Six programs to support visa holders in Victoria
All the supporting programs made available for workers in Victoria (including visa holders) who are unable to access other forms of Victorian Government and Commonwealth Government income support. Here is the list:
1. Support for job seekers
The Victorian Government has established the Working for Victoria initiative to help jobseekers find new opportunities. Temporary migrants who have Australian working rights are eligible and encouraged to register.
The Migrant Workers Centre can also assist to address problems encountered at workplaces and provide advice on migrant workers’ rights and available supports.
2. Extreme Hardship Support Program
The Extreme Hardship Support Program is providing emergency financial assistance, information and referrals to people who cannot access Commonwealth income support or the International Student Emergency Relief Fund. It assists the most vulnerable temporary and provisional visa holders, including undocumented migrants, who have no or very limited savings, income and community support.
3. Support for international students
The Victorian Government has announced a $45 million International Student Emergency Relief Fund for international students facing financial hardship because of coronavirus. To check the eligibility criteria, check the Study Melbourne website.
4. Coronavirus (COVID-19) rent relief grant
Vitoria Government also worked to ensure that renters in Victoria, including students and temporary visa holders, are able to maintain safe, secure and stable accommodation. This includes rules that protect renters from eviction as a result of financial hardship and a one-off rental relief payment for eligible households. There are no citizenship or permanent residency requirements for applicants
5. Emergency Relief Packages, Test Isolation Payments, Pandemic Leave Disaster payment
Community members in self-isolation or quarantine without family or networks can access free Emergency Relief Packages. Further support is also available to people who are unable to work or care for themselves while they wait for a test result, or isolate or quarantine through Test Isolation Payments and the Pandemic Leave Disaster payment. Enquiries about eligibility for a package or access to the payments can be directed to the Victorian Government’s coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 675 398 or check the in-text links.
6. Support for COVID medical advice or treatment
For all people in Victoria who need to seek medical advice or treatment for symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) and do not have adequate insurance coverage, Victorian hospitals will waive the costs of treatment. These arrangements have been put in place to ensure that everyone can access Victoria’s healthcare system, including visitors, international students or temporary visa holders who fall ill in Australia and are not eligible for Medicare.
There are a number of other government and non-government supports available including food relief, housing, healthcare and cash support:
- The Australian Red Cross website has information on the wide range of supports available to temporary residents.
- The Live in Melbourne website also provides a helpful summary of the types of support available from the Victorian Government.
Read more about the current situation in Victoria and the recent updates on Student and Graduate Visa applications, see blog post below: