COVID-19 International Student Information

We are in uncertain and unprecedented times.  But as our valued international students, we want to reassure you that we are committed to your health and wellbeing, and your continuation of education and studies in Tasmania.  At this time, we are working tirelessly to consider temporary amendments to our policies to take into consideration the changing circumstances we face as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.  If you have specific questions or enquiries about your financial situation, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help.

 

CONTACTING US

  • Due to the current situation, the GETI team is working from home but our availability has not changed.
  • We will answer all of your calls and emails as usual and also use video-conferencing to communicate with international students and agents
  • Replies might be slightly delayed due to the volume of enquiries and we kindly ask for your understanding.
  • A reminder that our email is info@geti.tas.gov.au


UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION

Circumstances and advice will change throughout the coming days and weeks, so for the most up-t0-date information please visit the current advice on the following websites:

Support for Tasmania's temporary visa holders

Tasmanian Government Support

There are a significant number of temporary visa holders in Tasmania that have lost their jobs and are experiencing hardship due to the restrictions in place to protect Tasmanians. Temporary visa holders are not entitled to income support from the Australian Government.

The Tasmanian Government has announced support for temporary visa holders who are experiencing difficulties.

What is available

There are three types of assistance that will be made available to temporary visa holders:

  1. Pandemic Isolation Assistance Grants will be made available for those who can demonstrate genuine financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
  2. Emergency relief and assistance will be provided through partnered non-government organisations where required. Details of this support and how to access it will be provided here when available.
  3. Support to return to their country of origin. The nature of support will be determined once we have a clear picture of who needs help and where they are going. Anyone wanting assistance to return to their country of origin must register their interest by 5.00pm, 23 May 2020.

To access the Pandemic Isolation Assistance Grant or to register your interest in support to return to your country of origin, call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738. All registrations for assistance to return to your country of origin must be received by 5.00pm on 23 May 2020.

Please refer to the Tasmanian Government website for more information on support for Tasmania’s temporary visa holders

Tasmanian Government COVID-19 Rent Relief Scheme

The Tasmanian Government is providing rent relief for residential households who rent homes in the private market and who are experiencing housing stress because of the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Fund will be administered by Communities Tasmania through Housing Connect which has expertise in social and affordable housing needs with applications open from 25 May 2020.

More information about the scheme can be found in the  Communities Tasmania website COVID-19 Rent Relief– Fact Sheet for Tenants and the COVID-19 Rent Relief – Landlords Fact Sheet.

GETI’s Tuition Fee Discount for Temporary Residents

Due to COVID-19 GETI understands that you may be experiencing changes to your financial circumstances. We acknowledge this and are here to help. We are pleased to confirm that all temporary resident visa holders, who have children studying in our Tasmanian Government Schools, will be offered:

    • A 25% discount on tuition fees for Term 2 and
    • A 25% discount on tuition fees for Term 3.

Over the two terms, this discount is $937.50 per child for Prep to Year 12 students and $488.75 per child for Kindergarten students. The discount for 491 visa holders over the two Terms is $468.75 per child for Prep to Year 12 students and $234.37 per child for Kindergarten students.

If you have already paid tuition fees for Terms 2 and 3, the discount amount will be applied across any future tuition fee invoices.  During Terms 2 and Terms 3, any outstanding fees will not be pursued during this time. However, outstanding fee and payment processes will return to normal in Term 4. GETI will be sending out adjusted tuition fee letters in the coming weeks.

Department of Education School Levy Relief

The Tasmanian Department of Education (DoE) is in the process of refunding all school levies for 2020.

School levies are different to tuition fees. School levies are collected by the schools and tuition fees are collected by GETI, on behalf of the Department of Education (DoE).

For more information on the school levy refunds, you can visit the Department of Education’s website link or call the Department of Education on 1800 827 055.

Migrant Resource Centre Food Parcel Relief

Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania is providing free fresh and dried food boxes to people living in Hobart and surrounding suburbs who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 (available to temporary visa holders and other migrants).

