Details of available support for international students, frequently asked questions and useful resources to keep you updated.
Although we frequently update the page, this is a continually evolving situation. Please be sure to check links frequently for the most up to date advice. If you have any concerns or require any advice in seeking assistance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many education institutions offer various types of support for students and we highly recommend reaching out to them to see what is available. To see a full list of the COVID-19 information pages for all universities, TAFEs and schools across Australia, please click here.
Students in distress should contact their education provider in the first instance. StudyPerth is then able to direct you to existing support services available.
Food and Shopping Assistance
Low cost food service for people with health, pension or concession card, emergency relief services and op shop.
St Patrick’s provides free daily breakfasts and subsidised lunches in the client dining room. They also have a self-serve café style courtyard, movie room, billiards, computer centre and library. The Day Centre also provides emergency relief services including food hampers, showers, clean towels, toiletries and clothing for those who find themselves with nowhere else to go.
Emergency relief (food, vouchers, medication, clothing), advocacy, referral and support for people in need. For practical assistance ring 9418 5757. Food assistance is by appointment only.
Salvation Army Doorways runs 5 per week (Monday to Friday). Doorways works hand in hand with the Salvation Army’s Moneycare financial counselling program, to assist individuals to regain control of their finances. They can be contacted on 9260 9599
Foodbank have a range of services including a Mobile Foodbank for those who experience difficulty accessing transport, and Pop Up Foodbanks for fresh fruit and vegetables. To access these services, you will need to be referred by a charity.
Vinnies try to find the most appropriate response to your needs, whether this is having a chat, providing information, food or food vouchers, clothing, furniture, assistance with utility bills or back to school costs.
State Welfare Plan
Welfare services include the provision of emergency accommodation, emergency catering, emergency clothing and personal requisites, personal support services, registration and reunification and financial assistance. Communities Crisis Care Helpline (1800 199 008) is the first point of contact for affected persons.
Emergency relief, advocacy, referral and support for people in need. For practical assistance ring 9418 5757. The Beacon (Northbridge) crisis accommodation offers short and medium term stays (paid service). More information can be found here.
Assists young people 15 to 25 years of age (singles, couples, with or without children) who are homeless and have barriers that prevent them from being an active member of the community. Offers case management, advocacy, finds and maintains accommodation and supports young people through skills and advice related to independent living, financial and legal issues.
Street to Home is an inter-agency, integrated response to the accommodation, general health and other support needs of people sleeping rough. The Street to Home program works with men and women to address the complexities impacting them being able to access housing and appropriate support services.
Passage's provides basic needs and youth support for people aged 12 to 25 years of age. It engages with young people who are experiencing homelessness and disconnection from the community.
StudyPerth Crisis Relief
Applications for StudyPerth Crisis Relief (SPCR) have now closed. Should circumstances change due to COVID-19, the program may be re-opened in 2021. If you are in immediate and acute need and would like support in finding paid employment, please visit our International Student Jobs Board.
Financial and Legal Assistance
If you have been on a student visa in Australia for longer than 12 months and you are unable to meet immediate living expenses, you may be able to access up to $10,000 of your superannuation. If you are unsure what superannuation is, please read our blog.
Jacaranda Financial Counsellors visit St. Pat’s every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday morning. It is a drop-in service in the morning (no need to book appointments) from 8.30am to 11am.
Vinnies Financial Counsellors are qualified professionals who offer independent financial advice and advocacy for people in financial difficulty.
Street Law visits St. Pat’s alternate Tuesdays from 9 – 11 am. This is a drop in service, no appointment necessary. To find out when they will be at St. Pat’s please contact them on 9430 4159
Students who need assistance in managing their finances can contact the Financial Counselling Network on 1800979777
Students on temporary visas can access COVID-19 Emergency Relief Funding.
With the strict social distancing regulations in place we understand that many international students, being casual workers, are now facing unemployment.
Some employers, including supermarkets, telemarketers, cleaning and aged care facilities have announced they’re taking on more staff. Please see below a list of some of the companies needing additional workers. There will also be a number of jobs in the agriculture industry opening shortly.
If you have any questions about your workplace entitlements and obligations affected by the outbreak of COVID-19, please visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website. This website answers a range of FAQ’s including whether your employer is allowed to stand you down without pay and what to do if the business closes while they still owe you money.
To access employment advice and assistance, Jobs and Skills Centres are located all around Perth and offer free advice.
Current Job Openings
StudyPerth International Student Jobs Board | Multiple employers
Coles Expressions of Interest | Supermarket
Woolworths Job Search | Supermarket
Aldi Retail Assistant | Supermarket
Spudshed Casual Workers | Supermarket, roles available in Midland and O'Connor
IGA Store Locator (applications directly through stores) | Supermarket
Services Australia | Customer Service
There has been a moratorium on evictions in Western Australia for those who are unable to meet rental obligations due to COVID-19. This does not mean that you are allowed to stop paying rent but you are encouraged to discuss options with your landlord if you are struggling.
Landlords can ask you for proof that you cannot pay rent, such as a letter from your employer saying that you have lost your job, but they are not allowed to ask for any evidence of savings. You are not required to tell your landlord how much money you have saved or show bank statements.
