The fate of parent category visa will be determined in the first half of this calendar year.

New Zealand Herald reported on Thursday, January 17, that the Minister for Immigration Iain Lees-Galloway had confirmed that the government will be making a decision on parent category visa in the first half of this year.

A spokesman for Mr Lees-Galloway said he had received more advice on the visa category at the end of last year and "that's something that still needs to go before Cabinet".

"I anticipate that we'll be making a decision around that in the first half of this year,” Mr Lees-Galloway said.

The popular visa category which allowed many ethnic migrants, including Kiwi-Indians, living and working in New Zealand to bring their parents was closed by the previous National government in late 2016.

The decision to close visa category was taken to clear the backlog of applications, and also to review if there was any substance in the anecdotes going rounds in public discourse whereby suggesting that some incoming parents were being a burden on the state exchequer.

There were close to 6000 people in the system at the time temporary closure of the visa category was announced.

It was expected that Ministry for Business, Innovation and Enterprise (MBIE) would lead an official review process and report back to the government by June 2018 while there was temporary closure on the visa category.

The popular visa category was capped at 4000 every two years (maximum 2000 approvals in one year) before being closed.

NZ Herald also reported that National’s spokesperson for Immigration and former Minister for Immigration, Michael Woodhouse speculated that New Zealand First was behind the delay in the opening of the visa category.

"Winston Peters has been heavily critical of the ability of parents to come in and stay permanently in New Zealand. By whatever means, he is delaying, deferring or cancelling the return of that visa category,” Mr Woodhouse was quoted by NZ Herald.