Boxes are packed with healthy, nutritious, and where possible, culturally appropriate food, intended for cooking in a home kitchen. Download the flyer for the Migrant Resource Centre Food Parcel Relief.

For more information and to register for this service, please call 03 6221 0999 or email reception@mrctas.org.au. Please note there is limited capacity for this assistance.

Additional Resources for Assistance

Food Parcel Services (delivery and/or pick up)
• Uniting Care Tas Emergency Relief (tas.unitingcare.org.au)
St Vincent De Paul (vinnies.org.au)
• Benevolent Society (6234 1296)
Hobart City Mission (Hobartcitymission.org.au)
Salvation Army Doorways Emergency Relief (salvationarmy.org.au/Hobart)

Emergency relief support for temporary visa holders

Early Release of Superannuation
• Eligible temporary residents are able to apply to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-2020 –
• Eligibility Criteria – https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/In-detail/Withdrawing-and-using-your-super/COVID-19-early-release-of-super/#Temporaryresidents

Tasmanian Government Support
• The Tasmanian Government has announced support for temporary visa holders who are experiencing financial difficulties. For more information visit: https://coronavirus.tas.gov.au/travellers-and-visitors/temporary-visa-holders

Department of Education
• Resources for parents supporting their child’s learning from home are available on the department’s Learning at Home webpage.

Mental Health Support Services:
• Australian Psychological Society (APS) – Tips for coping with coronavirus anxiety • Beyond Blue – Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak
• Dr Russ Harris, author of The Happiness Trap: How to respond effectively to the coronavirus • Smiling Mind – free mindfulness meditation app to help you look after your mental health and manage stress and daily challenges.

• Headspace – free “Weathering the Storm” program available to help support the global community through this time including a curated list of calming meditations, help with sleep, and at-home workouts or movement exercises.

• Lifeline – provides crisis counselling and suicide prevention services. Phone: 13 11 14 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

• eheadspace – confidential mental health and wellbeing support for young people (12 – 25 years) and their families, including information, support and health services. Phone: 1800 650 890 (9am – 1am, 7 days a week).

• MensLine – professional telephone and online support and information service for Australian men. Phone 1300 78 99 78 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

Information for School Students and Parents - Frequently Asked Questions

HEALTH

What should a student do if they are unwell?
  • Make an appointment with the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

What should a student do if they have been in close contact with a confirmed case?

What mental health support is available to international students?

ATTENDANCE

Will school start in Term 2 as usual?
  • Term 2 will now start on Tuesday 28 April for Tasmanian Government School students.
  • The intention for Term 2 is for students to continue to learn at home, where possible. Teachers will be in regular contact with students, leading the learning and setting activities. These activities will align with the current Australian Curriculum and could be online, offline or a combination of both.

STUDENTS UNABLE TO START IN TERM 1

What if students were unable to commence their studies in Term 1?

  • GETI has contacted all students who were unable to travel to Australia due to the travel ban. GETI has provided these students with options for applying for a deferral or withdrawal. If you have not received contact from us, please notify us immediately through info@geti.tas.gov.au

STUDENTS DUE TO COMMENCE THEIR STUDIES IN TERM 2,3 and 4 

What if students are due to start their studies in Term 2, 3 and 4?

  • As of Midnight 20 March, only Australian Citizens, Permanent Residents, and immediate family members can travel to Australia. Whilst this measure is in place, students will be unable to arrive and commence their studies. Please contact info@geti.tas.gov.au if you need to apply for a deferral or withdrawal.

FINANCE

Tuition fees – is there any tuition fee discount to support Temporary Resident Visa holders?

  • Due to COVID-19 we understand that you may be experiencing changes to your financial circumstances. We acknowledge this and are here to help. We are pleased to confirm that all temporary resident visa holders, who have children studying in our government schools, will be offered:
    • A 25% discount on tuition fees for Term 2 and
    • A 25% discount on tuition fees for Term 3.

