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If you're outside of New Zealand for around 5 out of 6 months, you might become overseas-based and your student loan will stop being interest free. Your loan repayments will be based on the size of your loan balance and your loan could start getting bigger. 

Working out when you become overseas-based

Becoming overseas-based depends on how long you're away for. If you're away for:

  • less than 153 days, you'll still be considered New Zealand-based
  • between 153 and 184 days, you'll become overseas-based (but if you stay in New Zealand for more than 183 days when you return you'll be considered New Zealand-based the whole time)
  • more than 184 days, you'll become overseas-based.

If you become overseas-based, your student loan will no longer be interest-free from the day after you left New Zealand.

If you leave New Zealand for more than 325 days, you may also become a non-resident taxpayer.

Tax residency status for individuals

Travel details in myIR

The 'Travelling overseas' section in myIR makes it easier to keep track of how long you're away from New Zealand and calculate when interest is charged. You'll find this section under the 'I want to...' menu in your student loan account.

You can also check the dates you travel to or from New Zealand. This only shows the date you travelled into or out of the country and does not include information about where you travelled.

Log in to myIR

Your repayments will be based on your student loan balance

Your student loan repayments are based on your loan balance when you become overseas-based, not your total income. However, there are some countries where we still treat you as being New Zealand-based.

Living overseas with a student loan

Add a nominated person or alternative contact person to your account

It's a good idea to set up a nominated person to help you keep up-to-date with your loan while you're overseas, but you do not have to. Depending on the permissions you grant them, your nominated person will be able to view and make updates to your student loan, and any other, account.

Nominated person 

You can add an alternative contact person to your student loan account in myIR. If in any situation we cannot contact you, we'll contact your alternative contact person to let them know we want to talk to you about your student loan. They will not be able to view or update your student loan, or any other, account in myIR (unlike a nominated person).

You'll need to add an alternative contact person to your student loan account if you apply for a temporary repayment suspension.

Last updated: 04 Mar 2024
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