Dealing with finances through Covid-19
We at iae GLOBAL Sydney (iaeG Sydney) understand that some international students may be struggling financially in Australia during the current lockdown. We want to ensure that all of you stay informed, connected and supported, no matter your circumstances. Know that we are all #InThisTogether!
We have pooled below here a list of financial-related aid and resources that you may be able to access:
Australia has allowed temporary visa holders with work rights, including international students who have been in Australia for more than 12 months, to draw on their superannuation funds if they are facing financial hardships during the crisis. Eligible students can apply for an early release of their superannuation funds through their myGov account.
Many educational institutions are offering hardship packages and financial relief to students during the lockdown, such as tuition discount or payment instalment plan, waiver of enrolment or material fees, and an option for study deferrals without penalty. For more information, contact iaeG Sydney or your education provider.
- iaeG Sydney:
iaeG Sydney will fully subsidise the student visa application fee of eligible students in Australia who use our services and enrol in any Higher Education program that we recommend. We will also contribute 50 per cent of the visa application fee of those who enrol in a VET (Vocational Education & Training) or ELICOS (English Language Intensive) course through us.
Update: We are now providing Coles or food store vouchers to each newly enrolled student. Contact us for more details.
- Joint efforts:
States and territory study clusters, along with institutions and agents, are working to engage with national and local community organisations such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army and Food Bank Australia to support immediate needs.
There are still a few options left for international students who now need a job to pay rent, tuition or even food during these challenging times. Service sectors dealing with food/grocery delivery, health or cleaning, supermarkets, (essential) shops, warehouses and farms in Australia are still operational and need workers.
This group on Facebook (www.facebook.com/groups/504467513762279/)* and many others are rallying on social media to help people in Australia find jobs.
* This link has been provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an affiliation, endorsement or approval by iaeG Sydney and we bear no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of this site and the subsequent links contained in it.
A reminder for international students who have switched to remote learning: You cannot work more than 40 hours per fortnight when your course of study is ”in session”. This is regardless of whether you are attending classes physically or online. A course is considered “in session” for the duration of the advertised semesters (including periods when exams are being held) even if the student is studying online.
However, you can work over 40 hours per fortnight if your course has been deferred.
Work-hour extensions have also been granted for international students who work in the nursing and aged care sectors, as well as registered supermarkets (The extension ends on 1 May 2020 for supermarkets and you will then only be able to work 40 hours per fortnight). See the list of employers included in these special work arrangements.
While a six-month moratorium on evictions has been announced for commercial tenants and some residential renters, this is not law mandated in all of Australia. Implementation may differ from state to state.
During the moratorium, landlords are encouraged to work with tenants who fail to pay their rent to defer, reduce or even waive the rent for a fixed period, instead of turning them out from the property. The temporary ban is meant to help businesses and renters who face severe financial hardship due to the current crisis but tenants not majorly affected must still meet their rental commitments.
If you are in a “financial distress” due to Covid-19, iaeG Sydney recommends that you inform your real estate agency/landlord and provide an unemployment letter when negotiating with your landlord or asking the agency to do so for you. Be fair and honest in the negotiation about how much you can pay and for how long you would need the rent relief. Where possible, you should propose:
- Payment by instalments, or
- A rent reduction of between 25 - 50 per cent. Offer an amount that really reflects your financial situation.
iaeG Sydney can provide a sample unemployment letter should you need to produce one for your real estate agency or landlord. Please contact us for assistance.