If I am planning to travel at a much later date, could the visa be issued to start on a date in the future?

No. The visa will be valid from the date it is issued.

Posted by: Teresa Ng | March 13, 2015,2:18 pm
Due to the effect of Covid-19, we currently stop providing visa services for foreigners until April 15, 2020. We will update the newest announcement soon. Many thanks.