The Victorian Government has recently announced that international students will receive a relief payment of up to $1,100, as part of a Victorian Government emergency support package for those impacted by the coronavirus crisis.
During this pandemic, international students have been significantly impacted by job loss in the hospitality and tourism sectors, which has made it difficult for them to support themselves financially.
The majority of Federal Government programs have left international students in the dark, failing to provide them with access to the support they need during this crisis.
“This virus doesn’t discriminate and neither do we – we are in this together and we will get through it together.”
– Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade, Martin Pakula.
The Victorian Government has established a $45 million International Student Emergency Relief Fund to ensure all international students are able to support themselves during this difficult time.
The emergency fund will provide students with a one-off payment and will also be used to expand emergency provisions for those that are in exceptional circumstances.
The fund complements the current range of relief programs that are offered by Victorian universities, other education providers and government support.
Currently, there are more than 150,000 international students living in Victoria that are eligible for the Victorian Government’s rent relief program, with subsidies of up to $2,000.
International students that are legally allowed to work in Victoria will also be eligible for the Working for Victoria initiatives which assists people that have lost their jobs and helps them find new employment.
On a state level, international students have generated $12.6 billion revenue for Victoria in the last financial year, which supported over 79,000 jobs, with most students travelling from India, Malaysia, China and Vietnam.
“It’s important that we back the people who have made such a strong commitment to our state, and we will make sure that our education providers can emerge from the other side of this crisis in a position to quickly rebuild.”
– Minister for Education, James Merlino.
Am I eligible for the one-off payment?
If you are an international student studying from Victoria’s tertiary education providers including universities, private Vocational Education and Training providers, TAFEs and English language colleges are eligible to apply for the one-off payment.
What other support can I receive?
- In addition to the emergency fund package, there is also pastoral care and student support services available through Victorian education providers. The Victorian Government offer the following additional support to international students:
- There is a dedicated online COVID-19 support hub that you may access through the Study Melbourne website. This site provides up-to-date information in relation to the crisis, whilst connecting students with helpful, online resources and assistance.
- The Victorian Government is providing employment support to those that are eligible for the Working for Victoria program. This program gives international students the opportunity to re-establish themselves in the workforce. Through the Study Melbourne Student Centre, this program also provides free resume checking and employment webinars.
- You may be eligible for the Rent Relief Grant, which helps protect tenants, that are experiencing financial hardship, from being evicted. This grant provides access to free mediation services, in addition to a rental relief payment for eligible households.
- The International Student Accommodation Legal Service and Work Rights Legal Service provides students with access to free accommodation and employment legal support.
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