I'm going overseas for less than 6 months
Find out how to keep on top of your loan while you're overseas for less than 6 months.
Your loan will remain interest-free if you're going overseas for 183 consecutive days or less (about 6 months) and you've have been living in New Zealand for at least 183 consecutive days prior to leaving. You'll still see interest being applied but this is automatically written off.
If you travel overseas for less than 6 months on a regular basis, your loan will remain interest-free as long you're back in New Zealand for 32 days or more before you leave again.
Repayments while you're overseas
If you'll earn New Zealand salary or wages while you're away, you'll still be required to have student loan repayments deducted from this income.
If you earn any other income from New Zealand and/or overseas income while you're away, you'll need to let us know after the end of the tax year (31 March). This is because you're still a New Zealand- based borrower and your repayments are based on your worldwide income.
If you have any other repayment obligation due while you're away, or would like to make voluntary repayments, there are a number of ways you can make a payment.
Nominate someone to act on your behalf while you're away
You may find it easier to nominate someone else to manage your student loan while you're overseas.
Keeping up-to-date with your loan
You can keep up-to-date with your student loan online anytime by using your myIR Secure Online Services account. You can check your loan balance, repayments, interest charges and/or write offs and contact us using the secure mail service.
If you decide to stay overseas for 6 months (184 days) or more
You'll need to let us know if you decide to stay overseas for 6 months or more as this will affect your interest-free loan entitlement and repayment obligations.
We share information with other government agencies
We share information with the New Zealand Customs Service to help us work out if you're a New Zealand-based or overseas-based borrower, and whether you qualify for an interest-free student loan.
We also match information with Customs so we’re notified when student loan borrowers who have fallen behind on their repayments are travelling to New Zealand. We use this information to contact the borrower to discuss their student loan and make arrangements to repay their loan arrears, or pursue other collection processes.
The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) also shares information with us. DIA shares information from adult passport applications and renewals to help us contact overseas-based borrowers who are in default.
Inland Revenue, Customs and DIA have met the conditions of an information matching programme under the Privacy Act 1993, and have the approval of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.
If you're going to be overseas for more than 6 months, you're legally required to let us know you'll be out of the country. You'll also need to let us know when you return if you're going to be back for more than 6 months.
It's your right to challenge any information from the information matching with Customs. If you have any concerns or questions about this, please go to our Contact us page.
Back to Travelling or living overseas
Date published: 15 Jan 2014