We are applying for an Australia visa for work trip. And we thought of applying for a NZ visa as well. But it looks like we may need to send passports for the NZ visa. (Australian Visa does not need it). Does anyone know if we have to send the passports for sure? We have to start travelling by 26th sep. So sending passports is risky and we are debating if we should drop the plan for New Zealand.
New Zealand does issue eVisas but this won't answer the question as to whether you will need to submit your passport or not, as you may be asked to supply your passport for verification after you have submitted your visa application.
In general, however, personal experience and after a quick poll in the office, the experience of the many nationalities that I work with in New Zealand (a good selection of people from around the world) is that in the past 18 months none of them have had to submit their passport for their own visas, and none of their families have had to submit passports when applying for an tourism eVisa.
New Zealand doesn't provide E-Visa and you do not qualify for a visa waiver. Therefore you have to send the passport to the embassy.
Sending passport via post for Visa is very common and losing the passport is very rare. However, in the current timeline, there is a real possibility of the passport not arriving in time. Check with your visa agent if this is realistic.
If that is the case, it's better to cut short the visit only to Australia.