U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is offering funding opportunities to organizations in communities around the country that are designed to prepare immigrants with permanent resident status for naturalization and prepare for civic engagement. Through two programs, USCIS will grant up to $10 million in grants to 46 recipients.
The two grant programs are:
1. Citizenship Instruction and Naturalization Application Services: This grant, which offers up to $9 million in funding, will provide $250,000 in grants over two years to 36 organizations that offer both citizenship instruction and naturalization application services to permanent residents.
Eligible organizations for this grant include, but are not limited to:
- Public or private nonprofit organizations
- Public school systems, universities and community colleges
- Civic, community and faith-based organizations
- Adult education organizations
- Public libraries
- Volunteer and literacy organizations
- State and local governments
2. Citizenship Instruction, a newly created grant opportunity, is valued at $100,000 over a two year period. The grant is designed to offer funding to 10 nonprofits that are establishing new citizenship instruction programs with the idea of expanding citizenship instruction programs.
Eligible organizations for this grant include:
- Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS status, other than institutions of higher education
- Those that are local in scope and service delivery area
- Those that offer and have at least one year experience providing ESL instruction in a classroom setting that follows a curriculum.
Organizations applying for each of these grants must offer students 40 hours of citizenship instruction over an 8-15 week class cycle. Instruction must include U.S. history and government, English as a Second Language (ESL) in reading writing and speaking and instruction students on the naturalization process and eligibility interview, among other requirements.
Eligible organizations for each grant are also required to use a nationally normed standardized test of English proficiency to place and assess the progress of all students enrolled within the programs. At least 80 percent of post tested students must demonstrate education gains as evidenced by increased standardized test scores.
Applications for both are due April 22 and are available here. USCIS expects to announce all 46 recipients by September.
USCIS has awarded approximately $53 million since 2009. The grants have been award to 262 grants that have provided citizenship preparation services to more than 138,000 permanent residents in 35 states and the District of Columbia.