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Unexpected delay returning to New Zealand when I have a student loan


You can apply for your loan to be interest-free if you were intending to travel for less than 6 months but, because of events outside of your control, you couldn’t return to New Zealand as planned.

Some examples of these delays are:

  • personal illness or accident
  • death or illness of a family member
  • natural disasters.

To apply you’ll need to have been a New Zealand tax resident while you were overseas and show that you were intending to stay overseas for less than 183 days.

You’ll need to provide the following proof:

  • evidence of the reason you were delayed
  • your original flight reservations
  • a completed New Zealand tax residence questionnaire (IR886) if you were overseas for more than 325 days.

Tax residency

Apply to keep my student loan interest free