UPDATED: Support for International Students

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From 1 January 2021, all international students experiencing financial hardship can access support in the Red Cross Extreme Hardship Support Program, even if they previously received assistance through the International Student Emergency Relief Fund.

Emergency financial assistance for people living in Victoria

Who is this program for?

  • Applicants must meet all of the following:
  • live in Victoria
  • be unable to access Commonwealth income support (including JobKeeper, Job Seeker and SRSS)
  • have zero or very limited income, savings or community support
  • be a temporary or provisional visa holder, or undocumented migrant

What support is being provided?
Limited cash payments to cover basic needs, such as food, bills and medicine.
A single person may receive $800. Families may receive more.
Red Cross can also provide information about other supports available to people living in Victoria on temporary visas.
For more information and to apply go to https://redcross.org.au/vicrelief
If you have questions you can call us on 1800 855 240, we will have an interpreter.

IF YOUR application for Extreme Hardship Support may have been previously declined by Red Cross due to receiving a payment from International Student Emergency Relief Fund or people who excluded themselves from applying for support under the Extreme Hardship Support Program because of having received a payment from International Student Emergency Relief Fund
This program is now open for all international students who are experiencing financial  hardship and are finding it hard to pay for basic living costs such as food, rent or medical expenses.  

Since a change in policy from 1st January 2021, the Red Cross team no longer require to know if international students have received support from the International Student Emergency Relief Fund. 

We now advise the international students in our community that if they are in hardship, they are invited to reapply to the Extreme Hardship Support Program to be assessed for an emergency payment.


Chinese (Simplified) – 简体中文)
Malay – Bahasya Malaysia
Nepali – नेपाली
Persian – فارسی
Spanish – Español
Tamil – தமிழ்
Urdu – اردو
Vietnamese – Tiếng Việt

Website: https://www.redcross.org.au/get-help/help-for-migrants-in-transition/help-for-migrants-in-transition/vic-relief
Applicants can also apply over the phone by calling Red Cross on 1800 855 240.  Interpreters are available to assist in any language. 

For more information about the Extreme Hardship Support Program, updated FAQs and Community Sector fact sheet are available on DHHS website at https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/financial-support-coronavirus-covid-19#extreme-hardship-support-program


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