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Emergency relief support for people on temporary visas

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

If you are residing in Victoria


  • are not Australian citizens or permanent residents; and
  • are not eligible for Commonwealth Government income support; and
  • are not eligible for State or Territory funds for temporary visa holders (except those delivered by Red Cross); and
  • have no income or very limited income, have no or very limited savings and no access to other support from a partner, family or the community

please go to Emergency relief support – Victoria »

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

Receiving financial assistance from Red Cross will not affect your current or any future visas.

The information you provide in your online application is sent to a Red Cross portal. It is not a government database or system.

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
  • have a need, such as a utility bill or medical expenses, and are unable to meet that need.

How do I apply?

Due to the high volume of applications we have received, there will be a delay in responding to your application. The current processing time is six weeks.

Before you start your application you will need:

Evidence of your current or most recent visa status such as your passport number or immi card number. If you are uncertain or don’t have a valid visa right now, you can still apply and we will contact you to discuss your application further.

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.

You can log in to your application after it has been submitted to check its progress. Due to high demand, it may take several weeks for your application to be processed. We will contact you if we require further information.

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

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 COVID-19 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

Department of Social Services emergency relief providers

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.