Migrants can apply for permanent residency in Australia under various different visas.
The government provided for 190,000 places for permanent migration in 2016-17.
Of these places, 128,550 are allocated for skilled migrants, 57,400 for family migrants and 565 for "former residents who have maintained close ties with Australia".
They can be sponsored under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme, or they can have lived in a specified regional area for two years and worked in that area for a minimum of one year.
The sponsorship scheme is designed to allow eligible relatives to sponsor family members to join them in the regional area.
Secondary applicants, including children, can be covered in these applications.
Other paths to permanent residency include the family stream and the business skills stream, Australian National University senor migration law academic Marianne Dickie told SBS World News.
She said the time it took to get various permanent visas approved could vary widely and the family pathways could take the longest.
Applications for parent visas are placed in a queue, and once the allocation for that year is exhausted, no more applications will be approved, but will remain in the queue.
"Parent [visas] are hard, children [visas] are not as hard and partner visas have gone up to $6,000," Mrs Dickie said.
Partner visas were two year provisional visas that were reviewed after 24 months to ensure that couple was still together before the partner was allowed permanent residency, Mrs Dickie said.
She said visas for other family members were given the lowest priority and could take two or three years to get approved, and carer visas could take even longer.
"You have to prove the person needs you to care for them for three years, but it can taken 10 years to get it approved," she said.
Information on the government's website indicates remaining relative and age-dependent relative visa applications could take up to 50 years to process.
Businesses visas were often assessed more quickly, Mrs Dickie said, particularly for people who filled the government's skilled migration criteria exactly.
"With the skilled stream, people have to put in an expression of interest that they want to migrate to Australia and it goes into a pool and the government scoops the pool and selects people to approve," she said.
"It can be really fast from that point or it can take up to a year."
But she said the regional sponsorship stream could be the faster option for people wishing to move to Australia.
"It really depends on the individual, sometimes they're better off going into regional sponsorship," she said.
"[Those] seem a better option unless you're a really highly-skilled hit-the-nail-on-the-head person."
Particular aspects, like language and health checks, can delay all sorts of permanent migration visa approvals, Mrs Dickie said.