USCIS Announces Citizenship Grants

On September 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced this year’s grantees for its immigrant integration initiative. The agency is awarding nearly $10 million to 40 organizations in 24 states and the District of Columbia. Grants are awarded to organization that will provide citizenship instruction and naturalization application services to eligible Legal Permanent Residents. More than 160 organizations applied for the USCIS grants.

This year’s awardees are an interesting mix of organizations: community organizations, such as Asian Services in Action (Akron, Ohio); national and local faith-based immigration service organizations; educational institutions, such as Baltimore City Community College; literacy organizations, such as the Nashville Adult Literacy Council; a municipality (Littleton, Colorado); and a public library (Hartford, Connecticut).

This is the sixth year of the grant program and, in total, $43 million has been awarded in 222 grants. USCIS estimates that the grant program has helped 93,000 permanent residents prepare for citizenship.

While the Obama Administration has been supportive of the government’s efforts to promote U.S. citizenship, congressional support for the integration grants program has been mixed. This year, $2.5 million of the $10 million USCIS is spending on the citizenship grants is coming from a congressional appropriation. The remainder, $7.5 million, is coming from an account funded by the fees immigrants pay for naturalization and other immigration services. That account must fund the adjudications of all immigration-related applications, including the applications of individuals who are exempt from paying fees, such as refugees and certain very poor people.

The long-term sustainability of the citizenship grant program will depend on a congressional decision that it is important for the government to promote American citizenship. In the meantime, we can celebrate the awarding of another round of grants to our hard-working colleagues around the country. Congratulations!

Posted on September 22, 2014

Our Impact

  • The Campaign has completed over 3,700 naturalization workshops and clinics.
  • Over 250,000 citizenship applications completed since July 2011.

    Saved aspiring citizens and their families over $206million in legal and application fees.
  • Adopted scalable technology. MP3 players, Google Voice, and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services are being used to enhance naturalization service delivery.
  • Expanded New American Workforce (an effort to provide naturalization assistance within corporations) which has partnered with over 100 businesses across the nation, ranging from hotels in Miami to American Apparel in Los Angeles.
  • Deployed Citizenshipworks, an online tool, across the Campaign in multiple settings and languages. A newly redesigned platform guides applicants through through their citizenship application from start to finish and connects applicants to legal help at partnering non-profits.
  • Were instrumental in inspiring the US Citizenship and Immigration Service to support the Citizenship Corners initiative.
  • Created innovative partnerships with public libraries, school districts, universities, social service agencies, and employers, all of which yield not only greater numbers of applicants but also greater awareness of the naturalization process.
  • Deployed a large-scale volunteer recruitment program through an e-learning course.

    Reached diverse communities. Local partners consistently outreach and provide culturally competent and language-appropriate services.
Learn more from our
Impact Report.

Get Citizenship Help

Who We're Helping

People come to America from all over the world with dreams of achieving a better life for themselves and their families and calling this great nation home. Eight million people who live, work, and pay taxes in this country are eligible for citizenship, yet only about eight percent of them naturalize each year. Find out more about these individuals and the barriers they face.Read More