I emailed the ABTC office for some clarification on my question a week ago. However, did not receive anything back so who knows...Currently going through my APEC card application in NZ - and was told back in February when I applied that 6 months is the norm - and told me they sent me an email last year saying that 6 months was the case, and you should be applying again 6 months before your current APEC card expires.
I just checked my application a few days ago, and had approval from all but 5 countries to date.
However, as I don't plan to travel/use it until I am looking to travel to China in March 2022 - I am not going to ask them to hit issue on interim card as that will start the clock ticking of my 5 years until I need to renew. So as long as I get it issued naturally by November, I will be happy. If it comes before November - such is life. And post November, know I can hit issue interim card then and get it in a few days.
The 5 countries not yet approved are ones I have no plans to travel to - Vietnam is one of the 5 that haven't yet approved my application - but I have approval from China & Singapore, which are the two I was hoping to have.
It isn't going to be a fast process post application until you have a new APEC card in your hand. Interim card for Vietnam for you may be another story though.
Following up on the above.
I received notice that it was approved last week through the Australian govt. It was quicker than I expected to be fair.
Obviously need to wait for the rest of the countries to add me but already have AUS, NZD, PHL, SIN and CHL - Not the countries I want just now but positive movement.
Had a look today, my application is pending approval from 4 countries:
Papua New Guinea
All 15 other countries have approved it and I could get temp card issued for them today - but that starts the clock on my card's life - and as I don't plan to travel until March 2022 - there is no point in doing that at this time and just sit back and do so closer to March 2022.
I am exactly 6 months since my application today.
8 months since application, and waiting on 2 countries to approve the application.
Papua New Guinea