Emergency funding may help international students

This month, international students still in New Zealand are among those who could receive funding from an emergency benefit aimed as those who can’t support themselves or return home due to COVID-19. 

The Emergency Benefit will be available for eligible temporary visa holders for a limited time from 1 December 2020 to 28 February 2021,  including international students and those on temporary work or visitor visas.

The funding from Work and Income at the Ministry of Social Development is designed to help people with their basic living costs who can’t support themselves and can’t return home because of the global pandemic.

International students in New Zealand on sponsored visas or with a sponsored condition on their visa, however, are not eligible (neither are students under 16 years of age).

To be eligible for the Emergency Benefit, a temporary visa holder needs:

  • a current temporary NZ visa such as a visitor, student or work visa
  • to be 16 years or older 
  • to be in financial hardship, with no other means of support (other than funds to purchase a flight home)
  • to be taking all reasonable steps to find other means of support including work, consular assistance, support from family, friends and organisations in NZ or overseas and arranging to return home on commercial or repatriation flights as soon as they can
  • a New Zealand bank account and Inland Revenue number
  • their passport

Eligibility will also depend on a person’s income and assets.

More information is available at:

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