The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has awarded US$9.425 million in grants to 40 organisations across 19 states to help prepare lawful permanent residents (LPRs) for naturalisation.
The grants, which run from now to 2020, aim to promote prospective citizens’ assimilation into American life by funding educationl programs designed to increase their knowledge of English, US history, and civics.
USCIS awarded the grants through two competitive funding opportunities. The first funding opportunity supports organisations that provide citizenship instruction and naturalisation application assistance to LPRs.
The second funding opportunity supports organizations that provide extended assimilation services to LPRs who have entered the US as refugees or asylum seekers.
Organisations 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 US for permanent residence.
In making final award decisions, USCIS considered various program and organisational 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 US$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 30th September 2020, as a result of the latest grants. An additional 12,500 LPRs continue to receive services from a first round of grants issued in 2017.
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 naturalisation to immigrants.
USCIS also maintains the Citizenship Resource Centre, 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 US citizenship among the estimated 8.9 million LPRs nationwide who are eligible to apply for naturalisation.
Article published 25th September 2018