Government Assistance For Temporary And Provisional Visa Holders – Coronavirus (COVID-19) (July 3, 2020)


A range of government assistance is available to temporary and provisional visa holders impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19). For more information please contact the agency responsible or visit the website listed.

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 arrangementsexternal link 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 informationexternal link.

Support for job seekers

The Victorian Government has established the Working for Victoria initiative to help jobseekers find new opportunities. If you have Australian working rights, you are eligible to register. For more information or to register visit Working for Victoriaexternal link.

Support for renters

There is currently a moratorium on evictions for six months from 29 March 2020, for residential and commercial tenants experiencing financial hardship due to the impact of coronavirus. Visit Consumer Affairs Victoria for more informationexternal link.

The Victorian Government has also announced rent relief grants for people in Victoria experiencing rental hardship because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. For more information visit HousingVicexternal link.


Free childcare is available until 12 July for workers and families. Visit the Centrelink websiteexternal link 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 Melbourneexternal link.

Relief payments for temporary visa holders

Australian Red Cross has received Commonwealth Government fundingexternal link 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 communitiesexternal link through the coronavirus pandemic. The package includes the following support:

  • nearly $5 million to support vulnerable and at-risk youths and families in financial hardship who need essential items such as food and clothing
  • $2.2 million to provide basic needs assistance to thousands of asylum seekers
  • $1.1 million toward culturally appropriate family violence prevention and early intervention services
  • $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 websiteexternal link.

Support for public housing and people experiencing homelessness

The Victorian Government is providing $6 million to homelessness organisationsexternal link to help protect people at risk of homelessness because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health workforce response

The Victorian Government is seeking to boost the Victorian health system talent pool as part of the response to coronavirus (COVID-19). People with drive and experience in the following areas are encouraged to register their interest:

  • Nursing and Midwifery
  • Medical
  • Allied health (therapies and sciences)
  • Paramedics
  • Patient Services Assistant/Assistant in Nursing
  • Student (Medical, Nursing, Midwifery, Paramedicine, Allied Health – therapies and sciences – or other health sciences)

Visit Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health workforce responseexternal link for more information or to register your interest.

Hotels for Heroes

The Hotels for Heroes programexternal link provides free accommodation in hotels or apartments for frontline workers in healthcare, emergency services, youth justice and other healthcare settings, who need to self-isolate due to coronavirus and cannot safely do this at home. For more information visit https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/health-services-and-general-practitioners-coronavirus-disease-covid-19external link

Temporary early release of superannuation

Eligible temporary residents are able to apply to access up to $10,000. Visit the ATO websiteexternal link for more information.

Support for businesses

The Victorian Government has announced a $1.7 billion economic survival and jobs package which includes:

  • full payroll tax refunds for the 2019-20 financial year to small and medium-sized businesses with a payroll of the less than $3 million
  • the 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
  • the Working for Victoriaexternal link initiative, connecting businesses that need staff with people who are looking for work
  • a $500 million Business Support Fundexternal link 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 onlineexternal link
  • Upskill My Businessexternal link provides free online courses, live and on-demand events and a range of business resources to help you prepare for a strong recovery
  • the Tourism Accommodation Support Programexternal link offers financial support to tourism operators affected by temporary coronavirus lockdowns
  • the Local Lockdowns Business Support Programexternal link provides $5,000 grants to businesses operating in postcodes affected by temporary coronavirus lockdowns