By Sean Mortell, published 11 December 2020
The state of international travel means many international students have been stuck in Australia while the coronavirus epidemic settled over the world. With overseas flights still harshly restricted, people studying abroad need more help. Here is a list of the financial assistance currently available in Australia.
The Australian Federal government has provided three main ways of helping international students:
If you have been in the country for at least 12 months can access their superannuation funds viamyGov.
If working at a health, disability or aged care organisation, you can extend working arrangements.
You can also contact embassies or consulates for further help.
$2 million in Food Aid has been available for free meals.
Various Utility Relief Grants and employment assistance can be given.
StudyMelbourne also offers free meals in conjunction with organisations like Foodbank Victoria, OzHarvest and SecondBite – learn more here.
International students can access the $28 million Jobs for Canberrans Fund for residents.
Temporary Visa holders can apply for a part of a $450,000 support package.
Community support and mental health care packages are also claimable.
New South Wales
Short-term emergency accommodation and emergency food relief packages, especially for those in rural areas heavily impacted by COVID-19.
A mental wellness support package in conjunction with the 24/7 NSW Mental Health Hotline.
Help from the NSW International Student Legal Service (accessed via the ‘My Legal Mate’ phone app).
Contact 1800QSTUDY, a 24/7 line directing international students to support avenues.
The Study Queensland Lurhmann Appeal is a public appeal that distributes resources and funds through local charities in Queensland.
The Queensland Student Hub network also directs students to support, while also providing free online and physical student support for welfare, employment and social issues.
You may be eligible to claim part of the $13.8 million International Student Support Package.
Online guidance is available on 1800 006 488 for study, living and work.
Residential Rental Grant Scheme can be claimed by international students.
Financial support for temporary visa holders.
Rental Relief Fund of either $2,000 or four weeks’ rent for people suffering from extreme hardship.
The Worker and Wellbeing Fund directs over $5 million to StudyNT International Student Wellbeing Grants that can provide emergency food and resources
Darwin Student Space gives mental health support.
The Small Business Survival Fund supports people unable to claim the JobKeeper payment.
To access any of these schemes, you can find more information here.
As it stands, Visa fees are able to be waived by international students. This article explains how you can lodge applications for the waiver.
There are also some changes that have recently been made regarding student visas and certain conditions in Australia – you cancheck it out here.