Earlier this month, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services department announced that there is currently a competitive grant opportunity that was designed to prepare permanent residents for citizenship and promote civic integration. The program this year will be offering roughly $5 million in communities across the country for citizenship preparation programs.
The main goal of this grant is that the USCIS hopes to use the opportunity to spread the availability of quality citizenship preparation services. If an organization applies for the grant and is accepted, it will receive funding to help offer citizenship instruction and naturalization application services to all permanent residents. There are estimated to be 31 grant recipients, and they are expected to be announced in September 2012.
The USCIS has awarded over $18 million through 111 grants to immigrant-serving organizations since the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program was created in 2009. Those award dollars have gone a long way in providing citizenship services to over 28,000 permanent residents spanning 30 states and the District of Columbia.
If an organization wishes to apply for this grant, they should go to grants.gov and fill out an application there. The applications are due no later than May 7, 2012, and the USCIS recommends all applicants file as soon as possible, so that in case there are any potential issues with applications, they can be sorted out before the deadline.