My parents only bothered to take out citizenship a few years ago. They have lived here so long that they are part of the funiture. However they never applied to be citizens before that because as permanent residents they had all the civil liberties you would expect from a nice place such as Australia without the hassle of having to vote or do jury duty. Plus they were busy. In the end long after the kids had all moved on it was the desire for an aussie passport and the removal of the pledge of allegiance to the Queen which swung the deal and they did the deed.
Some immigrants are much more keen to tie the knot and become aussie citizens. However since July last year there is now a quiz and a longer waiting period of four years. I think that everybody should enjoy basic civil rights as soon as they arrive here, however the political rights associated with citizenship are a separate matter.
Is a four year wait before you can become a citizen too long, not long enough or just right?
I found this reference with some details about waiting periods in other countries. It is getting a bit long in the tooth but I suspect that it is still reasonably accurate.
It mentions these waiting periods for some other nations:-
New Zealand, 3 years
Indonesia, 5 years
USA, 5 years
UK, 5 years
Germany, 8 years
Spain, 10 years
Italy, 10 years
Switzerland, 12 years
Do we want residents to hurry up and become citizens? Or do we want to make them wait? What’s in it for us? What’s in it for them? Personally I can see merit in a long romance between nation and resident before the big day. I’d be much more likely to increase the delay rather than to reduce the delay. However I don’t think there is any magically correct number.