Page last updated 17 Jun 2020

International Student Emergency Relief Fund (Stream Two)

Our Frequently Asked Questions will help you find information and support to apply for the International Student Emergency Relief Fund.

If you can’t find the information you need, please call us on 1800 056 449. We are here to help you and can arrange an interpreter if you need.

About the Fund

  • How much money can I apply for under the International Student Emergency Relief Fund (Stream Two)?
  • How will students be paid?
  • When is the closing date?

How to apply

  • How do I apply for the International Student Emergency Relief Fund (Stream Two)?
  • What should I do if I’m having trouble submitting my application?
  • Can I use an interpreter speak to someone about how to apply?

Documentation

  • What documentation will I need to provide to support my application?
  • How can I make sure I have the right supporting documentation and evidence to support my application?
  • Will my application be considered if I can’t provide all the supporting documentation?
  • I need to provide a scanned copy of my student visa, and I don’t have a scanner. What are my options?
  • What if my supporting documents are not in English?
  • How many payslips do I need to provide?

Eligibility - general

  • Who is eligible for the International Student Emergency Relief Fund?
  • How do I know if my institution is a private education provider?
  • Are high school students eligible to apply?
  • Are Foundation students eligible to apply for this fund?
  • Can I apply for a payment if I am studying at a Victorian education provider that is based interstate?
  • Am I eligible if I live in Victoria but plan to study interstate?

Eligibility – visas

  • I don’t have a current student visa, I am on another visa (including 485 Post Study Work Visa, bridging visa or tourist visa). Am I eligible?
  • What if my visa expires on or before 30 June 2020?

Eligibility – employment

  • The eligibility criteria states students need to be employed in March 2020, is there a minimum number of hours I need to work to be eligible for the fund?
  • I had a job that was due to start after March 2020, but it has been impacted by COVID19. Am I eligible?
  • Can I apply for this grant if I have received other financial support from another source?
  • Why is lost employment a requirement for the fund?
  • What if I received cash as a payment for work?

About your application

  • How will my application be assessed?
  • How do I know if I have successfully submitted my application?
  • After I submit my application, when will I hear back?
  • Why haven’t I heard back about my application?
  • Why was my application unsuccessful?
  • Can I apply again if my application was unsuccessful?
  • Can I view or change my application form after it is submitted?

Other support

  • If my application is not successful, what else can I do if I am facing financial hardship because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?
  • I’m having issues with immigration, where can I go help?

About the Fund

How much money can I apply for under the International Student Emergency Relief Fund (Stream Two)?

Payments of up to $1100 will be made to eligible students. If you are successful, we will contact you to let you know how much your payment will be.

How will students be paid?

Payment will go directly to the Australian bank account you provide in your application.

When is the closing date?

The funding is available until the end of 2020 or until the fund is exhausted. Given the high number of expressions of interest received since the announcement of the Fund, we recommend you submit an application as soon as possible.

How to apply

How do I apply for the International Student Emergency Relief Fund (Stream Two)?

If you are enrolled with a private education provider or college in Victoria, you should apply through Stream Two. Private education providers include private vocational education and training providers, private higher education providers, and private English language colleges.

Before applying, check that your education provider is on our list of eligible private education providers and colleges in Victoria (Stream Two).

For more information about how to apply under this stream please visit International Student Emergency Relief Fund – information for private education provider students (Stream Two)

What should I do if I’m having trouble submitting my application?

If you are applying for the International Student Emergency Relief Fund as a student with a private education provider, please apply through Stream Two.

  1. It is recommended that you use a desktop or laptop computer to complete your application rather than a mobile device.
  2. The Department will only accept PDF, JPEG and PNG formats for attached documentation.
  3. Try clearing your cookies and cache by pressing control + shift + delete and the following the prompts. Once you have cleared the cookies and cache you will need to close all internet browsers and open a new browser.
  4. Try using a different web browser such as chrome.
  5. For detailed information about how you can apply for the International Student Emergency Relief Fund please visit the Study Melbourne website Please take care to read the Frequently Asked Questions and the Application Guide to ensure you have all of the correct documentation, including your visa documents, to support your application.

