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Thread: Timeline for variation of travel conditions on resident visa

  1. #1
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    Default Timeline for variation of travel conditions on resident visa

    Hi All --

    I'm trying to figure out if I can attend my sister's wedding outside NZ given the timeline with my residency visa and travel conditions expiring. One thing I want to bear in mind is that processing times for either variation or PR are currently 51 days, but we were told our residency would be processed in 6-9 months, and it took 22 months, so I don't want to rely on the 51 day processing time...would rather allow 90-120 days.

    RESIDENCY BACKGROUND
    My residency visa was granted 02 AUG 2018 and was effective immediately because I was an onshore applicant. It states that travel conditions expire 02 AUG 2020. However, I was outside NZ when residency was granted, entering the country as a resident on 11 OCT 2018. INZ kept stating that I could apply for PR 02 AUG 2020, but the Immigration Act of 2009 states that the time only starts ticking once you are in the country. I re-inquired with the CO who granted my visa, who transferred me to a TA. After two weeks, the TA issued me a Replacement Resident visa with a start date of 03 SEPT 2019, that says my travel conditions are until 11 OCT 2020. Note that I am the secondary applicant. The primary applicant still has the original resident visa granted 02 AUG 2018, with travel conditions expiring 02 AUG 2020. We suspect this is incorrect but that INZ aren't on top of it enough to correct the primary's residency based on the correction they did for the secondary.

    The primary (and secondary) will qualify for variations based on being in NZ 184 days in a previous 12-month period, and eventually PR based on 184 days in each of the previous 12-month periods.

    WEDDING & VARIATIONS
    MY sister is thinking of getting married 18 OCT 2020, shortly after my conditions expire. We have travel planned overseas July 2020, returning by late July. If we send in our application for variations or PR in early August, it is not enough time to comfortably have the application processed in time to travel by 10 OCT to a wedding. It doesn't matter to me if it *should* be okay -- I am unwilling to take this risk, and it is likely the processing timeline will be longer, as timelines have only been increasing.

    QUESTIONS
    1) Does the primary need to request the visa be changed to reflect the 11 OCT 2018 arrival date in NZ, with travel conditions subsequently extended to 11 OCT 2020?
    2) Are we better off with the primary keeping the earlier date of 02 AUG 2018...after all, INZ doesn't seem to understand which date is correct, since we were onshore applicants but offshore when residency granted.
    3) Can we apply for travel conditions in, say, February 2020...to hopefully extend the travel conditions for another 12 months?
    4) Or, is INZ going to decline considering travel conditions on the basis that ours are still good for an additional 6 (for the primary) or 8 (for secondary) months?
    5) Does INZ ever deny travel conditions, provided the applicants meet the criteria?
    6) Does the variation of travel conditions affect our timeline to apply for PR? So, if we do get a variation, and return to NZ after the wedding by 31 OCT 2020, can we immediately apply for PR given that we will have met the 184-day requirements?
    7) If we still have a valid variation of conditions (until Feb 2021, for example), can we travel even while PR is being processed? Our country of origin allows us to have 2 passports, so we could send the one tied to the residency visa to INZ for processing, and have a second one for travel (to meet family for Christmas 2020), while INZ is processing the PR.
    8) Or, do they require that you be in NZ during the processing of a PR visa, as your passport is at INZ?

    Thank you! I wish I were able to get answers out of INZ for this. Hoping the forum with have some ideas.
    Gaida

  2. #2
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    Letting you know I've seen this, but I'm not even going to think about it straight away, because it's bedtime in my time zone.

  3. #3
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    @JandM, as always, you are a much appreciated resource. FYI I will be editing my post based on some information from the forum. You can re-read in the morning.

  4. #4
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    I guess I can't edit my post...so here are the questions, but modified...

    @Kelerei notes that you don't have to be in NZ to apply for PR (https://www.enz.org/forum/showthread.php?t=55857).

