Page last updated 02 Jun 2020

International Student Emergency Relief Fund (Stream One)

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

  • Why is the International Student Emergency Relief Fund divided into two streams?
  • How much money can I apply for under the International Student Emergency Relief Fund (Stream One)?
  • Why doesn't my university's website have information about the International Student Emergency Relief Fund?
  • How will students be paid?
  • When is the closing date for applications?
  • Why are university students receiving different amounts?

How to apply

  • How do I apply for the International Student Emergency Relief Fund?
  • I am studying with a public university or TAFE in Victoria. How can I apply for the fund?
  • Is the International Student Emergency Relief Fund separate to the relief funds provided by my university?

Eligibility

  • I had a job that I was due to start after March 2020, but it has been impacted by COVID19. Am I eligible?
  • What if my visa expires on / before 30 June 2020?
  • Can I apply for this fund if I have received other financial support from another source?
  • Who is eligible for the International Student Emergency Relief Fund?
  • My university is not included on any of the stream lists, does this mean I cannot apply for the International Student Emergency Relief Fund?
  • Can I apply for a payment under Stream One if I have already received a student welfare payment from my university or TAFE?
  • The financial support I received from my university was a ‘one-time payment of financial assistance’, can I access any more support?
  • I’ve been given financial support from my university, but this was only $200-$500, what happened to the money available through the International Student Emergency Relief Fund?
  • I already applied for my university’s financial support and was unsuccessful. Does this mean I cannot access further support through my university?
  • Can I apply for a payment if I am studying at a Victorian education provider that is based interstate?

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?

About the Fund

Why is the International Student Emergency Relief Fund divided into two streams?

Universities and TAFEs are already working closely with their students to provide hardship funds and welfare services. By working together, we can provide more financial support to more students and speed up the delivery of this program.

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

Universities and institutions will have different arrangements and limits in place. We are working with the sector to ensure that payments have a meaningful impact on successful applicants’ needs.

For TAFE students, a payment of up to $1100 will be made to eligible students.

Why doesn’t my university’s website have information about the International Student Emergency Relief Fund?

We understand these funds are needed and are working hard to deliver support to the students who need it most. Universities have only recently been advised of the grant they will administer under the International Student Emergency Relief Fund and some may still be updating their processes. In most instances the funds granted will extend their existing welfare programs and hardship funds. Please contact your university on the contact details listed on our Information for university and TAFE students page.

How will students be paid?

Students successful in their application under Stream One will be paid by their education provider.

When is the closing date for applications?

The funding is available until the end of 2020 or until funding 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.

Why are university students receiving different amounts?

Universities will assess applications and offer an amount based on each student’s financial situation. Please contact your university if you have questions about the outcome of your application.

How to apply

How do I apply for the International Student Emergency Relief Fund?

Victoria’s International Student Emergency Relief Fund will be delivered in two streams.

Stream One - International students studying at a university or TAFE

If you are a student at a university or TAFE, please apply directly to your institution. You can find the link to your institution’s application page on our list of eligible universities and TAFEs in Victoria (Stream One).

Stream Two - International students studying at private education providers and colleges

If you are enrolled with a private education provider or college in Victoria, you should apply through Stream Two, not Stream One. These education providers include private vocational education and training providers, private higher education providers, and private English language colleges.

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

I am studying with a public university or TAFE in Victoria. How can I apply for the fund?

If you are studying at a Victorian university or TAFE, please contact your institution’s student support services for information on how to apply for support from the International Student Emergency Relief Fund. You can find a list of contact details for eligible universities and TAFEs in Victoria here.

If you are enrolled with a private education provider or college in Victoria, you should apply online through the Study Melbourne website. For more information about how to apply through Stream Two, visit the information for private education provider website.

Is the International Student Emergency Relief Fund separate to the relief funds provided by my university?

The International Student Emergency Relief Fund provides additional money so the government, together with education institutions, can help as many international students in Victoria who are experiencing financial hardship as possible. Our universities and TAFEs have existing welfare programs and are best placed to assess individual students’ welfare needs which is why they will manage the application process.

Eligibility

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.

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

To be eligible, you need to prove that you hold a valid student visa that expires after 30 June 2020.

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

If you are a TAFE student, yes. For university students, this will vary depending on your university, so please contact your student services team to check.

Who is eligible for the International Student Emergency Relief Fund?

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

  1. You are an international student enrolled in a public university or TAFE in Victoria, and you were enrolled at 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:
      - 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.

My university is not included on any of the stream lists, does this mean I cannot apply for the International Student Emergency Relief Fund?

Please contact our friendly team on 1800 056 449 so we can investigate. If you are studying remotely with a university that does not have a campus in Victoria, you do not meet the eligibility criteria for this program.

Can I apply for a payment under Stream One if I have already received a student welfare payment from my university or TAFE?

If you have received support from your institution and you are still in genuine hardship due to lost work or significant loss of income, you should contact your university or TAFE and let them know. They will tell you if you are eligible for further assistance.

The financial support I received from my university was a ‘one-time payment of financial assistance’, can I access any more support?

Your university will receive additional funding through the International Student Emergency Relief Fund to support student payments on a co-contribution basis. You should contact your university to see if you qualify to access additional funds available through International Student Emergency Relief Fund.

I've been given financial support from my university, but this was only $200-$500, what happened to the money available through the International Student Emergency Relief Fund?

Applications for the International Student Emergency Relief Fund have just opened. Your university will receive additional funding through the International Student Emergency Relief Fund to support student payments on a co-contribution basis. The fund will provide additional money so together we can help as many international students in Victoria who are experiencing financial hardship as possible. You should contact your university directly to update them on your situation and see if you qualify.

I already applied for my university’s financial support and was unsuccessful. Does this mean I cannot access further support through my university?

Public institutions such as universities and TAFEs are working with the government on a co-contribution basis to ensure that together we can support as many students in need as possible. If your circumstances have changed and you have faced loss of income through reduction in work, you should contact your university. They are best placed to assess your need and provide support through their existing programs and through the additional International Student Emergency Relief Fund funding.

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

You must live in Victoria and be enrolled at a university or TAFE listed on the Stream One section of this website to be considered for this fund.

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 should let your university or TAFE student welfare office know.

You can also access other Victorian Government support services for international students.

In addition to 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:

  • one-off rent relief grants for people in rental hardship due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, to help keep renters in safe and stable accommodation
  • help to find work opportunities through Working for Victoria
  • dedicated international student coronavirus (COVID-19) support hub on the Study Melbourne website to link you with a wide range of support programs and services, including a directory of community support and food relief
  • access to free accommodation and employment legal advice
  • dedicated support through the Study Melbourne Student Centre including free and confidential support and practical help. This includes access to mental health services and  other referral services.