The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted Australian life in many ways, and we know that this is a very hard time for international students. With Australia in lock down, we know many of you have lost income, are in isolation, and far from home.
To help you, we share current and accurate information, and connect you to resources that can help.
International Student Emergency Relief Fund – eligibility updates
The Victorian Government’s International Student Emergency Relief Fund offers a one-off payment of up to $1,100 to eligible students who are experiencing financial hardship due to lost work during the pandemic.
The eligibility criteria have recently been changed so more students can access the Fund.
Updated eligibility criteria
Are you on a bridging visa and waiting for your student visa?
You can now apply for the Fund if you hold a bridging visa with a student visa application in process and meet the other eligibility criteria. You must also meet the other eligibility criteria.
Were you enrolled by 31 March 2020?
The enrolment cut-off date changed so more students can access the Fund. Your Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) document must show you were enrolled at 31 March 2020. You must also meet the other eligibility criteria.
Did you start working after March 2020 and subsequently lost work or wages?
You may be eligible if you can show that you worked in Victoria any time between March and July 2020, and are experiencing financial hardship due to lost work. You must also meet the other eligibility criteria.
To be eligible to apply for the Fund you must meet all eligibility criteria, and show that:
- You were enrolled in an eligible private tertiary education provider in Victoria at 31 March 2020.
- You have a current student or bridging visa (with a student visa application in process).
- You are currently located in Victoria, Australia.
- You were employed in Victoria any time between March and July 2020, are in financial hardship due to lost work, and don’t have other financial support.
Read the detailed Eligibility criteria (Stream Two).
Do you need help with your application?
- Learn how to apply in the Application Guide
- Check the Frequently Asked Questions and translated forms
- See the tips for subcontractors and self-employed students
- Or call Study Melbourne on 1800 056 449. They can organise an interpreter.
More support for international students in Victoria
Find more support from the Victorian Government on Study Melbourne’s coronavirus (COVID-19) support hub:
- utility relief grants, for help paying overdue bills
- rent relief grants, if you’re having trouble paying your rent
- the Working for Victoria initiative, to help you find new work
- a directory of community support services, including food support, in your area
- free and confidential mental health and wellbeing support
- free legal advice for accommodation and work issues.
Get the latest health advice and resources from the Victorian Government:
- how to stay safe and well
- current restrictions
- free coronavirus (COVID-19) testing
- when to wear a face mask
- translated information
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Test Isolation and Worker Support Payments
- looking after your mental wellbeing.
Stay connected with Study Melbourne for more opportunities for international students in Victoria.
Permitted Worker Scheme: From 11:59pm on Wednesday 5 August, employers requiring their staff to attend a work site in Melbourne must issue a worker permit to their employees.
Details about the permitted work scheme including eligibility and the worker permit form are on the Business Victoria website.
Latest restriction advice: From 11:59pm on Wednesday 5 August, Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions apply in Victoria, except if you live in metropolitan Melbourne where Stage 4 restrictions apply. You can only leave home for one of the four reasons – shopping for food and supplies, care and caregiving, exercise, and study and work, if you can’t do it from home.
You may no longer have visitors to your home or visit other people in their homes
From 6pm on Sunday 2 August, restrictions have changed for metropolitan Melbourne. Metropolitan Melbourne is now in Stage 4 Restrictions and a curfew is in place. Curfews will be in operation from 8pm to 5am every evening, with people only allowed to leave their house for work, and essential health, care or safety reasons.
Advice on face mask/covering: Everyone must wear a mask when they leave home, unless an exception applies. This is enforceable across regional Victoria from 11:59pm on Sunday 2 August
For more information on restrictions and face coverings, visit the DHHS website.
Utility relief grant scheme: Relief grants for paying overdue energy or water bills are available to low-income Victorians experiencing unexpected hardship. The grant provides help to pay a mains electricity, gas or water bill that is overdue due to a temporary financial crisis. Students that can demonstrate that they are on a low income are also eligible to apply. Visit the DHHS website to find out more.
Applications open – International Students Emergency Relief Fund: The Victorian Government has announced a $45 million International Student Emergency Relief Fund for international students facing financial hardship as a result of coronavirus. Click here to find out how to apply.
Rent Relief: Rental relief grants of up to $2,000 are available to international students whose income has been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic while in Australia. Read about the rent relief grants here.
For more information, please visit: https://www.studymelbourne.vic.gov.au