Government services and support

#InThisTogether

Study NSW has prepared the following resources to assist international students during the COVID-19 pandemic

Australian Government

National Coronavirus (COVID-19) website

The Australian Government website is regularly updated with the latest Coronavirus news, updates and advice from government agencies across Australia.

Coronavirus app

Download the official government “Coronavirus Australia” app in the Apple App Store or Google Play, or join our WhatsApp channel on iOS or Android.

Coronavirus Whatsapp

The Government has established a Coronavirus WhatsApp channel. The Whatsapp channel, can be activated at:

aus.gov.au/whatsapp

Department of Social Services

The Australian Government Department of Social Services website contains a Grant Service Directory for NSW detailing community organisations who provide financial crisis and emergency support.

Access to superannuation for international students

If you're adversely financially affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible to access some of your superannuation early.

Applications for the 2019–20 financial year closed on 30 June 2020.

Temporary residents are not eligible to apply for COVID-19 early release of super in the 2020–21 financial year.

More information on this is available at the following link:

Special working arrangements for international students

The Australian Government has announced special working arrangements for international students who are currently employed by major supermarkets or working in Australia’s aged care sector. This is a wonderful example of the contribution of international students and the tremendous impact they have in the communities in which they live, study and work. From 1 May, their hours will return to the maximum 40 hours a fortnight.

More information on this is available at the following links:

In addition, the Australian Government has announced further changes to student visa work conditions to help boost frontline health efforts to tackle coronavirus. International students studying relevant medical courses will be exempt from the usual 40-hour per fortnight work limit, if they are working in support of coronavirus health efforts and at the direction of the relevant health authority. International students currently working for registered disability service providers will also be exempt.

More information on this is available at the following link:

Support for charities and community organisations

The Australian Government is providing an immediate $100 million funding injection to more than 300 charities and community organisations to support Australians in the wake of the coronavirus economic downturn. More than $37 million will be shared among almost 200 existing Commonwealth-funded Emergency Relief organisations to boost support and change service delivery methods to comply with social distancing guidelines.

More information on this is available at the following link:

Rental moratorium

Australian states and territories will put a six-month moratorium on evictions for both residential and commercial tenants during the coronavirus pandemic.

Tenants and landlords are encouraged to agree on rent relief or temporary amendments to the lease.

More information on this is available at the following links:

If you need help to understand your legal situation, contact International Student Legal Service NSW or the Tenants’ Union of New South Wales for free advice.

Department of Home Affairs (for visa status)

If you have questions about your visa, you should contact the Department of Home Affairs.

Website: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/student-visa/australia

National coronavirus hotline: 1800 020 080

Global Service Centre hotline: (+61) 131 881 available between 9am and 5pm AEDT Monday to Friday.

Department of Education, Skills and Enrolment (for enrolment, tuition fees or study-related questions)

The Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan has announced the Higher Education Relief Package for tertiary and international education providers so they can better support domestic and international students, as well as exemptions from loan fees under FEE-HELP and VET Student Loans.

If you are concerned about your enrolment, fees or other issues related to your studies, please contact your education provider first. If your education provider cannot assist, you can call dedicated staff at Department of Education, Skills and Enrolment.

Website: https://www.dese.gov.au/news/coronavirus-covid-19

FairWork Ombudsman

The Fair Work Ombudsman has launched www.coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au which provides tailored online information about workplace rights and responsibilities for those affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Advice is also available for visa holders to understand their rights and responsibilities at work during coronavirus.

Study Australia Partners

Study Australia partners including Study NSW are here to support our international student community.

Visit the Australian Government's Study in Australia website and follow these social media channels to stay connected and receive the latest information.

NSW Government

For all official information about Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the NSW Government please visit  https://preview.nsw.gov.au/covid-19

Short-term emergency accommodation for international students

The NSW Government is providing a $20 million package for international students who are stranded in Australia due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The crisis accommodation will be limited to international student visa holders in genuine need, who meet all the following criteria:

  • have been evicted or are facing imminent eviction
  • have evidence of being laid off employment
  • have less than $1500 in savings and no other avenues of support.

Applications for accommodation are expected to open in the coming weeks.

Please subscribe to the Study NSW mailing list to receive updates on this support measure.

International students in need can call 13 77 88, the NSW Government hotline to find out more.

Read more about this announcement and other support measures being delivered by the NSW Government for international students during COVID-19.

Mental health and wellbeing

Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor have announced the NSW Government funding boost, which will help support the mental health and wellbeing of people across the state.

More than 180 mental health workers will be deployed across the state as part of a $73 million package to boost mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Mental Health Line - 1800 011 511 is available to everyone in NSW, including international students and operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Lifeline funding

Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Mental Health, Bronnie Taylor, has announced the NSW Government will contribute an additional $6 million to help ensure Lifeline can respond to the increased needs of the community throughout the COVID-19 crisis. This service is available to international students in NSW who can speak to a Crisis Supporter by calling 13 11 14, text 0477131114 or chat online at www.lifelife.org.au.

Study NSW

The NSW Government, through Study NSW, will continue to work with the Australian Government and all our education stakeholders to ensure students have access to the latest information and receive the necessary support they require at this challenging time.

We are developing strategies to deliver engagement programs and webinars for our international education community in a safe and meaningful way. We will continue to provide updates to keep you informed and supported.

Our International Student Welfare Services Hub contains information on support services available to international students across Sydney and NSW. We encourage our community to stay connected with Study NSW on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to receive the latest news, updates and resources related to international education in NSW during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Multicultural NSW - Multilingual resources and health advice

If English is not your first language, translated factsheets, information, videos and posters are available on the NSW Health website.

Information is available in a variety of community languages, including Arabic, Bahasa/Indonesian, Chinese – Simplified, Chinese – Traditional, Farsi, Italian, Khmer, Korean, Mongolian, Thai and Vietnamese.

NSW Fair Trading

NSW Fair Trading is working closely with stakeholders to monitor the effect COVID-19 is having on consumers and businesses, and will continue to offer as much support and guidance as possible.

The new resource library contains important information, advice and frequently asked questions specifically for international students.

The Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services provides assistance and advocacy to all tenants, including international students.

The NSW Government is introducing an interim 60-day stop on landlords seeking to evict tenants due to rental arrears as a result of COVID-19, together with longer six month restrictions on rental arrears evictions for those financially disadvantaged by COVID-19.

To find your nearest Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service, go to www.tenants.org.au or call +612 8117 3700.

NSW Anti-discrimination

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions, you have the right to live in an environment free of discrimination.

You have the right not to be discriminated against because of your race, your pregnancy, your illness or your responsibilities as a carer. There are a number of other protected characteristics under NSW anti-discrimination law. NSW Ant-discrimination have a dedicated COVID-19 page and social media toolkit.


Local Government

City of Sydney

The City of Sydney has endorsed a new $47.5 million funding package for local businesses, cultural and creative industries and the community support sector in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will mean new grants, support services and cash donations for businesses and communities impacted by the coronavirus. The City will also waive or reduce a range of fees and charges.

International students who are facing hardship and located within the City of Sydney Local Government Area are encouraged to call the City of Sydney COVID-19 Community Hotline. City staff are trained to provide information on accommodation, access to food, finance, isolation, personal wellbeing and community support. The Community Hotline is 02 9265 9333 and is open 9am  5pm, Monday to Friday. You can also register for their Community Check-in Service and receive a regular call.

Website: www.cityofsydney.gov.au

Phone: 9265 9333

Liverpool City Council

Liverpool City Council is working with community organisations to deliver support to residents including international students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phone: 1300 362 170


Support services available for international students

Accomm

Gov support

Food 2

charities

mental health 2

Immigration

legal

embassies

unis