$10M headed to groups helping permanent residents become U.S. citizens

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SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is providing up to $10 million in grants for citizenship preparation programs in communities across the country.   

The grants are open to organizations that prepare lawful permanent residents for U.S. citizenship and promote civic integration through increased knowledge of English, U.S. history and civics.

USCIS is getting the money from Congress through appropriations.

“It is critical that we provide immigrants pursuing citizenship and the organizations who help support their efforts with the tools to be successful,” said Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas. “The Citizenship and Integration Grant Program helps those preparing to become U.S. citizens to successfully integrate into American society. This administration recognizes that naturalization is an important milestone in the civic integration of immigrants, and we will continue to provide support for individuals hoping to establish new citizenship in our country.”

According to USCIS, it seeks to expand availability of high-quality citizenship and integration services throughout the country under the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program:

  • Citizenship Instruction and Naturalization Application Services: This opportunity will fund public or nonprofit organizations that offer both citizenship instruction and naturalization application services to lawful permanent residents. USCIS expects to award 33 organizations up to $250,000 each for two years through this opportunity. Applications are due by July 16, 2021.
  • Refugee and Asylee Integration Services Program: This grant opportunity will provide extended integration services with a focus on individualized programming to former refugees and asylum seekers to attain the skills and knowledge required for successful citizenship. It will also provide other services that foster a sense of belonging and attachment to the United States. The program has expanded eligibility to include lawful permanent residents who were admitted or entered the United States as Cuban or Haitian entrants or individuals admitted on a Special Immigrant Visa. USCIS expects to award six public or nonprofit organizations with experience in serving refugees up to $300,000 each for a period of two years through this opportunity. Applicants must design an integration support program that provides a suite of services to program beneficiaries to promote long-term civic integration and citizenship. Applications are due by July 16, 2021.

USCIS expects to announce award recipients in September 2021.

“We do take a lot of time in vetting them, if they are going to be the conduit for the agency and applicants we want to make sure they’re reputable organizations,” said Maria Elena Upson, USCIS spokesperson.

Since 2009, the USCIS Citizenship and Integration Grant Program says it has awarded about $102 million through 473 grants to immigrant-serving organizations providing citizenship preparation services to more than 279,000 lawful permanent residents in 39 states and the District of Columbia.

To apply for these grants, visit www.grants.gov.

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