Monetary relief to Indian students stuck in US, Canada, Australia & UK soon

New Delhi: Indian students stuck in countries like the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK – some facing mounting debt and fees – will soon get some monetary relief.

On Sunday, Canada began accepting applications for its newly introduced Canadian Emergency Response Benefit, a scheme under which unemployed workers can get $500 a week for up to 16 weeks. This is also applicable to international students who pass the eligibility criteria.

In Australia, the Melbourne city council will support foreign students through a variety of measures, including a proposal to set up a “hardship fund”, according to a posting on Wednesday on the City of Melbourne’s official website.

More than 200,000 international students from 170 countries live in Melbourne, an official quoted on the website said.

The Australian government on Sunday also introduced a measure to let those international students who work part-time on a contract access their superannuation funds in advance.

These funds, which are meant as retirement savings, are deducted from the earner’s salary and can be accessed when they leave the country. The new measure is applicable to those who have been in the country for longer than 12 months.

Foreign students in Australia, who were earlier allowed to work only 20 hours a week, will now have no such limits, provided they work for essential services such as supermarkets, nursing homes, hospitals or old-age homes. The extension for those working in supermarkets will end on May 1.

Some Indian students currently in Melbourne told ET that it was unfair to not support those who do not work in critical services, as many non-critical services have shut shop leading to job losses.

The United Kingdom has extended free testing for everyone living in the country. The National Health Service will also provide free treatment to students with suspected or confirmed Covid-19 virus infections. Some students in the UK have lost their jobs and are now struggling with rent and fee payments.

Universities in the US, the most popular destination for Indian students studying abroad, are introducing their own measures to help students.

New York University on Friday announced an emergency relief fund.

All students, including international students, can tap the fund if they need money to travel home, for housing, food or if they have lost their jobs.

More than 200,000 Indians studied in the US in the academic year 2018-19.

Source Article