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You do not need to wait another four months to apply for a PMV as it does not have the 12 months relationship requirement but there does need to be some evidence of a genuine relationship and you would already have that.

If you both are feeling committed enough now to plan on marriage, another option for you that you could want to consider is:
. get the additional visitor visa and then book a marriage, a months notice with a celebrant or minister and appropriate documentation supporting a Notice of Intent to Marry form needed, your birth certificate possibly etc.
. if by chance the next visa you get does not have a No Further Stay condition on it, you could once married submit a partner visa application onshore for the 12 months does not apply if married but still you need to have the evidence of a relationship - read Booklet #1 via Partner Visa: Offshore Temporary and Permanent (subclasses 309 and 100) , it the same for offshore and onshore.
. If it does have the No Further Stay condition on it, you could just still take a trip to NZ and submit it there and then come back as previously advised, getting another visitor visa of six months to cover processing time.

Joe going to the states in May may be fine but it could be a bit longer before you have the visa for part of the processing is you having police or as it is called, a penal clearance certificate and in US you need it from both state and FBI, the FBI one requiring fingerprints and they can take some time getting, like a couple of months if here and then the FBI themselves will take 10 - 12 weeks, so whatever you do, that is something you ought to get cracking on already.

But have a bit of a read of the partner visa info on the Immi site and Joe needs to note that he also needs to make a sponsor application, to be submitted with your application that needs to have all the other gear with it.

Another Visitor visa will not cause problems for you and it'll either be refused/issued and with a No Further Stay condition or not but if you do get one without it, that opens the door to the marriage and apply for partner visa onshore.
 
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