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.

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.

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.

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.