FAHPi Advisory: COVID-19 Impact and Information for Filipino International Students

/ covid19

Key points

  • The spread of COVID-19 globally and in Australia causes societal anxiety and uncertainty, this is most evident to international students who are currently living away from their families.
  • Filipino international students currently in Australia who needs help are advised to coordinate with their Education Provider (i.e. Universities, higher education and vocational education facilities) for the required assistance.
  • International Students are advised to contact the Australian Department of Home Affairs for visas or immigration and related concerns regarding their current visa status. This information is available through the DHA website.
  • All concerns regarding consular services for Filipino international students currently in Australia should be directed to the Philippine Embassy or respective Consular Offices across Australia.

What kind of support can an international student get?

All education providers offer set of support and assistance to International students, these support services are available through on-campus/ face-to-face, online and though phone. The range of services offered includes assistance in managing your studies online, health and counselling support, career advice and other support based on the student needs.

Please note that it is your responsibility as international student to notify your current education provider about the required help in managing your studies, or the kind of support you need during this time.

You may coordinate with the designated International Student Support Office/Services as first point of contact. Depending on your education provider, they will have a focal person to assist you based on your need.

For example, the first point of contact for international students of Universities and major vocational education facilities are as follows:

Australian National University:

University of Canberra

University of New South Wales (UNSW Canberra)

Australian Catholic University

Canberra Institute of Technology

Can I get tested for COVID-19?

  • Like any other member of the community you will be pre-assessed by a delegated health professional either by phone or in-person, to establish if you meet the requirement for COVID-19 testing.
  • You will be advised to subject to a COVID-19 Test should you be considered to do so.
  • If you do not show the signs or symptoms of COVID-19, you are advised to best stay at home as necessary. Staying at home means decreasing your chances of contracting the virus or spreading it.
  • You must contact your education provider for assistance or update about your condition as necessary.
  • In case your education provider is unable to provide the necessary help or assistance, you may contact the Australian Government, who will allocate a dedicated staff to assist you through the following:

Telephone (+61) 1300 981 621 from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday AEDT, except public holidays.

Or, email international.students@dese.gov.au

What should I do if I am tested positive of COVID-19?

  • If you have contracted the COVID-19, you will be advised by the health authorities with the next steps in managing your condition.
  • You are advised strictly to follow the advice from the Health Authority for your safety and the community.

What should I do if I am tested positive of COVID-19?

  • If you have contracted the COVID-19, you will be advised by the health authorities with the next steps in managing your condition.
  • You are advised strictly to follow the advice from the Health Authority for your safety and the community.

Impact of COVID-19 to international students

International Students currently outside of Australia

  • Due to the current travel restrictions in place by the Australian Government to all Australian non-residents are unable to enter Australia from 9pm AEDT of March 20 2020.
  • Internationals students who are affected by the travel ban are advised to contact your current education provider to have your studies deferred. Your education provider will assist you with the deferral process to include a new Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) issued with the correct study commencement and course completion date. See further information about COE arrangements linked here
  • You will also need to contact the Department of Home Affairs for advice regarding the application of your new student visa.
  • Information about your option for Online Studies delivery arrangements can be confirmed through your education provider websites or by contacting your provider via email or phone.

International Students currently in Australia

The Australian Government though the Department of Home Affairs advised the temporary relaxation of the 40 hours per fortnight work limit for student visa holders. This is in response to the health and safety measures in place to stop or prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community and the whole country. Please note this applies to student visa holders working for establishments with primary activity of business must be the supply of groceries. Please check further information on the Department of Home Affairs website linked here

All Coles, Woolworths and Aldi retailers have been given access to the temporary relaxation of working hours for student visa holders.

International Student Visa Holders enrolled as Nursing Student and Aged Care

  • The temporary relaxation of work hours for international students who are already enrolled in nursing will be able to work and aid. Your contribution as part of the health workforce in response to COVID-19 as directed and supervised by health officials is recognised. It is your responsibility to check your eligibility through your employer or DHA.
  • International Students who work in the aged care are also covered by the temporary relaxation of the 40 hours per fortnight work. Please note that this will only apply to current or existing workers in their existing roles.

Are there any Consular Services for Filipino International Students currently in Australia?

  • If you need some assistance regarding passports and other relevant documents from the Philippines, you are advised to contact the Philippine Embassy or nearest consular office near you.

How can I ask for help or advice from the Philippine Government regarding further assistance?

If you need other form of help or enquiries regarding additional support, you are advised to prepare a copy of your documents to help establish your genuine need. Some documents that you can provide are as follows:

Valid identity documents for international students:

  • Valid Philippine Passport
  • Current Confirmation of Enrolment (COE)
  • Education Provider issued (Study Plan, Reasonable Adjustment Plan etc.)
  • Other relevant documents to establish your current circumstantial need.

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