Help for international students who have lost their part-time or graduate job due to Coronavirus

Help for international students who lose their part-time or graduate job due to Coronavirus

This article about help available to international students who have lost their job due to Coronavirus was published by the Great British Mag content team on 1 April, 2020

If you are an international student and have been made redundant from your graduate or part-time job, due to the Coronavirus, instead of being given furloughed status, which means that 80% of your salary would be covered by the UK Government and 20% by your employer, there is help available to get you through this difficult time.

As an international student on a Tier 4 visa or any other visa with the condition “no recourse to public funds” you are unlikely to qualify for financial assistance from the UK Government or get local authority accommodation, if your are made homeless.

However, if you are a recent graduate working in the UK and have been paying National Insurance Contributions you may be able to access some financial assistance from the UK Government and your employer.

If you are facing financial difficulty here are some options for you to get help.

Your university

If you are a full-time student, make your university aware of the situation immediately. Your university might be able to move you into university accommodation to help you save money. And if you are already in university accommodation most universities are extending tenancies for free until June, giving students enough time to make plans to get back home.

If you are in private accommodation be aware that the Government has introduced emergency legislation whereby no tenant should be evicted whilst the country is in emergency lockdown. And a landlord has to give tenants 90 days notice to vacate the property.

Most universities and colleges also have a hardship fund that students can apply for during times of unexpected financial hardship. The funds are called different things depending on where you study, and might come in the form of a loan or a grant.

They are often called Financial Contingency Funds in Wales, Discretionary Funds in Scotland, Support Funds in Northern Ireland and Student Hardship Funds in England. Additionally in England you can apply for Discretionary Learner Support,

The best way to find out whether your university or college offers such assistance is to look on the website, email the welfare team or the international student support team. These teams will also help you apply for the emergency funds.

Food banks

Food banks provide free food parcels, containing staples such as pasta, fresh fruit and veg, that should last you a week or so.

Charities that run food banks can be found across the UK. To find your nearest food bank go onto the Trussell Trust website

Embassies and consulates

Contact your country’s embassy or consulate in the UK to find out what help and support they can offer you. For example, the High Commission of India is offering emergency accommodation for Indian students stranded in London and the National Indian Students and Alumni Union, in partnership with other organisations, is providing free food for students in Bradford and Milton Keynes.

For more information email info@sevatrustuk.org or call 0741 7478274.

Charities 

Charities across the UK are mobilising to meet the national crises and help those most in need. One charity especially for international students is called Friends International.

It is a Christian charity that welcomes students of all faiths and no faith. They have 40 centres around the UK that can help you access help in the local area, such as putting you in touch with charities that can provide you with free food parcels.

The majority of the 40 centres have social media channels and a website through which you can get in touch. 

Places of worship

Whilst all places of worship are closed, they are providing assistance to their local community which includes arranging emergency food parcels.

If you follow a religion then get in touch with your local place of worship by phone, email or social media. If you are a person that doesn’t follow any religion, then be assured that you can still get help by reaching out to the local places of worship.

Do this by calling, emailing, completing online forms and contacting them via social media.

Students Union and student societies

Reach out to your Students Union, particularly to the international student officer, if such a role exists at your university.

You can also reach out to student societies, such as the Erasmus Network, which is co-ordinating assistance for European students or the international society or the society representing your country.

They may not necessarily be able to assist you financially, but they will be able to help you seek assistance and support you through the process.