UPDATED 29/04/2020 – The Victorian government has just announced a $45 million relief package for international students. See further details below.
It has been widely noted during the current coronavirus pandemic that Australia’s temporary visa holders have been largely ignored by the federal government’s roll out of various rescue packages, instead ruthlessly being told to “go home”.
Thankfully, we are now starting to hear whispers from various State Governments that temporary visa holders including workers and students will be able to receive some welcome relief from the states and territories instead.
Currently, Tasmania and South Australia have taken measures towards supporting migrants and there are strong calls for other states to follow suit. The Northern Territory (NT) and Canberra (ACT) are expected to release more details of amendments to programs supporting temporary visa holders soon.
Today, the Victorian Government has announced a $45 million package to help international students during COVID-19. The fund will provide one-off payments of up to $1,100 under the International Student Emergency Relief Fund. Acknowledging the huge impact this virus has had on international students and their job situations, the Victorian state government is looking to help fill the gap which the Federal Government has left open.
International students generated $12.6 billion in revenue for Victoria in the last financial year.
Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein has committed to a 3-million dollar rescue package for the 26,000 strong temporary workforce. Tasmania is providing one-off $250 payments for those temporary visa holders experiencing financial hardship and up to $1000 for families. This package will be rolled out from Wednesday.
Find out more here.
South Australia has announced a new $13.8 million support package for international students caught in financial hardship during COVID-19.
The package will see $10 million supporting international students enrolled at Flinders University, University of Adelaide and University of South Australia.
Another $500 cash grant will go towards other international students enrolled in other universities and living in South Australia.
A $200 one-off payment to homestay families who are housing international students.
Students can check their eligibility and register for updates here.
Whilst we hope that the other states will release their own versions of these packages shortly, if you are experiencing extreme hardship, you should be able to access up to $10,000 of your super.
To find out more about accessing your super, see our blog post here.
Please contact us on +61 (03) 9573 5200 if you have any questions that need to be answered, or you require assistance with any visa application.