Can I use an interpreter to speak to someone about how to apply?

Please call us on 1800 056 449 and ask one of our friendly team if you need a translator. We are here to help.

Documentation

What documentation will I need to provide to support my application?

See our Application Guide (Stream Two) - International Student Emergency Relief Fund to help you understand what documents you need and how to apply.

If you are applying for the International Student Emergency Relief Fund (Stream Two) you will need to provide information and evidence to show that you meet the eligibility criteria.

You must provide the correct documentation in JPEG, PDF or PNG format

If you have checked our website and you still can’t find the information you need you can call us on 1800 056 449.

How can I make sure I have the right supporting documentation and evidence to support my application?

Take care to understand and provide the correct documentation or your application will not be successful. Only JPEG, PDF or PNG formats will be accepted for all supporting documentation.

You need to provide the following documentation (as attachments) to support your application:

Attachment 1: Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) form (screenshot or PDF)

Attachment 2 and 3: Valid Student Visa Documentation

You must provide documentation that provides current information about your visa. This documentation can include:

  • Your current visa grant documentation from the Department of Home Affairs; and
  • A current Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) documentation (PNG, JPG or PDF)

Your VEVO document includes information on the date it was created.  Your VEVO document must show that it was created within the past five days of when you submit your application. If your VEVO check is more than five days old please generate a new one by visiting the Department of Home Affairs Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) website before submitting this application.

Together, these documents must show the following eight points of information:

  1. A visible Australian Government crest or logo or URL address
  2. Your VEVO check must include the date the document was created, and show that it was created within five days of your application (to show your current location is onshore).
  3. Your full name
  4. Your current location (Onshore)
  5. Visa Grant Number
  6. Visa Class/subclass (Student)
  7. Visa Grant Date
  8. Visa Expiry Date - Length of Stay (must be after 30 June 2020)

Refer to example in the Application Guide (Stream Two).

Attachment 4: Passport (scan)

Attachment 5: Evidence of employment

Attachment 6: Evidence of reduction of hours or loss of employment

Will my application be considered if I can’t provide all the supporting documentation?

You must provide all the information and documents requested. Unfinished applications will not be accepted.

Check our Application Guide (Stream Two) - International Student Emergency Relief Fund for information on how to correctly fill out your application.

I need to provide a scanned copy of my student visa, and I don’t have a scanner. What are my options?

Follow the step-by-step instructions on the Department of Home Affairs, Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) website. You must provide copies of your visa documents in PDF, JPEG or PNG file formats. We recommend you use a laptop or computer to do this. If you cannot access a laptop or computer, contact your education provider for assistance.

You can provide one or two documents that provide information about your visa. These must be uploaded screenshots or PDFs of your visa details from the Department of Home Affairs, Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) website . One or two documents in PDF, JPEG or PNG format can be provided, and together they must show the following eight points of information:

  1. A visible Australian Government crest or logo or URL address
  2. Must include the date the visa documents were created, and show that they were generated within five days of submitting your application (to show your current location is onshore)
  3. Your full name
  4. Your current location (Onshore)
  5. Visa Grant Number
  6. Visa Class/subclass (Student)
  7. Visa Grant Date
  8. Visa Expiry Date - Length of Stay (must be after 30 June 2020)

Detailed information is available in our Application Guide (Stream two) on the Study Melbourne website to assist you to prepare your visa documentation.

Contact us on 1800 056 449 if you need support with your application.

What if my supporting documents are not in English?

All documents must be in English.

How many payslips do I need to provide?

You can provide a maximum of two documents that show evidence of employment in March 2020 and evidence of reduction in hours or loss of employment.

All evidence must be in English and include all the information requested. Files must be in either PDF, JPEG or PNG formats.

We recommend you use a laptop or computer to make your application. If you cannot access a laptop or computer, contact your education provider to seek their assistance.

