[Updated: Oct 16, 2020 10:44 am]
This section contains the following:
Changes in Visa policies
Financial assistance by Victoria government to migrants and international students
A range of government assistance is available to temporary and provisional visa holders impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19).
Hardship support for those on temporary or provisional visas
People living in Victoria with limited income or savings who are on temporary or provisional visas are now eligible to apply for a payment of up to $800 per person. Those who have already received a payment under the program will be eligible for a $400 top up on their original amount. Read the media release.
Business Resilience Package
The Victorian Government is investing $3 billion to help business impacted by ongoing restrictions and to prepare for COVID Normal business.
This includes a third round of the Business Support Fund with grants of up to $20,000 available as well as tax and cashflow support.
For further information, including on how to apply, visit Business Victoria.
Temporary changes to the Seasonal Worker Programme, Pacific Labour Scheme and the Working Holiday Maker visa program
On 4 April the Commonwealth Government announced changes to visa arrangements that allow workers under the Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme to remain in Australia and continue working for up to 12 months under more flexible conditions. Visit the Department of Home Affairs for more information.
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. For more information or to register, go to Study Melbourne.
The Commonwealth Government has made a number of changes to student visa arrangements. These changes include allowing international students to lodge a further student visa application free of charge if they are unable to complete their studies within their original visa validity due to the coronavirus pandemic. For more information, see the Ministers’ media release.
Relief payments for temporary visa holders
Australian Red Cross has received Commonwealth Government funding specifically to support people who are on temporary visas with a small one-off emergency relief payment.
Support for multicultural and multifaith families
The Victorian Government has announced a $11.3 million funding package to support multicultural and multifaith communities through the coronavirus pandemic. The package includes the following support:
l nearly $5 million to support vulnerable and at-risk youths and families in financial hardship who need essential items such as food and clothing
l$2.2 million to provide basic needs assistance to thousands of asylum seekers
l$1.1 million toward culturally appropriate family violence prevention and early intervention services
l$1 million to boost translated messaging across government departments
Relaxation of work hours for international students working in medical and disability sectors
The Commonwealth Government has made changes to student visa work conditions to help boost frontline health efforts. To learn more about changes, visit the Department of Home Affairs website.
Support for businesses
The Victorian Government has announced a $1.7 billion economic survival and jobs package which includes:
lfull payroll tax refunds for the 2019-20 financial year to small and medium-sized businesses with a payroll of the less than $3 million
lthe same businesses will also be able to defer payment of any payroll tax for the first three months of the 2020/21 financial year until 1 January 2021
lthe Working for Victoria initiative, connecting businesses that need staff with people who are looking for work
la $500 million Business Support Fund to assist the hardest hit sectors. Funding of $10,000 per small business is available and will be allocated through a grant process. Businesses must already employ staff, have a payroll of less than $650,000 and a turnover of more than $75,000. Apply online
lUpskill My Business provides free online courses, live and on-demand events and a range of business resources to help you prepare for a strong recovery
lthe Tourism Accommodation Support Program offers financial support to tourism operators affected by temporary coronavirus lockdowns
On 10 July, the Victorian Government announced the Business Survival Package which includes $534 million to provide more support to businesses and workers. The new package includes additional grants of $5,000 for eligible businesses, as well as support for Victoria’s night time economy and small businesses operating in Melbourne’s CBD. Learn more about the Business Survival Package at Business Victoria.