WASHINGTON— The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the open application period for the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program, which provides funding for citizenship preparation programs in communities across the country. The program will provide up to $20 million in grants, an increase from $10 million in funding last year.
“Through our Citizenship and Integration Grant Program, we are helping to provide integration services to noncitizens on their journeys to becoming American citizens,” said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “By adding additional funding opportunities, organizations will be able to reach more communities and ensure noncitizens have access to the tools and resources needed for citizenship education.”
“This year, the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program is more robust than ever,” said USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou. “These organizations are helping immigrants become citizens and integrate into the United States, and I am pleased that this year’s program will support innovative initiatives and deepen regional and local collaboration to reach more geographic areas around the country.”
These competitive grant opportunities are open to organizations that prepare immigrants for naturalization and promote civic integration through increased knowledge of English, U.S. history, and civics. In addition to the traditional programs that fund citizenship and English acquisition classes, the 2022 grants have been expanded to include opportunities for creative and innovative approaches to preparing immigrants for naturalization.
USCIS 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 immigrants. USCIS expects to award 42 organizations up to $300,000 each for two years through this opportunity. Applications are due by Aug. 5, 2022.
- Community and Regional Integration Network Grant: This grant opportunity will provide extended integration services with a focus on individualized programming to certain immigrants, including those who entered the United States under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, were granted asylum, or were admitted or entered the United States as a Cuban or Haitian entrant, to attain the skills and knowledge required for successful citizenship. The program, which was formerly called the Refugee and Asylee Integration Services Grant, has expanded eligibility to include organizations that serve the following: individuals who were admitted or entered the United States as Cuban or Haitian entrants; individuals admitted on a Special Immigrant Visa; victims of human trafficking and criminal activity; and abused spouses, children, and parents under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). USCIS expects to award three to six public or nonprofit organizations with experience serving vulnerable populations up to $300,000 each for a period of two years through this opportunity. Applications are due by Aug. 5, 2022.
- Regional Hub Program: This new grant opportunity is designed to fund regional or statewide citizenship support networks that build capacity among their affiliates or members to provide direct citizenship preparation services to immigrants. Applicants are expected to serve as a hub for communication and information sharing on citizenship preparation among their affiliates or members and within the broader community. USCIS anticipates awarding approximately five to ten grants of up to $1,000,000 each for a period of two years through this opportunity. Applications are due by Aug. 5, 2022.
- Innovations in Citizenship Education Program: This new grant opportunity is designed to amplify innovation. USCIS will award innovation grants to organizations that foster creative approaches to preparing immigrants for naturalization and encouraging the civic, linguistic, and cultural integration of immigrants into their communities. USCIS expects to award approximately twenty-five organizations up to $250,000 each for a period of two years through this opportunity. Applications are due by Aug. 5, 2022.
Since 2009, the USCIS Citizenship and Integration Grant Program has awarded $112 million through 513 grants to immigrant-serving organizations. These grant recipients have provided citizenship preparation services to more than 300,000 immigrants in thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia. USCIS received support from Congress through appropriations to make these funding opportunities available to communities and expects to announce award recipients in September 2022.