U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) awarded almost $10 million in grant funding to support public and nonprofit efforts directed toward naturalization preparedness. Through the competitive funding opportunities, established in 2009, agency officials expect this year’s awards to assist an additional 25,000 lawful permanent residents (LPRs) in joining the ranks of the American citizenry.
Since its founding nine years ago, the USCIS Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program has distributed $73 million through 353 competitive grants awarded to public and private nonprofit organizations, helping more than 190,000 lawful permanent residents (LPRs) living in 37 states and the District of Columbia to prepare for U.S. citizenship. With the $10 million in funding awarded this year, agency officials expect to help another 25,000 immigrants from 50 countries around the world to step closer to U.S. citizenship.
USCIS awarded grants to both public and private nonprofit organizations that are located in 26 states around the country. Designed to “help these organizations promote prospective citizens’ assimilation into American civic life by funding educational programs designed to increase their knowledge of English, U.S. history and civics,” according to a release, funding to the organizations will continue through September 2019.
Comprised of two funding opportunities, the USCIS grants consist of an opportunity supporting organizations providing citizenship instruction and naturalization application assistance as well as a second opportunity assists nonprofits with funding for the establishment of new citizenship instruction programs or an expansion of quality and reach through existing programs. As part of the terms of the funding, “organizations that receive grants under these funding opportunities can only use grant funds to provide services to immigrants who have been lawfully admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence.”
USCIS officials consider the citizenship and assimilation grants as a significant part of the agency’s efforts in supporting effective citizenship preparation services. With the grants program, officials also provide information on naturalization to immigrants through the public and private nonprofit organization.
This year’s grant recipients operate on a performance period that runs from Oct. 1, 2017 through Sept. 30, 2019.
Other resources offered by the agency includes the Citizenship Resource Center, which is a kind of online hub for learning materials that help lawful permanent residents prepare for the naturalization process.
USCIS also partners with other government agencies at the federal, state and local levels to “raise awareness of the rights, responsibilities and importance of U.S. citizenship among the estimated 8.9 million lawful permanent residents nationwide who are eligible to apply for naturalization.”