For a list of documents you can provide to show evidence of employment, check our Stream Two Application Guide

Eligibility - general

Who is eligible for the International Student Emergency Relief Fund?

To be eligible to apply to the International Student Emergency Relief Fund (Stream Two), you must meet all the following eligibility criteria:

  1. You are an international student enrolled in a private tertiary education provider in Victoria, and you were enrolled on or before 16 March 2020.
  2. You are an international student who has a current student visa that expires after 30 June 2020.
  3. You are an international student who currently resides in Victoria, Australia and is presently physically located in Victoria.
  4. You were employed in Victoria in March 2020, and have experienced exceptional circumstances of financial hardship due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and those circumstances of hardship arise from:
  5. - a significant reduction in hours of employment OR
    - loss of employment due to a business shutdown AND
    - you are unable to supplement lost income from other sources of financial support

More information about the eligibility criteria for Stream Two is available in the Program Guidelines (Stream Two).

How do I know if my institution is a private education provider?

If you are studying with an eligible private education provider in Victoria, your CRICOS provider will be on our list of private tertiary education providers.

If you are a student at a university or TAFE, you need to apply through your institution. You can check our list of eligible universities and TAFEs in Victoria.

Are high school students eligible to apply?

No, high school students are not eligible for financial support under this fund. If you are an international student enrolled with a Victorian high school, please contact your school or the Victorian Department of Education and Training for more information about support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Are Foundation students eligible to apply for this fund?

Yes, if you meet all other criteria, then you can apply for the International Student Emergency Relief Fund.

Can I apply for a payment if I am studying at a Victorian education provider that is based interstate?

Students must live in Victoria to apply. You will not be considered for a payment under this fund if you are not currently in Victoria, even if you are enrolled with a Victorian private education provider.

Am I eligible if I live in Victoria but plan to study interstate?

To be eligible you must be enrolled with a private tertiary education provider operating in Victoria. You can be studying any tertiary level course, including a certificate, diploma, advanced diploma, bachelor’s degree, postgraduate certificate or diploma or a masters degree.

Eligibility – visas

I don’t have a current student visa, I am on another visa (including 485 Post Study Work Visa, bridging visa or tourist visa). Am I eligible?

No, you need to prove that you hold a valid student visa that expires after 30 June 2020.

If you don’t have a valid student visa that expires after 30 June 2020, there are other programs available, including the Victorian Government’s Rent Relief Program and Working for Victoria initiative. Please visit Study Melbourne’s International Student coronavirus (COVID-19) support hub for information about the services and programs available to help you.

What if my visa expires on or before 30 June 2020?

You must have a current student visa that expires after 30 June 2020.

Eligibility – employment

The eligibility criteria states students need to be employed in March 2020, is there a minimum number of hours I need to work to be eligible for the fund?

There are no minimum hours you must have worked to be eligible for the fund, you just need to provide proof of employment as outlined in the Application Guide (Stream Two).

I had a job that was due to start after March 2020, but it has been impacted by COVID19. Am I eligible?

Your application will be assessed based on your employment status in March 2020.

Can I apply for this fund if I have received other financial support from another source?

Yes.

Why is lost employment a requirement for the fund?

Most international students in Victoria work to support themselves while they study. Most international students aren’t eligible for support such as JobKeeper or JobSeeker, designed to help people who lost shifts or lost their jobs due to the coronavirus crisis. The International Student Emergency Relief Fund was set up to fill this gap.

There are other programs that may help you, including the Rent Relief Program and Working for Victoria.  Please visit the International Student coronavirus (COVID-19) support hub on the Study Melbourne website for information on the range of services and programs available to help you.

What if I received cash as a payment for work?

‘Cash in hand’ is a term often used to describe cash payments where tax has not been taken out – this is against the law.

It is only legal for your employer to pay you in cash if tax was taken from your earnings and sent to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). You should check your pay slip to make sure this was being done.

Applicants need to submit up to two forms of acceptable evidence, such as a payslip, to show that hardship is through loss of work that is legal.

The types of evidence you can use to prove that you meet the eligibility criteria are provided in the Application Guide (Stream Two).

