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If you were overseas and have returned to New Zealand in the past 6 months, you'll need to know if future travel plans will affect your student loan. Leaving again for more than 31 days could mean you do not meet the criteria to become interest free. If you have an unexpected absence, you may apply for your loan to be interest free from the date you originally returned.

You must have left New Zealand because of an unplanned absence that was out of your control. This could be illness or death of a family member overseas, or your employer needing you to travel overseas for a short period.

To apply, you must have been a New Zealand tax resident when you had the unplanned absence.

Send us a letter telling us why you needed to travel, and include evidence. If you had to leave New Zealand for work, you must include a letter from your employer stating:

  • your name
  • your IRD number
  • the dates that you were required to be overseas for your job
  • confirmation that the reason you were overseas was for your job.

Tax residency status for individuals

Apply to keep my student loan interest free