    Over the two terms, this discount is $937.50 per child for Prep to Year 12 students and $488.75 per child for Kindergarten students. The discount for 491 visa holders over the two Terms is $468.75 per child for Prep to Year 12 students and $234.37 per child for Kindergarten students.

  • If you have already paid tuition fees for Terms 2 and 3, the discount amount will be applied across any future tuition fee invoices.  During Terms 2 and Terms 3, any outstanding fees will not be pursued during this time. However, outstanding fee and payment processes will return to normal in Term 4.GETI will be sending out adjusted tuition fee letters in the coming weeks.
Tuition fees – is there a discount or refund for tuition fees as schools are delivering online?
  • Students are being provided with an education and welfare services by their schools, and are required to study during this period. Students are not entitled to a credit or refund, as they are still receiving an education and welfare services from Tasmanian Government Schools.
Travel Costs – can an international student receive reimbursement for outlaid travel costs?
  • Students should seek advice about reimbursement from their airline or travel insurance company for any out of pocket expenses relating to cancelled flights.
DEFERRALS, SUSPENSIONS, AND WITHDRAWALS

What if I need to defer or withdraw from my studies? 

  • Deferrals and withdrawal policies will apply differently to the following scenarios:
 
Scenario 1 – Student chooses to defer their studies (to commence at a later date)
 
  • Full credit of the fees will be transferred to any future studies.
 
Scenario 2 – Student has been unable to arrive in Australia and has chosen to withdraw from their studies.
 
  • In this instance, GETI will process the withdrawal then a full refund shall be issued, including the administration fee. 
 
Scenario 3 – Student chooses to voluntarily return to their home country, due to COVID-19.
 
  • In this instance, GETI’s standard refund policy will apply. GETI will assess requests for exemptions to the refund policy on a case by case basis.
Our goal is to ensure that the education and welfare of all students are not compromised as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19)GETI continues to follow the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 and the National Code.

Information for TasTAFE Students - Frequently Asked Questions

HEALTH

What should a student do if they are unwell?
  • Make an appointment with the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

What should a student do if they have been in close contact with a confirmed case?

What mental health support is available to international students?

 

STUDENT ATTENDANCE

Are TasTAFE classes still operating? 
  • As at 3:45 pm Wednesday, 8 April 2020 – TasTAFE campuses and training facilities are open for scheduled small groups only.
    • Easter break – all TasTAFE campuses and training facilities will be closed from Thursday, 9 April until Monday, 20 April 2020 inclusive.
    • All courses recommence after Easter on Monday, 27 April 2020 in the online environment. Do not come into campus unless you have been invited to attend a small group session.

 

STUDENTS UNABLE TO START IN SEMESTER 1

  • The International Student Advisors have contacted all students who were unable to travel to Australia due to the travel ban. GETI has provided these students with options for applying for a deferral or withdrawal. If you have not received contact from us, please notify us immediately through info@geti.tas.gov.au
STUDENTS DUE TO COMMENCE THEIR STUDIES IN TERM 2, and SEMESTER 2
  • As of Midnight 20 March, only Australian Citizens, Permanent Residents and immediate family members can travel to AustraliaWhilst this measure is in place, students will be unable to arrive and commence their studies. Please contact info@geti.tas.gov.au if you need to apply for a deferral or withdrawal.

 

FINANCE

Tuition fees – is there a discount or refund for tuition fees as schools are delivering online?
  • Students are being provided with an education and welfare services by TasTAFE, and are required to study during this period. Students are not entitled to a credit or refund, as they are still receiving an education and welfare services from TasTAFE.
 
Travel Costs – can an international student receive reimbursement for outlaid travel costs?
  • Students should seek advice about reimbursement from their airline or travel insurance company for any out of pocket expenses relating to cancelled flights.
 

DEFERRALS AND WITHDRAWALS

What if I need to defer or withdraw from my studies? 