About your application

How will my application be assessed?

If you are applying for the International Student Emergency Relief Fund under Stream Two:

  1. The information you provide must be correct and complete, or your application cannot not be processed.
  2. You must provide documents showing that you meet all the eligibility criteria, including information about your financial situation.
  3. We will assess your application and email you to let you know the result.
  4. If you are successful, we will email you and transfer the money into your nominated bank account.

How do I know if I have successfully submitted my application?

When you save or submit your application form for Stream Two, you will receive an email from Economic Development Enquiries.

After I submit my application, when will I hear back?

We are experiencing a high volume of applications and are working to get through these as quickly as possible. We appreciate your patience as we work as hard as we can to get money to our students.

In addition to the hardship funds, pastoral care and student support services available through Victorian education providers, the Victorian Government is providing additional support to international students. You can find information about other support and services for international students on the International Student coronavirus (COVID-19) support hub on the Study Melbourne website.

Why haven’t I heard back about my application?

We are working very hard to process every application quickly to get this money to the students who need it most. In the meantime, you can find information about other support and services for international students on the International Student coronavirus (COVID-19) support hub on the Study Melbourne website.

Why was my application unsuccessful?

There are several reasons why an application may be unsuccessful, including:

  • The visa documentation you gave us did not provide all of the information we need, or was made more than five days before you submitted you application.
  • The documents you provided did not include all of the information needed. Please check our FAQ’s to make sure your documents are correct.
  • You may have made a mistake in your application and accidentally given us incorrect or incomplete information.
  • The education provider number (CRICOS code) you provided was not on our list of eligible private tertiary education providers in Stream Two of the fund.
  • The document you attached to show your employment did not have the information needed.
  • The Confirmation of Enrolment you gave us did not show where you were studying on 16 March 2020. If you have more than one Confirmation of Enrolment, please attach the document that shows where you were studying on 16 March 2020.
  • One or more of your attachments could not be opened. Attachments must be in one of these common file formats: JPEG, PDF or PNG.
  • You did not meet the eligibility criteria.

If your application couldn’t be processed or if your situation has changed, we invite you to apply again.

We recommend using a desktop or laptop computer to complete your application, rather than a mobile device.

We are here to help. Please call us on 1800 056 449 if you need help with your application. We can also arrange an interpreter if you would like one.

Can I apply again if my application was unsuccessful?

If your application couldn’t be processed or if your situation has changed, we invite you to apply again.

We recommend using a desktop or laptop computer to complete your application, rather than a mobile device. Also make sure all your attachments are in one of these file formats: JPEG, PDF or PNG.

To apply again, please go to the ‘Start your application’ link on the Private Education provider Students (Stream Two) page and:

1. Sign in with your existing account

2. Check your previous application for mistakes

3. Select ‘Draft Application Form’ to start a new application

We are here to help. Please call us on 1800 056 449 if you need assistance with your application. We can also arrange an interpreter if you would like one.

Can I view or change my application form after it is submitted?

You can view the application form that has been submitted, but you can’t make any changes to it. If your application couldn’t be processed or if your situation has changed, we invite you to apply again.

To see the application form you submitted

  1. Sign in with your ID and password, which is in the email sent to you from Economic Development Enquiries <grantsassistance@ecodev.vic.gov.au>
  2. Click on the ‘completed form’ link within the email and this will take you to your completed application form.

Other support

If my application is not successful, what else can I do if I am facing financial hardship because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?

If your application is not successful and you are an international student in Victoria facing financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you can access the other Victorian Government support services for international students.

On top of the hardship funds, pastoral care and student support services available through Victorian education providers, the Victorian Government is providing the following support to international students:

I’m having issues with immigration, where can I go help?

For all immigration matters, including travel and visas, please visit the Department of Home Affairs website or call the Home Affairs Global Service Centre on (+61) 131 881 between 9am and 5pm AEDT Monday to Friday. You can also find a Registered Migration Agent through the Department of Home Affairs website