Since 2009, the Citizenship and Integration Grant Programme has taken part in a broad initiative to offer immigrants and organizations that help immigrants with tools, support, and information for citizenship preparation.
The programme has given out 579 competitive grants total of around $132 million, to organizations that assist immigrants in 39 states and the District of Columbia. Over 300,000 lawful permanent residents (LPRs) have benefited from the program’s assistance as they prepare to become citizens.
The primary objective of the citizenship and integration grant programme has often been to help LPRs apply for citizenship and give citizenship education. The Citizenship and Integration Grant Programme has awarded grants to various organizations, including community and faith-based groups, public libraries, and adult education and literacy programmes.
Nonprofit organizations that created new citizenship education programmes improved the standard and scope of their current citizenship education programmes or offered ongoing integration services to LPRs who had just arrived in the country have occasionally been given more opportunities. To strengthen nationwide capacity, the grant programme has also given funds to associates or members of national organizations that provide citizenship preparation services in localities nationwide.
Grant Programme for Citizenship and Integration: New Approaches to Citizenship
To increase the availability of high-quality citizenship preparation services for immigrants across the country and to give immigrants opportunities to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for citizenship, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), External Affairs Directorate (EXA), and Office of Citizenship, Partnership, and Engagement (OCPE) are currently accepting applications for the Citizenship and Integration Grant Programme (CIGP).
The Innovations in Citizenship Preparation funding opportunity (Innovations) is intended to encourage and amplify creative methods for assisting immigrants in becoming citizens and promoting their civic, linguistic, economic, and cultural integration. The Innovations programme invests in projects that develop, test, and share innovative solutions for removing obstacles to naturalization and increasing access to citizenship education and preparation services, in contrast to USCIS’ other funding opportunities, which support particular citizenship preparation services. Thanks to this financing opportunity, organizations can create, test, and share innovative ideas for removing conventional barriers to naturalization. Innovations are accessible to all public, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations because they want to make this opportunity available to as many people as possible.
According to a statement from U.S. Citizenship and Integration Services (USCIS), applications are now being accepted for the Citizenship and Integration Grant Programme. The subsidies are offered competitively to charity or public-sector organizations that help immigrants eligible for naturalization by offering citizenship preparatory programmes and application support.
The Citizenship and Integration Grant Programme presents a significant opportunity to acquire the necessary funds for naturalization and integration programmes around the United States. Organizations must satisfy a set of requirements defined by USCIS to be eligible for grant funding. The adequate preparation of people for naturalization is required by permitted organizations, who also have to encourage civic integration by enhancing English, civics, and American history knowledge.
Nonprofit organizations, both public and private, are eligible to apply. Public school systems, universities, community colleges, civic, communal, and religious organizations, adult education programmes, public libraries, volunteer and literacy groups, and state and municipal governments are other groups that qualify. Organizations that received financing in the fiscal year 2014 are not eligible for funding in the fiscal year 2015 since grants run for a two-year term.
- Approximately $3.6 million in government funds will be available to qualified organizations in fiscal year (FY) 2023 to support their innovative citizenship preparation programmes and efforts to remove naturalization-related obstacles. USCIS plans to give out up to 14 awards, each worth up to $250,000.
- An estimated 9.2 million LPRs may be eligible to naturalize in the United States, according to data from the DHS Office of Immigration Statistics and the public-facing USCIS Eligible to Naturalise Data Dashboard. It is essential for the country’s security, economic success, and future based on its founding laws and ideals that this population be granted citizenship. USCIS will consider applications for all kinds of innovations that boost citizenship preparation and remove impediments to naturalization to assist communities and organizations in finding innovative methods to motivate and support persons on the path to citizenship. Under this financing opportunity, innovations primarily intended to benefit non-LPRs will not be considered.
- Citizenship preparation refers to activities that help LPRs comprehend the importance and value of U.S. citizenship and the English and civics sections of the naturalization test. The Innovations programme looks for innovative approaches to assist LPRs in overcoming naturalization obstacles rather than funding conventional citizenship preparatory programmes. The best applications will contain programme goals linked to obtaining U.S. citizenship and innovations addressing current and possible challenges in citizenship preparation.
Innovations that appeal to elusive communities are of great importance to USCIS. Such populations could include, but are not restricted to:
- LPRs who live in remote places or other isolated areas without access to resources for citizenship education; or
- LPRs whose employment involves travel (such as migratory labourers, nurses, truck drivers, etc.), which makes it challenging for them to attend in-person classes for a sizable amount of time;
- LPRs who need significant assistance to get ready for the naturalization process because they are preliterate or have low reading abilities in their home language;
- LPRs who have traditionally been marginalized (such as the elderly, women, crime victims, etc.); and
- LPRs who may require assistance to complete the naturalization process effectively and who are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- $3,600,000 is the NOFO’s currently available budget.
- Number of Awards Anticipated: 14
- $250,000 is the maximum award amount.
- Performance Duration: 24 months
- Start Date for Projected Performance Period: 10/1/2023
- End Date Projected for Performance Period: 9/30/2025
The following entities may apply for this announcement:
- City or township governments
- County governments
- Independent school districts
- Indian/Native American tribal governments (federally recognized)
- Indian/Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
- Indian/Native American Tribally Designated Organization
- Public/Indian Housing Authority
- Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) IRS status, other than institutions of higher education
- Private institutions of higher education
- Public & state-controlled institutions of higher education
- Special district governments
- State governments
- Small businesses
- For-profit organizations other than small businesses
People who are eligible for citizenship have been motivated and will continue to be motivated by the availability of these benefits. Organizations that aim to assist immigrants in becoming new Americans should apply for one of these awards.