag ginawa ito, makakapag-work ka full time at makakapag-apply for permanent residency. It's a long shot, there's an investment, but it's the surest way to be there for good,” she added.
What about the cost?
Delmo said migrating to another country is like an investment which requires a huge sum of money, but you don’t have to spend millions of pesos just to be able to live in other parts of the globe.
If you plan to go to Australia, for example, you will only be required to spend around P350,000 to P400,000 which will cover your initial tuition fee, plane ticket, the processing fee of your agency, insurance, and embassy fee, Delmo said. It’s even less if you’re going to the U.S., where most universities don’t require a downpayment for tuition fees.
“You see, if we're buying an iPhone at P80,000, that money will already help you in going outside the country and have a different life and a different journey,” she said.
What other things should you remember?
Once you have decided that migrating to another country is the way to go, here are some tips that will make the process smooth, according to Delmo:
Get help from an agent
An agent from a visa consultancy firm will help you process your requirements and justify your reasons for migrating to the embassy, Delmo said. The agent will also assist you in choosing the right course and job to take to secure permanent residency.
Find the right course
The course you should take in the country you want to live in should be related to what you’ve finished in the Philippines or your career right now. This first step is important in obtaining permanent residency in your chosen country, Delmo said.
“The only way that you can get into the permanent residency na pathway, to get the local visa and to get the citizenship is to enter a country na tama yung first step mo,” she added.
Bring your spouse or partner
If you travel with your spouse or partner, he or she can work full-time while you are studying, Delmo said. This way, your partner can help in the expenses while you work to earn your degree.
Finish your studies
Focus on finishing your studies so you can work on your eligibility to become a permanent resident or citizen of your country of choice, Delmo said.
“Eyes on the prize…. Kapag hindi mo naipasa yung schooling mo, hindi ka makakaalis sa step 1. Yun ang pinaka-prize mo muna,” she added.
In the end, Delmo said migrating to another country is major life decision that should not be rushed, so think long and hard about it.
“You are leaving your entire life here in the Philippines, so kailangan napag-iisipan siya…. It's a life-long decision na kailangan maayos, tama, at organized.”
Charity Delmo is a Bacolod-based entrepreneur and the CEO of Ideal Visa Consultancy. She is an international education consultant who helps Filipinos obtain permanent residency abroad. Access their services here.
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