  • Deferrals and withdrawal policies will apply differently to the following scenarios:
 
Scenario 1 – Student chooses to defer their studies (to commence at a later date)
 
  • Full credit of the fees will be transferred to any future studies.
 
Scenario 2 – Student has been unable to arrive in Australia and has chosen to withdraw from their studies.
 
  • In this instance, GETI will process the withdrawal then a full refund shall be issued, including the administration fee. 
 
Scenario 3 – Student chooses to voluntarily return to their home country, due to COVID-19.
 
  • In this instance, GETI’s standard refund policy will apply. GETI will assess requests for exemptions to the refund policy on a case by case basis.
Our goal is to ensure that the education and welfare of all students are not compromised as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). GETI continues to follow the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 and the National Code.

 

HELPFUL LINKS FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 

· TasTAFE frequently asked question for international students
· TasTAFE alerts page

Information for Education Agents

Dear Partners,

Thank you for your ongoing support for TasTAFE and Tasmanian Government Schools.

As we are all experiencing the challenges of the COVID-19, GETI would like to share some information on the current situation in Tasmania.

 

AUSTRALIAN BORDER RESTRICTIONS

  • As of Midnight 20 March, only Australian Citizens, Permanent Residents, and immediate family members can travel to Australia.
  • Whilst this measure is in place, students will be unable to arrive and commence their studies.
  • Circumstances and advice will change throughout the coming weeks, and GETI will inform agents and students as required.

 

TASMANIAN BORDER RESTRICTIONS

  • Any students who are already in Australia and travel to Tasmania will be required to self-isolate for 14 days (Coronavirus COVID-19 isolation guidance).  This applies to all travellers,
    including Australian citizens.
  • This Tasmanian self-isolation requirement is in addition to Australian Government requirements for all returning international travellers and specified cruise passengers to enter self-
    isolation at their point of arrival into Australia.
  • Tasmania has declared a State of Emergency with strict requirements to self-isolate, unless undertaking essential activities such as work, study, seeking medical care and basic needs
    such as food.

 

STUDENTS WISHING TO RETURN HOME IMMEDIATELY

  • Students returning home are advised to seek specific advice from their travel agent around international travel at this time.
  • TasTAFE students should contact their International Student Advisor (ISA) for the latest information that may impact on their travel and their study program.

· In addition to seeking advice regarding international travel, school students must:

  • Inform their homestay host of intended travel arrangements, including departure date and time
  • Obtain parental consent via email, specifically acknowledging the request to return home prior to completion of study period.
  • Provide flight itineraries (required for both interstate and overseas flights) and
  • School students should send both parental consent and flight itineraries to GETI via email to: homestay@geti.tas.gov.au

There may be financial implications of returning home early. Students will not be eligible for a refund of unused tuition fees for Term 1.

 

SUPPORTING STUDENT ISOLATION IN HOMESTAY ACCOMMODATION

  • For students living in homestay and who may be required to self-isolate in the future, the host will continue to provide all meals and support.
  • Student learning will also continue to be supported by schools.

 

HEALTH

 

FEE PAYMENTS

  • Students who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 and do not have an installment plan in place should contact GETI to ask for a payment plan.  Email info@geti.tas.gov.au
  • For those students with a payment plan in place, GETI will offer to defer their quarterly April payments until June. The outstanding fees will be allocated across all future payments
  • Tuition fee discounts for online modes of delivery will not be applied.

 

DEFERRALS AND WITHDRAWALS

Deferrals and withdrawal policies will apply differently to the following scenarios:

Scenario 1 – Student chooses to defer their studies (to commence at a later date)

  • Full credit for the fees will be transferred to any future studies.

 

Scenario 2 – Student has been unable to arrive in Australia and has chosen to withdraw from their studies.

  • In this instance, GETI will process the withdrawal then a full refund shall be issued, including the administration fee.

 

Scenario 3 – Student chooses to voluntarily withdraw due to COVID-19.In this instance, GETI’s standard refund policy will apply.

  • GETI will assess requests for exemptions to the refund policy on a case by case basis.