International Student Emergency Relief Fund (Stream Two)

The Victorian Government has established the $45 million International Student Emergency Relief Fund (ISERF) to provide financial assistance to international students who have lost wages and/or work due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Delivery Streams

The International Student Emergency Relief Fund is delivered in two streams.   

Stream One is for international students enrolled with a public university or TAFE operating in Victoria. Students in this category should apply directly to these institutes to access the International Student Emergency Relief Fund.  

The Study Melbourne website has a list of contact details for each institution. 

Stream Two is for international students enrolled with a private education provider or college in Victoria. This includes private vocational education and training providers, private higher education providers, and private English language colleges. This Stream is administered by the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR).  

The information below sets out the Guidelines for Stream Two of the International Student Emergency Relief Fund.

Study Melbourne

The administration of the International Student Emergency Relief Fund will be supported by Study Melbourne.  Study Melbourne is a Victorian Government initiative providing support and information to Victoria’s community of international students to assist them to have the best experience while residing and studying in Victoria.   

Study Melbourne will support international students to understand who is eligible for the Relief Fund and how to apply.  

More information on the application process for Stream Two applicants is available on the Study Melbourne website.



Stream Two of the ISERF is a fund to provide a one-off payment of financial relief to international students who: 

  • have a student or bridging visa (with student visa application in process);
  • were enrolled with a private education provider operating in Victoria at 31 March 2020;  
  • reside in Victoria, Australia and are currently physically located in Victoria;  
  • were employed in Victoria in March, April, May, June or July 2020;
  • are experiencing exceptional circumstances of financial hardship as a result of job loss, or a significant reduction in employment, or income, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;  
  • do not have enough money, including savings, to meet basic living costs for the next two weeks at the time of application;
  • do not have immediate access to other forms of financial support.

The payment can only be accessed once by eligible students.


A relief payment of up to $1100 is available for eligible students in Stream Two who can demonstrate exceptional circumstances of financial hardship with the least access to immediate funds.  

However, emergency funding available under the International Student Emergency Relief Fund (Streams One and Two) will be drawn from a limited and aggregated pool of funds and for a total of approximately 40,000 eligible students to receive a grant. 

In the event that there are insufficient funds to cover the total number of eligible applicants, the Department will select the successful applicants at its absolute discretion. Only eligible applications will be considered as part of this selection process, and will be determined as the department deems appropriate.


To be eligible for funding under ISERF Stream Two, applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:  

  1. You are an international student enrolled in a private tertiary education provider in Victoria, and, that you were enrolled at 31 March 2020.  
    1. A full list of private tertiary education providers is accessible to students. This is the list of private providers operating in Victoria on 31 March 2020.
    2. To satisfy this criteria, applicants must attach their Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) to their application that shows they are an actively engaged student who was enrolled in a course at 31 March 2020.
  2. You are an international student who has a current student or bridging visa (with a student visa application in process).
    1. To satisfy this criteria, applicants must attach their official visa record from the Department of Home Affairs to their application.
    2. The document submitted will most likely take the form of a VEVO record. This document must be generated no more than 5 days prior to the day of submitting your application. 
    3. If you are an international student studying on a bridging visa, your bridging visa grant notification must show evidence of your student visa application as well as your bridging visa.
  3. You are an international student who currently resides in Victoria, Australia and is presently physically located in Victoria.
    1. Students are not eligible for this Stream if they cannot prove that they are currently physically located in Victoria, Australia, even if they are an international student currently enrolled at a Victorian private provider.  
  4. You were employed in Victoria in any time between March and July 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.

Students must be able to show that they were employed in March, April, May, June or July 2020 and have experienced either a significant reduction in available hours of work, or have lost employment that has resulted in demonstrable financial hardship.  

Employment may mean as a direct employee of a business or as an independent contractor of a business.  

Applicants will be required to submit acceptable evidence and attest that hardship is through loss of legal work. The types of acceptable evidence will be provided in the Application Guide (Stream Two) on the Study Melbourne website.


The following documents and information are required to support an application for Stream Two:  

  • a copy of the applicant’s Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) 
  • a copy of the applicant’s student visa document supplied by the Department of Home Affairs (usually a VEVO Visa Details Check record) OR if the applicant holds a bridging visa, a copy of the applicants bridging visa grant notification document and a VEVO Visa Details Check record from the Department of Home Affairs
  • a copy of the applicant’s passport information page  
  • a copy of a document that shows evidence of employment (up to two documents)


Applicants must agree to the following conditions to apply for the relief payment:  

  • Only individual applicants may apply.  Applications through a third party will not be accepted.    
  • Applicants must certify that they meet the eligibility criteria and they have not supplied false or misleading information.  
  • Applicants must give consent to data sharing with, and disclosure of information to, the Commonwealth Government’s Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) and the Department of Home Affairs for the purpose of verifying the particulars of the applicant’s application.  
  • Applicants must provide complete and correct information on their application form and certify as to the provision of the truth of that information.
  • Applicants understand that the particulars of their application will be checked as part of the assessment process and their application may be declined and not proceed based on these checks.  
  • Applicants may be subject to audit by the Victorian Government or its representatives and may be required to produce further evidence if asked, including to show that they are currently living in Victoria, have lost work or wages or evidence of financial hardship.  
  • If any information in the application is found to be false or misleading, after payment of the grant, the grant will be repayable on demand.  
  • Applicants must provide their own Australian bank account details for payment should their application be successful.  
  • Successful applicants agree to complete a post grant evaluation survey if requested by the Victorian Government.  
  • Applicants, upon making an application, confirm their acceptance of the terms of the ISERF grant.


Information provided by the Applicant for the purpose of this application will be used by the Department for the purposes of assessment of applications, program administration and program review.  In making an application, the applicant consents to the provision of their information to State and Commonwealth Government departments and agencies for the purpose of assessing applications.   

Any personal information collected, held, managed, used, disclosed or transferred will be held in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and other applicable laws.  

The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, is committed to protecting the privacy of personal information. The Department’s Privacy Policy can be found online at  

Enquiries about access to information should be directed to the Department’s Privacy Unit by email


The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions reserves the right to amend these guidelines and application terms as required.


Before you apply, you should do the following things: