Survey of Temporary Migrants during COVID

The survey will document challenges faced by international students, backpackers, refugees and other temporary migrants who did not receive federal government support. It asks about work, housing, financial insecurity, health, safety and discrimination.

The multiple choice survey is open to anyone who was a temporary migrant in Australia on 1 March. It is anonymous and confidential and available in English and Mandarin

After completing the survey, participants can enter a prize draw to win or one of ten $100 Coles Myer vouchers


Please help us to include the voices of as many temporary migrants as possible by forwarding this email to temporary migrants in your network and sharing the link on social media:

Thank you in advance for your support,

Associate Professor Laurie Berg (UTS) and Associate Professor Bassina Farbenblum (UNSW Sydney)
Co-Directors, Migrant Worker Justice Initiative

Thank you stakeholders for your continuous support for CISA!

ISANA has been privileged to support CISA since it formed on the 7 July 2010. To see how CISA members and the Executive Teams have progressed in their chosen careers both within and outside of Australia, has been amazing. And to hear of the ongoing commitment and from the voices of the CISA Alumni makes ISANA feel inspired by the students and proud of our education industry.

New information for people seeking immigration assistance

Please see below some new information that has just been sent to us by the Office of the Migration Agent Registration Authority (OMARA).

Anyone who needs immigration assistance should first check the online register of Registered Migration Agents (RMAs) before paying for the services of a migration agent.

A Bill recently passed through Parliament –the Migration Amendment (Regulation of Migration Agents) Bill 2019 – that will mean lawyers will no longer need to register with Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) to provide immigration assistance. It’s important to know that this change won’t actually happen for several months and, until then, lawyers still need to register with the OMARA.

Before that change happens, the Department of Home Affairs will provide more information to the community to explain how to access immigration advice under the new system.

The media release announcing the passage of the Bill is on the Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs’ website at:


International Students and Wage Theft in Australia

International Students and Wage Theft in Australia Report.

The report draws on the Information for Impact survey of over 5,000 international students in Australia, supported by StudyNSW. It reveals that the majority are experiencing serious wage theft. Key findings include:

  • Three in four international students earned below the minimum casual wage.
  • One in three university Bachelor students earned less than half the minimum casual wage.
  • The overwhelming majority of students who were underpaid knew the minimum wage, but most believed they were at fault for the underpayment and had broken the law by accepting below minimum wages.

The report recommends improved labour enforcement and visa protections for international students, as well as improved service provision to address exploitation.

To view report, click here. 

Help Stop Racism

The Australian Government is currently running an information campaign to support and inform multicultural communities in response to an increase in reports of racist behaviour targeting people of Asian appearance in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the campaign we are reaching out to the most affected communities through community leaders such as you.

Australia is a proud multicultural nation, united by shared values based on freedom, equality and respect for all people. Racial discrimination and abuse is against the law, contrary to our values, and damages social cohesion.

All Australians have a role to play in responding to racism, by calling it out when they see it, standing in solidarity with affected people and communities, and celebrating our rich multicultural diversity.

For more information, visit, and for a range of community languages visit

Racism, in any form, is not acceptable in Australia. That’s why there are laws to protect you. If you see or experience racism, speak up. Visit


COVIDSafe app to be available in Arabic, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese



The COVIDSafe app will be updated to operate in five additional languages to help more Australian residents confidently use the app. Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said the latest update to the app, which will be available to download tomorrow, 3 July, will add five of the most commonly spoken languages in diverse communities in Australia.

To find out more click here.

Additional Resources below:

Media Release – COVIDSafe app – Chinese Simplified 
Media Release – COVIDSafe app – Chinese Traditional 
COVIDSafe App – User Guide: Chinese Simplified
COVIDSafe App – User Guide: Chinese Traditional 
COVIDSafe App – User Guide: English 
COVIDSafe App – New tool to help slow the spread of COVID-19: Chinese Simplified 
COVIDSafe App – New tool to help slow the spread of COVID-19: Chinese Traditional 





Stakeholder Pack – Key messages and campaign assets

Please see attached latest multicultural campaign stakeholder pack for 20 June Restrictions form the COVID-19 central comms team. As you know, access to translated information is particularly important for people who are isolated from friends, family and their usual support network – which means your support is invaluable in controlling the spread of coronavirus. This pack provides links to a range of translated materials – including posters, social media content and audio recordings – to help you share this important information with your networks.

