MEET SHAR & SHAKIRAH
As migration professionals we hear all sorts of reasons why people want to move to Australia. One big advantage they tell us is the work-life balance. That was certainly a big plus point for Syakirah Zainal from Singapore who met her future husband, Shar while visiting Perth for a friend’s graduation.
After a long-distance romance, the couple had to make a decision about where they should live. For Syakirah it was an easy decision – she knew Perth would offer a more relaxed lifestyle than Singapore where she regularly worked ten-hour days.
“I wanted to be a permanent resident as it would give me a sense of security. I knew it would also help with my future job applications and eventually securing meaningful employment.”
Visiting Perth for a graduation ceremony
It was in 2015 when Shakirah visited Perth for her friend’s graduation from university, and she was introduced to Shar.
“Shar was my friend’s cousin and he told me his parents were born in Singapore and had come to Australia more than thirty years ago,” explains Shakirah.The two stayed in touch via Facebook and WhatsApp and romance blossomed with Shar making regular visits to Singapore to see her.
“At that time I was an assistant manager in a bank and worked until 8pm most days. Shar would come out and visit me and his relatives in Singapore. His grandparents, aunts and uncles still live there.”
Marriage, then a baby on the way
Both sides of the family could see how much Shar and Shakirah were suited to each other and two years after they met, they were married. After submitting her visa application, Shakirah returned to Singapore. She soon fell pregnant. Just before their son was born, she transitioned onto a temporary visa but her goal was to ultimately obtain permanent residency so she can remain with her husband in Perth.
“We knew Perth would be our home. My husband didn’t like the strict work ethic of Singapore and knew that I’d have more time with my son if he was brought up here,” she says.
Although Shakirah’s parents are in Singapore, she has a close relationship with her in-laws and with their support, she quickly felt settled in Perth. Knowing that a new addition to their family was on their way, she decided it was timely to lodge an application for permanent residency. Shakirah got in touch with Migration Agent, Fizah Ismail to start the process.
“Initially we thought we’d try to do the permanent residency paperwork ourselves, but as soon as we looked at the paperwork, we felt it was too complicated and time consuming. We decided to pass it over to the experts Fizah and Zahirah,” she adds. As soon as the couple’s son, Shan was born, Shakirah’s family arrived from Singapore to visit.
“I cannot explain how lovely it was to see my mum and dad just hours after I’d given birth. It was great to have them here. I was able to experience the first few weeks of Shan’s life, with my parents by our side. It also made me realise that Singapore is not that far away from us in Perth.”
Becoming a permanent resident
After an initial consultation with Fizah, Shakirah supplied the necessary documentation by email. ‘’Fizah gave me a checklist of the paperwork required so we knew exactly what to send her. She was there to guide me and hold my hand and it was really reassuring knowing that it was in the hands of a professional migration agent.’’ She says she felt a huge sense of relief when her permanent residency came through.
“It’s definitely given me security and peace of mind. Everyone is now asking me whether I’d like citizenship like my son and husband. It would mean I’d have to give up my Singaporean citizenship and while I’m not ready to do that yet, it’s something I may think about in the future.”
Looking to the future
Shakirah, Shar and Shan currently live in Thornlie, but will be moving soon. They’ve been building their dream home in Ellenbrook and when they settle into their new house, they’ll live just around the corner from Shar’s parents.
“Five years ago, I didn’t think I’d be married and living in Australia with a son, but you never know what life has in store for you. I feel very settled and want to thank Zahirah and Fizah for making that possible by helping me to secure my permanent residency.”
If you’d like help migrating to Australia, come and talk to us at Home of Visas. We offer a free thirty minute ‘Visa Discovery Call’ where we can look at the migration options open to you. We are a trusted, boutique agency, so why not pick up the phone today and make contact with us?
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