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If you do overseas volunteer work (or work for a token payment) for an approved charitable organisation, you may be able to avoid being charged interest on your student loan for up to 24 months. You can apply to be treated as still being in New Zealand, which means your student loan will be interest-free.

Ask for a letter

Ask the charitable organisation you’re volunteering to write a letter to us on their letterhead that includes:

  • your name and IRD number
  • the length of time you'll spend overseas, and the dates you will be volunteering
  • the specific tasks and duties that you are undertaking, to show that your volunteer work is to relieve poverty, hunger, sickness, or the impacts of war or a natural disaster, or to improve the economy or raise the educational standards of a country on the OECD list of countries receiving development assistance
  • an estimate of what your gross income (if any) will be for the work you'll be doing.

Send it to us

Send the letter to us through secure mail in myIR, or post it to us.

Inland Revenue
PO Box 39010
Wellington Mail Centre
Lower Hutt 5045

What happens next

You will receive a letter from us that says if the application has been granted, and the period it has been granted for.