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Emergency relief support for people on temporary visas

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

Financial support through the Red Cross COVID-19 Emergency Relief fund will close on 30 November 2021.

All applications received before the fund closes will be assessed based on the services and funding available in your state or territory.

If you are experiencing or at risk of family violence, you can apply for the Family and Domestic Violence Financial Assistance Program.

If you live in Victoria, you can apply for Extreme Hardship Support here.

If you live in New South Wales, you can apply for Emergency Relief support here.

To continue or check the progress of an existing application, login here.

This page is also available in: Arabic | Bengali | Farsi | Hindi | Mandarin | Nepali | Spanish | Tagalog

Downloadable flyers about COVID-19 Emergency Relief are available in:
Arabic | Bengali | Dari | English | Farsi | Hindi | Mandarin | Mongolian | Nepali | Spanish | Tagalog | Tamil | Thai | Urdu | Vietnamese

If you need support with your application, you can download a step-by-step guide.

Red Cross will process any applications that have already been received, which could take up to 4 weeks to complete.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

If you have lost work as a result of lockdown (even with temporary visa status), you may be able to access the Pandemic Disaster Payments, which are available for those who "hold eligible working visas."  More information can be found here, including information in a range of languages.

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

Please see I need help for other services that may be able to support you.

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

Australian Red Cross has received Government funding specifically for people who are not Australian citizens or permanent residents 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 your needs.

For people with significant vulnerabilities, Red Cross may be able to also provide some short term casework support alongside the payment.

The support is available to people in Australia with urgent needs who:

  • are not Australian citizens or permanent residents, and
  • have a need, such as a utility bill or medical expenses, and are unable to meet that need.

Emergency relief support is for people in Australia who are not Australian citizens or permanent residents and who have no income and no other means of support.

Given the large number of people impacted by COVID-19, the support can only be offered to those who are are unable to meet their basic needs and facing significant vulnerabilities.

You will need:

Evidence of your current or most recent visa status.

  • Passport number, visa grant number or ImmiCard.
  • If you are uncertain, please leave the visa fields blank or select 'uncertain' and we will call you to discuss.
  • Red Cross does not share personal or visa information with the government.

Evidence of financial hardship:

  • all adult members of the family must submit all current bank statements dating back one month from the date of application.

  • if you have joint accounts or regular transfers to other bank accounts you will need to provide bank statements for those accounts.

  • screenshots are acceptable only if they show your name, account number and address

Submitting the above information will help us process your application as quickly as possible. Missing information will delay the outcome. 

You must attest that all information provided to Red Cross is true and correct.  If this application contains information or documentation believed to be false or misleading, including concealing any relevant circumstances, your application will be declined.

If you need assistance with your application you can email nat_msp_covid@redcross.org.au or download a step-by-step guide.

To protect everyone's safety during COVID-19, please do not visit a Red Cross office unless absolutely necessary. Please follow all public health directions at Red Cross offices including the use of hand sanitiser, social distancing where possible, checking in with QR codes, and wearing a mask.

I need help now

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

If you can access your savings, or support from home, please do so. 

If you are an international student, please contact your institution regarding any additional support they may have available. 

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 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

Department of Social Services emergency relief providers

COVID-19 health information 

  • Follow restrictions in your area and monitor exposure sites.  

  • Practise good hygiene and regularly and thoroughly wash your hands. 

  • Maintain physical distancing, keep at least 1.5 metres away from others. 

Read more about looking after yourself and others during COVID-19, see information from Red Cross.

COVID-19 free testing 

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, however mild, you should get tested. You can get a free COVID-19 (coronavirus) test regardless of your Medicare or visa status.

COVID-19 vaccination

The COVID-19 vaccine is free for all people in Australia, including people who are on a temporary visa or without a visa.  You do not need a Medicare card.

Get a vaccine as soon as you are eligible – you can use the Australian Government Department of Health eligibility checker. If you have questions or concerns, talk to your doctor or health care provider.

 

I need extra support

Family and Domestic Violence Financial Assistance program

Australian Red Cross’ Family and Domestic Violence (FDV) Financial Assistance program is now open for individuals seeking support and service provider referrals.

The program is available to all people on temporary visas, or with uncertain visa status, experiencing family and domestic violence, in need of financial support.

Learn more about the Family and Domestic Violence Financial Assistance program »

Working in Australia

All workers in Australia have the same rights at work, regardless of where you come from or what visa you have.  Your employer must:

  • Pay you correctly for all time worked
  • Provide a safe workplace 
  • Allowing you to join a union

Red Cross provides support for people who have been affected by labour exploitation, domestic servitude, forced labour, and modern slavery through its Support for Trafficked People’s Program.  More information about the program and these issues (in a range of languages) is available here.

Western Australia

Red Cross staff and volunteers are also available to help you. Please visit us at:

  • Asylum-Seeker Hub at Riverview Church (1 Thorogood Street, Burswood) between 2pm and 5pm every Tuesday, or
  • Red Cross office (110 Goderich Street, East Perth) between 9am and 11am every Thursday.

Red Cross Emergency Relief for people on temporary visas or without a visa is funded through the Department of Social Services, individual and corporate donations, LotteryWest and State and Territory Governments.