As the situation with COVID-19 unfolds, the strain on Australia is being felt all around the country. Unfortunately, excluded from both the JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments, migrants have amongst those hardest hit by this pandemic. However, for many international students and temporary visa holders, there is help on the way! Many state governments are offering assistance to help you feel more stable during this period.
So, what exactly are the state and federal governments doing to help you?
$1,100 cash grant: The Victorian Government is providing $45 million in $1,100 grants to support international students. Please fill out this webform to register your interest and be notified as soon as applications open.
‘Working for Victoria’: Job opportunities are being created to reintroduce people who have lost jobs due to the COVID-19 situation back into the workforce
The South Australian Government is providing $13.8 million to support international students distributed as:
Grants totalling $10 million for affected international students at the University of Adelaide, Flinders University, and the University of South Australia
$500 emergency cash grant to international students enrolled in another course and live in South Australia
$200 assistance payment per student for families hosting international students as a homestay
$250 / $1,000 cash grants: All temporary visa holders who are affected by the lockdown and are suffering financial hardship are eligible for a $250 payment, while families are eligible for $1,000
Job security via government wages: The Northern Territory Government will be using a significant part of the $50 million Small Business Survival Fund to keep workers who may not be eligible for the JobKeeper payment employed
Australian Capital Territory:
Grants: The Australian Capital Territory Government is providing $450,000 in funding to support temporary visa holders, including international students
‘Jobs for Canberrans’: Job opportunities are provided for people who have lost work due to the COVID-19 outbreak
Besides state specific job support, the federal government is also looking to support international students in many ways:
Superannuation: Moving forward, international students who have been in Australia for more than 12 months are allowed to access their Australian superannuation
Flexibility in visa conditions: The government will be more flexible with visa conditions in cases where coronavirus may have prevented international students from getting their visas
Increased work hours: International students working in healthcare (specifically aged care nurses and those employed under disability care providers) are able to work more than 40 hours per fortnight
Waived healthcare costs: People without adequate healthcare cover may have their healthcare costs relating to COVID-19 waived if they are treated in a public hospital
Free financial counselling
Mental health support
International students please be aware that many Australian universities are also providing independent emergency funds and food banks to support international students during this time of hardship. Over $110 million has been provided by universities for the sole purpose of helping you. We'd recommend reaching out to your education provider today to see what support you could be eligible for.
We hope that everyone stays healthy and safe during these hard times. Here is a list of useful resources. If you have any questions, please reach out to your state governments and education institutions.
Northern Territory Small Business Survival Fund: https://businessrecovery.nt.gov.au/businesses/small-business-survival-fund
ACT funding: https://www.cmtedd.act.gov.au/open_government/inform/act_government_media_releases/chris-steel-mla-media-releases/2020/act-provides-more-support-for-temporary-visa-holders-and-international-students
ACT 'Job for Canberrans': https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/economic-support/jobs-for-canberrans