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About the Scheme

As part of a $20 million support package, the NSW Government has announced that it will fund free temporary crisis accommodation for vulnerable international students in NSW during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Accommodation will be available for an initial term of up to 12 weeks. There may be potential to extend the accommodation to up to 20 weeks, subject to available funding.

The International Student COVID-19 Crisis Accommodation Scheme is targeted at those international students in genuine hardship and will be delivered through approved student accommodation or homestay providers.

Applications for the Scheme will be open from 1 June 2020.

Service NSW and NSW Treasury will implement the Scheme on behalf of the NSW Government.

Applicants may be subject to audit checks by the NSW Government or its representatives.

Eligibility criteria

The emergency accommodation scheme will be limited to international student visa holders in genuine need, who:

  • have lost, or be at risk of losing, access to secure accommodation

  • have and no other avenues of support.

Evidence in support of eligibility

Applicants are required to:

  • certify to the administrating agency that they meet the eligibility criteria

  • provide a copy of their passport 

  • provide evidence of a valid student visa:

    • visa subclass 500 – the subclass 500 visa is an international student visa, the holder being enrolled in a course of study in Australia, or
    • visa subclass COVID-19 408, and have held an international student visa immediately prior, or
    • Bridging visa A - BVA - (subclass 010), and have held an international student visa immediately prior, or
    • Bridging visa B - BVB - (subclass 020),and have held an international student visa immediately prior,  or
    • Bridging visa C - BVC - (subclass 030); and have held an international student visa immediately prior, or
    • Bridging visa E - BVE - (subclass 050 and 051), and have held an international student visa immediately prior, or
    • Visitor (subclass 600), and have held an international student visa immediately prior.
  • provide a copy of their Overseas Student Confirmation-of-Enrolment (CoE) document from the Australian Government (Department of Education and Training).

  • lodge supporting documents to demonstrate that they meet the eligibility criteria.

Applicants are required to upload a 'letter of support' from their education provider confirming:

  • the student’s name, student number and enrolment status
  • that the student has exhausted avenues of support available from the provider
  • the contact details of a representative of the provider who can be contacted to discuss the applicant’s case.

Where the education provider has closed, the student should advise the name of the provider and the provider’s contact details and website so the NSW Government can verify that the provider is closed.

Service NSW may request additional supporting documentation to:

  • verify authenticity
  • confirm that they are not currently living in one of the approved student accommodation providers under the scheme.

General 

  • This is a temporary accommodation scheme. Accommodation will be available for an initial term of up to 12 weeks. There may be potential to extend the accommodation to up to 20 weeks, subject to available funding.

  • Applicants will be required to provide supporting documentation at the time of application.

  • Service NSW will allocate accommodation to eligible international students, seeking to place the student as close as possible to their current residential address.  

  • Applicants will not be able to self-select the accommodation or to transfer between accommodation under the scheme.

  • Eligible applicants who cancel or refuse the accommodation which is offered to them will be ineligible to reapply. 

  • Students who have already benefited from the scheme are ineligible to reapply. 

  • If eligible students advise they have dependents who require accommodation under the scheme (i.e. secondary student visa holders), where possible, Service NSW will seek to identify accommodation where the family can be accommodated together. Applicants must notify Service NSW about any dependents at the time of application. Failure to notify Service NSW about dependents at the time of application means that those dependents will not be placed in accommodation under the scheme. 

  • Eligible students are expected to follow the house rules of their accommodation or homestay provider (e.g. rules regarding visitors, consumption of alcohol and smoking). Students who fail to comply with the house rules or who engage in dangerous behaviour, may be expelled from the scheme and will be ineligible to reapply.

  • Students already residing with participating providers will not be eligible to participate unless they have express permission of their accommodation provider. Participating providers are:

    • Australian Catholic University 

    • Australian Homestay Network 

    • Auzzie Families Homestay Care 

    • Campus Living Village 

    • Dunmore Lang College 

    • Global Experience 

    • Oz Homestay 

    • Robert Menzies College Unilodge 

    • University of Technology Sydney 

    • University of Wollongong

    • Urbanest.

  • All accommodation provided under the scheme is furnished.

  • Due to storage constraints, eligible international students are only able to bring with them a limited amount of personal belongings (i.e. up to two suitcases). Large, heavy and bulky items such as furniture cannot be stored through this scheme.

  • Students will be provided with bed linen but may need to provide their own towels and quilts under the scheme. 

  • Applicants must consent to the administering agency conducting an audit of documentation used to support an application to verify information provided.

  • No rights under the Terms and Conditions will be waived except by notice in writing signed by both the applicant and the administering agency.

  • The program and all related documents are governed by the laws of the State of New South Wales.

  • Where the administering agency has issued a notice to the email address provided by the applicant, the notification will be deemed to have been received by the applicant immediately upon receipt of electronic transmission confirmation.

  • If information in the application is found to be untrue or misleading, the matter may be referred to the NSW Police and criminal penalties may apply.

  • By submitting your application, you give consent for Service NSW and its employees to verify that you do hold a current student visa, and that you are currently in Australia. Service NSW will use the Department of Home Affairs Visa Entitlement Verification Online system to verify the visa status of applicants.

  • By submitting your application, you give consent to Service NSW disclosing the information provided by you in this application to other state and Commonwealth government departments, in particular the Commonwealth Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE). You give consent to DESE using the information provided by you in this application to validate the information against your enrolment information that DESE already holds in its Provider Registration and International Student Management System database. You also consent to DESE disclosing the results of this validation exercise to Service NSW. You understand that Service NSW will use the result of this validation exercise to verify information on your application, assess your application, and to administer any temporary crisis accommodation if you are eligible.

  • The NSW Government is not responsible for administering visas and is not collecting your information to assess your visa status.