CLICK HERE to download.

Temporary Migrants COVID Impact Survey (Australia)


Were you a temporary migrant in Australia on 1 March 2020?

Academics at UNSW and UTS are conducting a survey about the wellbeing of temporary migrants in Australia during COVID.

The survey takes 12 minutes. It is completely anonymous and your data will be safe and confidential.

Take the survey for a chance to win one of ten $100 Coles Myer vouchers.

We want to hear about your experiences with work, housing, health and safety and discrimination,
to press for better support and inclusion of temporary migrants in Australia.

Make your voice heard and make change!

To complete the survey, click here.

STUDY NSW COVID-19 update: Temporary crisis accommodation for international students

International students in NSW can now apply for temporary crisis accommodation funded by the NSW Government in partnership with quality student accommodation and homestay providers.

The NSW Government is providing a $20 million package for international students who are stranded in Australia due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The package includes: 

  • a temporary accommodation scheme delivered through quality student accommodation and homestay providers 
  • increased support via the International Legal Service NSW and making available 50,000 free subscriptions to the multilingual My Legal Mate student app 
  • a dedicated 24/7 international student support hotline (13 77 88) offering free advice and information about medical, mental health, legal, emergency and other support.

The crisis accommodation is limited to student visa holders in genuine need, who: 

  • have been evicted or are facing imminent eviction 
  • have been laid off employment 
  • have less than $1500 in savings and no other avenues of support. 

To apply, international students in NSW will need to have the following documentation: 

  • Passport or Australian drivers licence 
  • confirmation of enrolment 
  • letter of support from their educational institution (please speak to your student support services team for this. Study NSW has sent them a letter template they can use) 
  • latest bank statement 
  • evidence of unemployment (if available) 
  • evidence of being evicted (if available)

CLICK HERE TO APPLY through the Service NSW website or call 13 77 88

We encourage education providers, agents, student leaders and community organisations to amplify this announcement by sharing these Study NSW social media posts: 

Learn how the NSW Government is supporting international students on the Study NSW website

For the latest NSW Government COVID-19 announcements, news, updates and advice, visit

DVC-I – a question regarding online learning and the Temporary Graduate Visa

DVC-I Question:

  • Under current provisions, if a student studies a 3 year course and completes the first 8 months overseas online but then the next 16 months/92 weeks in Australia, do they qualify for a Temporary Graduate Visa?

Home Affairs response:

The short answer is Yes.

  • Questions have been raised regarding the Australian Study Requirement (ASR) for students who are studying online overseas and are unable to travel to Australia due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.


  • The ASR requires that a student must have completed a course requiring at least two academic years study and the course must be completed in no less than 16 months.


  • Two academic years required by the ASR is at least 92 weeks, the duration of a course or courses registered under the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act.


  • The ASR does not require visa applicants to have completed a single course of study of two academic years duration and applicants may use study for more than one qualification to meet the ASR.


  • If a student is studying a three year course and completes the first eight months overseas online and then studies in Australia for the next 16 months/92 weeks, they would meet the ASR.


  • Recognised prior learning (RPL) undertaken overseas does not contribute to the ASR, nor does it contribute to the 2 academic year study. However, if a student has RPL and has then studied in Australia for at least 16 months and completed a course of two academic years, they would meet the ASR.


  • The Government understands many international students are currently unable to travel to Australia due to travel restrictions and are therefore studying online overseas. A range of measures are being considered to ensure international students are not disadvantaged as a result of COVID-19, including how online study may be treated in these circumstances.


Further information on the Australian Study Requirement is available at


ABN: 42 335 124 078


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