    QUESTIONS RE: INZ GIVES DIFFERING INFORMATION ON START OF RESIDENCY

    1) Does the primary need to request the visa be changed to reflect the 11 OCT 2018 arrival date in NZ, with travel conditions subsequently extended to 11 OCT 2020?
    2) Are we better off with the primary keeping the earlier date of 02 AUG 2018...after all, INZ doesn't seem to understand which date is correct, since we were onshore applicants but offshore when residency granted. Maybe they'll go by the records for the primary and we'll be eligible 02 AUG 2020? I have it in writing in an email from an INZ officer that I am eligible to apply on 02 AUG 2020...but the TA who did my Replacement Resident Visa states I am eligible to apply only on or after 11/10/2020 (this second date complies with the Operations Manual RV2.5.b (https://www.immigration.govt.nz/opsmanual/#30505.htm), which states that the application for PRV must be at least 24 months after the first day in NZ as a resident...yet INZ confirmed in an email that 02 AUG 2020 was correct...)

    QUESTIONS RE: STRATEGY FOR TRAVEL CONDITIONS:

    3) It seems easiest to apply for 12 months of travel conditions in, say, February 2020...this will cover us until Feb. 2021, or later, depending on processing times. Is this timeline to apply for a variation in travel conditions reasonable?
    4) Or, might INZ decline on the basis that our current (original) travel conditions are still good for an additional 6 months (for the primary) or 8 months (for secondary)?
    5) Do we need to worry that INZ might deny travel conditions, provided the applicants meet the criteria, haven't committed crimes, etc?
    6) Does the variation of travel conditions affect our timeline to apply for PR? So, if we do get a variation, and return to NZ after the wedding by 31 OCT 2020, can we immediately apply for PR given that we will have met the 2 years of 184-day requirements? Or does getting a variation extend the timeline for PRV application?
    7) If we have a valid variation of conditions, can we travel even while PR is being processed, as @Kelerei indicates?
    8) Do we have to send our passports to INZ? Or, since it is all e-visas now, do we keep our passports? The PRV/variations application form says nothing about mailing passports.
    9) In this case, it seems so long as we have valid travel conditions, we can travel as needed, but have the processing for variations and/or PRV operate while we do our travels.
    10) Note that if we have to mail passports to INZ, we can acquire a second passport and travel on that one, if we're not required to be in NZ for processing.

    There are two other factors:
    1) The primary was given a traffic ticket. I understand this doesn't usually impact anything -- how can we find out if this is an offense or just an infraction? I understand offenses have to be declared, but infractions don't.
    2) I realize that as the secondary, INZ really don't care about my whereabouts, so I could go to the wedding, while the primary stays in NZ and does the immigration thing, but of course, we want to go together. I'm not sure if this will have an impact...that it is the secondary's sister who is getting married, but the primary is the one that a variation is issued to.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaida View Post
    1) Does the primary need to request the visa be changed to reflect the 11 OCT 2018 arrival date in NZ, with travel conditions subsequently extended to 11 OCT 2020?
    2) Are we better off with the primary keeping the earlier date of 02 AUG 2018...after all, INZ doesn't seem to understand which date is correct, since we were onshore applicants but offshore when residency granted.
    The two years travel conditions are counted from a person's first day in New Zealand as a resident. As per R5.66.5, this is the day the Resident Visa is granted if the person is onshore; if the person was offshore, this is the day that said person was first granted entry permission on the basis of their Resident Visa.

    As you have stated, you were offshore at the time your Resident Visa was granted, so your own travel conditions therefore expire two years after you were first granted entry permission, and you have already gotten INZ to correct their mistake in this regard.

    For the primary applicant, as per R5.66.5, it depends whether the primary applicant was offshore or onshore at the time the Resident Visa was granted. If the primary applicant was onshore at the time, the expiry of travel conditions as currently stated by INZ is indeed correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaida View Post
    3) Can we apply for travel conditions in, say, February 2020...to hopefully extend the travel conditions for another 12 months?
    The primary applicant may apply for a 12-month variation of travel conditions whenever the criteria detailed in RV3.5 are met.

