The government is close on making a decision on the parent category visa, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway told The Indian Weekender in an exclusive interview earlier today.

The parent category visa was suspended in 2016 during the National led-government, and the consultation on the same was started last year to make a decision when to reopen that category.

The parent visa allowed parents of an immigrant living in New Zealand living as a resident or a citizen but was suspended on the context that it created a burden on the taxpayers.

The consultation that started last year is said to have finished, but the government is yet to come to a decision.

Speaking to The Indian Weekender, Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said, “I understand there has been a bit of frustration on not having the decision on that yet and I appreciate the patience.

“There is a lot for the government to weigh up- both ‘for and against’ the parent visa category but I am keen to get a decision soon,” Minister Lees-Galloway added.

Minister Lees-Galloway acknowledged that migrants applying or who have already applied for this particular category of visa have been waiting for a long time and need an assurance of its future, and he is keen to get it sorted soon.

“I know a lot of people want a particular decision, but most importantly people want to know what is the future of the parent category visa and I am keen to get that decided soon,” Minister Lees-Galloway affirmed.

On asked to provide a specific timeframe, Minister Lees-Galloway said “I would say its imminent.

“I understand people want the government to make a decision on that and I am keen to get that soon.

On further queried what would happen to the roughly 6000 applicants who have lodged their applications and are still in the queue for long, Minister Lees-Galloway said the result of their applications will still be dependent on the impending decision the government will taking and their [applicants’] needs would be taken into consideration.

“Well, I suppose that is dependent on the decision that we make; but whatever decision we do make, and we will be taking their needs into consideration,” Minister Iain Lees-Galloway confirmed.