You may have heard that Red Cross is receiving funding from the Australian Government for the next six months to deliver emergency relief and casework support for people who are on temporary visas. We have welcomed this news.
Red Cross has not yet received these funds. It may be one or two weeks before we do.
Here is some important information to read before you contact us.
What are the funds for?
These are emergency relief payments, not income support. We can only provide one-off, limited amounts to help people with essential needs like food and medicine.
Who is eligible?
These funds are for people on temporary visas who have no way to support themselves and who have urgent needs.
Because so many people are facing financial difficulty, we have to help those with the most urgent needs first. This includes:
- people who cannot afford basics like food and medicine
- families with young children, people with a disability, people who are experiencing harm, people who are vulnerable to COVID-19, and people with physical or mental health issues
- people who cannot access Centrelink, Medicare or other services
- people with no income, savings or other financial support
Please note, the Australian Government (not Red Cross) makes decisions on eligibility for services like Centrelink (for people unemployed) and Medicare. Please contact Home Affairs if you need more information about your visa conditions, extensions, travel, changes to visa conditions and other matters, including changes to support work in the aged care and agricultural industries.
The Home Affairs COVID-19 and the Border/ Staying in Australia webpage has more detailed information for temporary visa holders.
- If you are an international student, we urge you to contact your institution to see what support they can provide.
- If you are a tourist, on a working holiday visa or someone wanting to return to your country, please contact your Embassy/Consulate to understand the support they can provide in the first instance.
- If you can access your savings, or support from home, please do so.
What should I do?
If you think you may be eligible, email us and we will let you know when we are able to distribute funds.
Please do not send us any documents yet. When we have the funds, there will be an application form you can complete on our website.
You do not need to call us. If you send us an email, we will have your contact details and let you know when you can apply.
To protect everyone’s safety during COVID-19, please do not come to our Red Cross offices.
I need help now
If your health or safety is under threat now, please call 000.
If you need information about your visa conditions, extensions, travel, changes to visa conditions and other matters, including changes to support work in the aged care and agricultural industries, go to Home Affairs’ COVID-19 and the border.
Here are some other resources that may be useful.
- Fact sheet – Social Services for migrants with Temporary Visas
- Services Australia website with COVID-19 services in language
- Status Resolution Support Service (for people who have applied for a Protection Visa)
Information for renters and tenants
- Australian Capital Territory
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia