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Working overseas when I have a student loan

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If you are sent overseas to work for the New Zealand government

If the principal reason you are overseas is you are working for the New Zealand government you may be able to keep your student loan interest free. This may apply to people in the armed forces, the police, and diplomats.

You’ll need to provide a letter from the government agency you work for that includes:

  • your name
  • your IRD number
  • the dates that you are required to be overseas, and
  • confirmation that your time overseas is for work for the New Zealand government.

Your agency will need to provide this information on their letterhead.

Apply to keep my student loan interest free

If you are sent overseas to work for a New Zealand business

If you work for a New Zealand business and are overseas principally for work, you may be able to keep your student loan interest free if you are only working overseas temporarily.

You will need to be a New Zealand tax resident. You will need to show that you get either:

  • salary or wages from a New Zealand source
  • income from a business permanently established in New Zealand.

You can only have a ‘permanent place of abode’ in New Zealand while you’re overseas.

You’ll need to provide a letter from your employer on the company letterhead (this can be you, if you own the business or are self-employed) that includes:

  • your name
  • your IRD number
  • the dates that you need to be overseas for your job
  • confirmation that you will be receiving PAYE payments with a New Zealand source, or income from a New Zealand-based business
  • confirmation that the principal reason you’re overseas is for your job.

You’ll also need to provide:

  • a completed New Zealand tax residence questionnaire (IR886) if you’ll be away for more than 10 months (325 days)
  • information on how you’re maintaining accommodation in New Zealand while you’re overseas
  • information on your accommodation overseas.

Tax residency

Apply to keep my student loan interest free