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In the USA if enter with an ESTA you can stay 90 days but if you have a B1/B2 visa, you can stay 180 days (and have the possibility of extending even that with a I-539 form).

I am a citizen of an EU country and as such I am able to enter New Zealand without a visa. However, I am unable to find how could I stay longer than 90 days -- based on the USA example I was thinking maybe if I got a visa?

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There are ways to stay longer than 90 days in New Zealand, even as a visitor. For example:

  • If you are under 30 (and meet some other conditions) then you may be eligible for a Working Holiday Scheme visa which lets you stay for a year
  • If you apply for a Visitor Visa you may request a duration of stay longer than 90 days

If you intend to work in New Zealand, such as if you have a job offer, you can apply for various temporary work visas. You may even apply for such a visa after you have arrived in the country as a tourist.

The Immigration New Zealand web site is well laid out and presents the various visa options clearly (see "Find a visa").

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I plan to (in a few years) buy an apartment somewhere (so far Israel and New Zealand are candidates) and winter out there. That's why I am asking; I have seen the website the "you may request a duration of stay longer than 90 days" was unclear and I still don't see that anywhere on the site. –  chx Mar 2 at 0:14
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The visa application form has a space where you enter your intended dates of arrival and departure. I suppose you can request more than 90 days which they may approve. –  Greg Hewgill Mar 2 at 2:09

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