You are still able to be evicted if you are causing damage to the property or are refusing to make a rent payment agreement.
If you are looking for a place to stay, the Australian Homestay Network has reduced the cost of accommodation for international students in crisis through the International Student Support Network Initiative.
Households in Western Australia will also not experience power or water disconnection if experiencing financial hardship resulting from COVID-19. Impacted households can apply for interest free payment arrangements and late payment penalty fees to be waived for transfer duty, vehicle licence duty.
Prime Minister’s Office | Statement on moratorium on evictions
Department of Commerce WA | FAQ on COVID-19 and rental protection in Western Australia
Tenancy WA | Tenancy factsheets
Consultates and Ethnic Community Groups
The WA Government is supporting Consulates, Asian Business Councils and ethnic community groups that are providing support to international students. If you require support with financial aid, food, emergency accommodation and welfare services but are not sure where to start, email email@example.com as StudyPerth have collated the support available and we will happily point you in the right direction.
Mental and Physical Health
We understand that this has been a challenging time for our students whose plans have been disrupted, and many with family or friends who have been impacted by COVID-19.
We encourage you to seek help if you are feeling uneasy or have concerns. Seeking help will not affect your enrolment or your visa.
Below are some helpful resources:
Lifeline | Phone 13 11 14
Department of Health | Head to Health
One Door Mental Health | Emotional Support in Mandarin and English
Headspace Australia | COVID-19 Support
Headspace App | COVID-19 Resources
Beyond Blue | National Help Lines and Websites
Beyond Blue | Mental Health During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Embrace Mental Health | Multicultural Mental Health Site (many languages available)
Ask Izzy | COVID-19 Support Resource
Physical and Social Health
Insider Guides | OSHC provider responses
Insider Guides | Self-isolating in a share house
Insider Guides | Seeing friends when you can’t leave the house
Insider Guides | Maintaining a healthy diet during COVID-19
Current Travel Restrictions
Current Western Australia border restrictions.
The Western Australian border is now being considered a hard border, meaning people will no longer be able to enter Western Australia without an exemption. Exemptions include those who work in emergency services, health workers, logistics. More information can be found here.
Intrastate border restrictions.
As of Friday 6 June, travel is permitted throughout Western Australia, including into the Kimberley region. Access into remote Aboriginal communities will remain prohibited.
Current national and international travel restrictions.
Australia has introduced strict measures aimed at protecting Australians and visitors to our country from COVID-19. Australia has closed its borders to all travellers coming to Australia (with the exception of Australian residents and citizens; New Zealand citizens usually resident in Australia; and immediate family members of Australian permanent residents and citizens).
Australian citizens and residents will be required to isolate for 14 days in a hotel from the date of their arrival. For details, visit the Australian Border Force website.
A ban has been put into place for Australians trying to leave the country with a complete ban, with only a few exceptions, including Australians who ordinarily live overseas, compassionate grounds, and some exempt aid work. Foreign nationals who wish to return home can currently do so where there are commercial flights available.
Public transport remains an essential service for many people living in Western Australia and is currently running on it's regular schedule.
There are a number of questions surrounding visas at the moment, particularly as some people are unable to return to their home countries. For up to date information regarding visas, please visit the Home Affairs website. We have answered a number of FAQ’s below related to visas.
If I return home, will my student visa be cancelled?
If you return home, your visa will still remain valid until the expiry date, however please be aware that it is unknown when the borders will re-open.
If I can't fulfill my course requirements (for example, if I can't complete a placement), can my visa be extended?
It is not possible to extend a visa in Australia and you will need to apply for a new student visa. There is no requirement to prove that you have been impacted by COVID-19 upon application.
I'm overseas and would like to apply for an Australian course. Can I study without a visa now that everything is online?
While institutions have been flexible in offering online delivery of courses, TEQSA have said that this is an interim arrangement and that once restrictions are eased, students will have to get a valid COE and student visa to resume onshore modes of delivery (unless the provider has created an entirely remotely delivered course).
What do I do if my study is ending and I am unable to leave the country?
If your study is ending and you are staying in Australia, you must apply for a Visitor visa (subclass 600) before your student visa expires.
Where can I get advice on visas and migration?
Students should refer to the Department of Home Affairs for their primary visa and migration advice.
We have compiled some of the frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 relating to international students below.
I think I might have COVID-19, what should I do?
Check if you meet the current criteria for COVID-19 testing in Western Australia.
Call the National Coronavirus Helpline 1800 020 080 (24-hour helpline) for more assistance on what to do and where to go for testing.
Call the WA State Government COVID-19 Hotline (open from 7am to 10pm, seven days a week) on 13 26 842
Find your nearest COVID-19 clinic.
If you are self-isolating or have been tested for COVID-19, please register with the Australian Government.
Is there a cost for international students to get treatment in relation to COVID-19?
No. The Western Australian Department of Health has confirmed that there will be no out of pocket expenses for people who do not qualify for Medicare to receive treatment for COVID-19.
What do I do if I need information in another language?
If you need COVID-19 health resources in a language other than English, please review some options on the Department of Health website here (please scroll to the bottom of the page).