    As a dependent applicant on the original Resident Visa application, you will normally be included on the primary applicant's application, and your own eligibility for a variation of travel conditions will normally be entirely dependent on the primary applicant's own eligibility. There are some exceptions to this: see RV1.10(c) to determine if one of these exceptions apply to you (if they do, you must apply and be eligible in your own right).

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaida View Post
    4) Or, is INZ going to decline considering travel conditions on the basis that ours are still good for an additional 6 (for the primary) or 8 (for secondary) months?
    There is nothing in the operations manual to suggest that this is the case, and no evidence that I've seen (on this forum or elsewhere) that your application will be declined solely based on having existing travel conditions. Logically thinking: if this were the case, what would be the point of asking for a variation of travel conditions in the first place?

    Also note my response to your next question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaida View Post
    5) Does INZ ever deny travel conditions, provided the applicants meet the criteria?
    As per RV3.1:

    • Applications made by a Resident Visa holder in New Zealand cannot be declined (see RV3.1.1(a)), but may only be granted a 14-day variation of travel conditions under RV3.10 if the provisions of RV3.1(d) apply.
    • Applications made outside New Zealand must be declined under the circumstances listed in RV3.1.1(b) and RV3.1.1(c).


    Quote Originally Posted by Gaida View Post
    6) Does the variation of travel conditions affect our timeline to apply for PR? So, if we do get a variation, and return to NZ after the wedding by 31 OCT 2020, can we immediately apply for PR given that we will have met the 184-day requirements?
    The requirements to be granted a Permanent Resident Visa are detailed in RV2.5; having been granted (or not been granted) a variation of travel conditions is not one of them. Once you meet the requirements as detailed in RV2.5, you may apply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaida View Post
    7) If we still have a valid variation of conditions (until Feb 2021, for example), can we travel even while PR is being processed? Our country of origin allows us to have 2 passports, so we could send the one tied to the residency visa to INZ for processing, and have a second one for travel (to meet family for Christmas 2020), while INZ is processing the PR.
    8) Or, do they require that you be in NZ during the processing of a PR visa, as your passport is at INZ?
    There is no requirement anywhere in RV2 that states that you must be in the country during the processing of a Permanent Resident Visa, and I do recall someone on this forum posting that his Permanent Resident Visa had been granted while offshore, under similar circumstances to the hypothetical ones you have mentioned.

    Also, it's not an absolute requirement to send your passport to INZ; a certified copy may suffice. If you send a certified copy and INZ wants to sight your actual passport (which, from evidence on this forum, usually only happens if it's a passport they've never sighted before), they will let you know. You'll probably want to send a certified copy if you're travelling, as you may well have hassles trying to re-enter New Zealand as a resident if you do not enter on the passport that your Resident Visa is linked to (source: other people on this forum who have done this and shared their rather unpleasant experiences, and Y3 in the ops manual).
    Last edited by Kelerei; 19th September 2019 at 02:16 PM. Reason: It turns out that my morning cup of coffee still doesn't improve my spelling and grammar... *sigh*

  6. #6
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    Just saw your updated questions now... hopefully the above answers them too.

  7. #7
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    Wow Kelerei -- thank you so much! I really appreciate it. Your information is much more comprehensive than that by INZ. I'm very grateful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelerei View Post
    If the person was offshore, this is the day that said person was first granted entry permission on the basis of their Resident Visa.

    For the primary applicant, as per R5.66.5, it depends whether the primary applicant was offshore or onshore at the time the Resident Visa was granted. If the primary applicant was onshore at the time, the expiry of travel conditions as currently stated by INZ is indeed correct.
    The primary applicant and I entered NZ on the same date, from the same flight. We had identical circumstances: both living in NZ on temporary visas, then leaving NZ prior to the granting of residency, and returning to NZ on 11 OCT 2018. This is why it is so unsettling that INZ have changed my visa travel conditions, but not the primary's. They only changed mine because I asked proactively (I was concerned about a possible job that would send me overseas after 02 AUG 2020). Otherwise, I would still have a visa that said my travel conditions were until 02 AUG 2020, and I still have an email from August 2019 direct from INZ staff confirming that I am eligible to apply for residency on 02 AUG 2020 (despite the Operations Manual, as you and I have quoted, indicating this is incorrect...and thus the reason for my inquiry with the original CO).

