Extreme Hardship Support Program - COVID19


The Extreme Hardship Support Program provides emergency financial assistance to people who are not eligible for Commonwealth Government income support.  It is for people on temporary and provisional visas and undocumented migrants.  It assists people with zero or very limited savings, income or community support to pay for food, medicine and bills during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  It is expected to finish some time before June 2021.

From 1 January 2021, all international students experiencing financial hardship and who meet all other eligibility criteria can apply, even if they previously received assistance through the International Student Emergency Relief Fund (ISERF).

Eligibility criteria;

Applicants must meet all of the following:

  • live in Victoria
  • be unable to access Commonwealth income support (including JobKeeper,
  • Job Seeker and SRSS)
  • have zero or very limited income, savings or community support
  • be a temporary or provisional visa holder, or undocumented migrant


Support provided;

From 1 October 2020 a single person can receive up to $800 for their first application and may be able to apply for another payment after two months if they are still experiencing financial hardship. Families may receive more, based on the number of people in the family and individual circumstances.

See below Red Cross updated program flyer. Red Cross team is currently translating the flyer into multiple community languages

Before applying you need the following information;

  1. Evidence of your current visa status
  • passport number, visa grant number or Immi card number.
  • If you are uncertain, please leave the visa fields blank or select ‘uncertain’ and Red Cross will call you to discuss.  Red Cross does not share personal or visa information with the government
  1. 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

If you do not have a bank account or any of the other details listed above, please call Red Cross on 1800 855 240 to talk about alternatives.  Red Cross will not report personal or visa information to the government. 

People in need of assistance should apply via the Red Cross here: https://www.redcross.org.au/get-help/help-for-migrants-in-transition/help-for-migrants-in-transition/vic-relief or call Red Cross on 1800 855 240.  Interpreters are available to assist in any language.  The Red Cross website has information in simplified Chinese, Farsi, Malay, Nepalese, Spanish, Tamil, Urdu and Vietnamese.

For more information, updated FAQs and Community Sector fact sheet are available here: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/financial-support-coronavirus-covid-19#extreme-hardship-support-program


English_EHSP-Flyer-003.pdf English_EHSP-Flyer-003.pdf (113kB)