U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today awarded $9.425 million in grants to 40 organizations across 19 states to help prepare lawful permanent residents (LPRs) for naturalization.
The fiscal year (FY) 2018 grants, which run through 2020, aim to promote prospective citizens’ assimilation into American civic life by funding educational programs designed to increase their knowledge of English, U.S. history, and civics.
USCIS awarded the grants through two competitive funding opportunities. The first funding opportunity supports organizations that provide citizenship instruction and naturalization application assistance to LPRs.
The second funding opportunity supports organizations that provide extended assimilation services to LPRs who have entered the U.S. as refugees or asylees.
Organizations that receive grants under either of 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.
In making final award decisions, USCIS took into account various program and organizational factors, including past grantee performance and whether an applicant and any sub-awardees are enrolled in E-Verify.
The Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program has awarded more than $82 million through 393 competitive grants to immigrant-serving organizations in 38 states and the District of Columbia since it began in 2009. Now in its 10th year, the program has helped more than 200,000 LPRs prepare for citizenship.
USCIS anticipates that approximately 25,000 LPRs will receive citizenship preparation services by Sept. 30, 2020, as a result of the FY 2018 awards. An additional 12,500 LPRs continue to receive services under the ongoing FY 2017 program, which continues through Sept. 30, 2019.
The Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program is a major part of the agency’s efforts to support effective citizenship preparation services and to provide information on naturalization to immigrants and nonprofit organizations. USCIS also maintains the Citizenship Resource Center, an online hub that provides educational materials and resources to help LPRs prepare for the naturalization process. USCIS also partners with federal, state and local agencies to raise awareness of the rights, responsibilities, and importance of U.S. citizenship among the estimated 8.9 million LPRs nationwide who are eligible to apply for naturalization.