    1) So, should we just go with what the Operations Manual states, and plan on applying for PRV after 11 OCT 2020? Or should we go with what INZ have told us in a written email and the primary's visa, which states we can apply 02 AUG 2020? Are they likely to say, "oops, we were wrong!" at that time (not that they would ever admit fault to forgetting about RV2.1.b in their written correspondence with us; they might just make us wait).

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelerei View Post
    [*]Applications made by a Resident Visa holder in New Zealand cannot be declined (see RV3.1.1(a))
    Whew! We meet all the criteria in RV3.1.1, so the variation will be granted. I appreciate you drawing my attention to that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelerei View Post
    Also, it's not an absolute requirement to send your passport to INZ; a certified copy may suffice. If you send a certified copy and INZ wants to sight your actual passport (which, from evidence on this forum, usually only happens if it's a passport they've never sighted before), they will let you know.
    Sounds easiest to apply for a variation early 2020 when we will be in NZ and can send original passports. We could then apply for PRV with certified copies so we can travel, and if they want the passports after we return to NZ, we could mail them in.

    2) Does that sound like a close-as-possible-to-surefire plan?

    2 other questions:

    3) The primary was given a traffic ticket (moving infraction, not just speeding ticket, but not alcohol-related or anything). I understand this doesn't usually impact anything -- how can we find out if this is an offense or just an infraction? I understand offenses have to be declared, but infractions don't.

    4) Why do you know all this?

    I'm so grateful for your well-informed help. Many, many thanks.
    Gaida

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaida View Post
    1) So, should we just go with what the Operations Manual states, and plan on applying for PRV after 11 OCT 2020? Or should we go with what INZ have told us in a written email and the primary's visa, which states we can apply 02 AUG 2020? Are they likely to say, "oops, we were wrong!" at that time (not that they would ever admit fault to forgetting about RV2.1.b in their written correspondence with us; they might just make us wait).
    If I were in your situation, I'd play it by the book and apply for your Permanent Resident Visa after October 11th, 2020. It's entirely plausible that, if you apply before then, INZ will realise their earlier error and determine that you don't yet qualify for a Permanent Resident Visa, which would be a bit of a waste by anyone's reckoning.

    That being said, my LIA always says the following when dealing with INZ, and you should keep this in mind:

    1. Assume nothing about your eligibility.
    2. Suspend logic.
    3. Just when you think you understand the visa rules, your application will be processed by a moron who doesn't (his words, not mine!).
    4. Treat with great caution whatever you read on INZ's website.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gaida View Post
    2) Does that sound like a close-as-possible-to-surefire plan?
    This is exactly what I would be doing if I were to be in your situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaida View Post
    3) The primary was given a traffic ticket (moving infraction, not just speeding ticket, but not alcohol-related or anything). I understand this doesn't usually impact anything -- how can we find out if this is an offense or just an infraction? I understand offenses have to be declared, but infractions don't.
    It shouldn't, unless the consequences are serious indeed. See RV2.1 (stating who is not eligible for a Permanent Resident Visa) and, if you have the nerve, the circumstances where a Resident Visa holder may find himself liable for deportation due to character and/or criminal matters (lurking within D2.15).

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaida View Post
    4) Why do you know all this?
    Much like Tyrion Lannister: I drink, and I know things.

  9. #9
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    I applied on 27 August and received on 14th September but they issued on 29 August coz expiry shows 29 aug 1
    2020

  10. #10
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    Attach a cover letter with application stating your reason

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