Page last updated 16 Sep 2021

Study Melbourne is dedicated to supporting our international student community during this challenging time.

We share current and accurate information and connect you to resources that can help.

Through the Study Melbourne Student Centre, we can provide free and confidential information, access to services, support and practical help.


The COVID-19 Rent Relief Grant Program

The Victorian Government is assisting Victorians, including international students, who are struggling to pay their rent.

The COVID-19 Rent Relief Grant program will help renters who are experiencing rental hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. Grants of up to $1500 will provide direct financial support to renters by making a contribution towards the cost of their rent directly to their landlord on their behalf.

The one-off payment is specifically for renters paying more than 30 per cent of their income in rent who are living in a primary residence to help them maintain safe, secure, and stable accommodation. Grants will be targeted at those who have lost an income of 20 per cent or more due to the pandemic.

For more information about the Rent Relief Grants, and to make an application visit the Housing Vic website.

Pandemic financial support payments

International students who are studying and working in Australia may be able to access financial assistance when they are:

  • required to self-isolate or are caring for someone with COVID-19 (Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment) or;
  • adversely affected by a state public health order and are required to be in lockdown for more than seven days (COVID-19 Disaster Payment).

For more information on the available financial support payments, including eligibility criteria, visit the Services Australia website.

COVID-19 Disaster Payment

The Australian Government has announced a new COVID-19 Disaster Payment to help people affected by COVID-19 restrictions.

The new payment will help Victorian workers who are unable to earn income due to lockdown restrictions.

To be eligible you must be an Australian resident, permanent resident or eligible working visa holder.

For more information visit payments and services during coronavirus.

Current restrictions for Victoria

For more information on current restrictions visit the Victorian Government's coronavirus website.

International Student Arrivals

The Victorian Government is working with education providers and the Australian Government on a plan for the gradual return of international students. It is difficult to provide a timeline for when students can return to Victoria in significant numbers. Timing will be confirmed following further consultation with the Australian Government.

Limited travel exemptions are available for international students who can meet specific criteria including some health/medical students and PhD research students.

We encourage you to also keep in touch with your education institution for ongoing support.

Thank you for your patience during this difficult time. We look forward to welcoming you back to our classrooms, campuses, and communities when conditions allow.

For more information read the latest advice on travelling to Victoria.

Getting tested for COVID-19

If you have any of the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, you should seek advice and get tested. Testing is free.

Learn more about getting tested.

Getting your COVID-19 vaccination

From Wednesday, 25 August everyone aged 16 years and over is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

You can now book or change a vaccination appointment at a vaccination centre through the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 vaccine online booking system.

The vaccines are free. This includes for Australian citizens, permanent residents, refugees, people seeking asylum, temporary and provisional visa holders (including international students and temporary migrants).

You do not need a Medicare card to get a vaccine. If you do not have a Medicare card, you can apply for an Individual Health Identifier (IHI) number.

To do this, you will need to complete and submit a Request or update an Individual Healthcare Identifier form. You can also visit a Medicare office to get an IHI.

If you cannot get an appointment at your preferred location, you should continue to check back, as more appointments will become available over the coming weeks.

COVID-19 Test Isolation Payment

If you’re self-isolating while waiting for COVID-19 test results and can’t earn an income during that time, you may be eligible to receive the $450 Test Isolation Payment. Find out more about the COVID-19 Test Isolation Payment.

Coronavirus advice