In the US, UK, Ireland it takes 5 years residence to become a citizen for most legal immigrants or 3 years residence if married to an existing citizen.
In Spain, Italy, Brazil it takes 10/10/4 years residence to naturalize, 1/2/1 years residence for spouses.
In Australia and New Zealand, it takes 4/5 years residence with no special treatment for spouses.
A policy to enable quicker naturalization of spouses compared to other immigrants would be interesting, as while they already live and work in the country, some new “Ethnic Minorities” would be eligible to vote in a quicker amount of time.
Married spousal immigrants probably have policy preference differences to immigrants who came in on work visas, refugee visas, extended (parent/grandparent/cousin) family visas etc.
Spouses are about 30% of all legal immigration in the US each year.
For historical examples of enacting this:
NZ’s National Party with the Citizenship Act of 1992 that allowed quicker spousal naturalization after 2 years, before it was repealed with the Citizenship Amendment Act of 2005, that increased it to 5 years.
In 2005, Labour (social democrats), NZ First (nationalists), ACT (libertarians), United Future (liberals) voted for scrapping special treatment for spousal immigrants while National (conservatives), Greens (environmentalists), Maori (indigenous) opposed it, with the Progressives (socialists) split evenly.
FDR of the US Democrats enacted this with the Equal Nationality Act of 1934 to change spousal naturalization from 5 to 3 years.
Ireland allowed quicker spousal naturalization from 5 to 3 years with the Citizenship Act of 1986, when the coalition of Fine Gael and Labour enacted it with support from the main opposition Fianna Fail who wanted an even quicker naturalization time for spouses. (Maybe because Fianna Fail is the most Catholic party?)
It would be interesting to see some immigration policy where it’s not just Liberals increase vs Patriots decrease; some ideologies from the left being against certain types of immigration or some ideologies from the right being for certain types of immigration would add variety.
Other reasons to split spousal and general immigration:
When Trump put in a place an immigration moratorium in 2020 due to COVID, he excluded spouses from being affected.
Biden’s proposed US Citizenship Act of 2021 excludes spousal immigration from the provisions.