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Emergency relief support for people on temporary visas

Financial relief to meet urgent needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

30 April 2020

We understand that many people have been impacted by COVID-19, and that you may need some financial relief to meet your most urgent needs.

Here is some important information to read before you contact us.

What is emergency relief?
Who is this service for?
How do I apply?
I need help now

What is emergency relief?

Emergency relief is to help people meet their basic needs, like food, medicine or shelter.

Australian Red Cross has received Government funding specifically to support people who are on temporary visas with a small one-off emergency relief payment.

Emergency relief payments are not income support. They are limited and we know may not meet all needs that you have.

Who is this service for?

Given the large number of people impacted by COVID-19, the support can only be offered to people in Australia with urgent needs who:

  • are not Australian citizens or permanent residents; and
  • are not eligible for State or Territory funds for temporary visa holders (except those delivered by Red Cross); and
  • have no income or savings and no access to other support.

How do I apply?

Before you start your application you will need:

Evidence of your visa status such as your passport number or immi card number.

Evidence of financial hardship:

  • a bank statement that is no more than 2 weeks old that shows transactions for the past month
  • if you have regular transfers to another bank account you will need to provide a bank statement for that account
  • screenshots are acceptable only if they show your name, account number and one month of transactions.  

If you do not provide this information your application will be delayed.

Red Cross will call you when we get your application to confirm your eligibility.  

To protect everyone’s safety during COVID-19, please do not come to our Red Cross offices. If you are having trouble applying, email us. Please do not send any documents via email.

I need help now

If your health or safety is under threat now, please call 000.

If you are an international student, please contact your institution or your state or territory government first to see what support they can provide. See our info sheet COVID19 Resources for International Students.

If you are a tourist, on a working holiday visa or someone wanting to return to your home country, please contact your embassy or 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.

If you need information about your visa, extensions, travel and other matters, the Home Affairs COVID-19 and the Border and Staying in Australia webpages have detailed information for temporary visa holders.

To search for other services, search AskIzzy or the Department of Social Services.

Additional resources that may be helpful

State and territory resources