Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security
Share This PageShare This Page PrintPrint

Citizenship and Integration Grant Program

Fiscal Year 2015 Citizenship and Integration Grant Program

On April 1, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began accepting applications for the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program, a competitive grant funding opportunity for organizations that prepare permanent residents for naturalization and promote civic integration through increased knowledge of English, U.S. history and civics. USCIS will offer up to $10 million in competitive funding for citizenship preparation programs in communities across the country.

This funding opportunity is for public or non-profit organizations that prepare permanent residents for citizenship by offering both citizenship instruction and naturalization application services. Applications are due by May 15, 2015.

Funding Opportunity:DHS-15-CIS-010-002
Application Deadline:May 15, 2015 (No extensions)
Estimated Number of Awards:Up to 40
Anticipated Funding Amount:Up to $10,000,000
Performance Period:Two years (comprising two one-year budget periods)
Anticipated Award Date:September 17, 2015
Maximum Grant Award:Maximum grant award is $250,000 ($125,000 for the first year budget period and $125,000 for the second year budget period)

How to Apply

Program Requirements
Determining Eligibility
Past Grant Recipients
Application Information
Contact Information
Background

Program Requirements

To be eligible for funding, you must provide the following two types of services under the program:

1. Citizenship instruction to prepare lawful permanent residents for the civics (U.S. history and government) and English (reading, writing, and speaking) components of the naturalization test. Your organization must:

  • Use a nationally normed standardized test of English proficiency to place students in classes and assess their progress;
  • Provide at least 40 hours of citizenship instruction over an 8-15 week class cycle for students at or below the NRS1 high intermediate level; 
  • Enroll a minimum of 200 non-duplicated2 lawful permanent residents in citizenship classes with a minimum of 40 hours of instruction over the two year period of performance; and
  • Use citizenship teachers who have at least one year of experience teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) or citizenship to adults.3

2. Naturalization application services, within the scope of the authorized practice of immigration law, to support lawful permanent residents in the naturalization application and interview process. Your organization must:

  • Provide naturalization eligibility screening;
  • Prepare and submit a minimum of 200 Forms N-400, Application for Naturalization with Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative over the two year period of performance;
  • Provide ongoing case management;
  • Use a BIA accredited representative or an attorney who is an employee at your organization or at the sub-awardee organization. (You may use pro bono or volunteer attorneys to supplement the program in addition to a staff attorney or BIA accredited representative.) Attorneys and BIA accredited representatives must sign each Form N-400 as the preparer, submit Form G-28 with each Form N-400 filed under this grant, and mail the naturalization application package to USCIS on behalf of the client.

Services may also include interview preparation, a representative’s appearance at the naturalization interview, and filing of other forms or documents (such as Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions), if applicable.

Determining Eligibility

1. You must be an organization with public or nonprofit status. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Public or private nonprofit organizations
  • Public school systems, universities and community colleges
  • Civic, community and faith-based organizations
  • Adult-education organizations
  • Public libraries
  • Volunteer and literacy organizations
  • State and local governments

2. At the time you apply, you and any sub-awardees that propose to provide citizenship instruction must have, in the past three years, provided at least one year of direct service citizenship instruction in a classroom setting that follows a curriculum.

3. At the time you apply, you and any sub-awardees that propose to provide naturalization application services must have, in the past three years, provided at least one year of naturalization application services within the authorized practice of immigration law to clients, and must:

  • Be recognized by the BIA and have at least one BIA accredited representative employee with experience providing clients with naturalization representation; or
  • Have at least one attorney employee with experience providing clients with naturalization representation.

Past Grant Recipients

If you received a grant under the fiscal year (FY) 2014 Citizenship and Integration Grant Program funding opportunity DHS-14-CIS-010-002, you are ineligible for the FY 2015 funding opportunity because the FY 2014 program’s two-year period of performance will not expire before the start of the new program.

Application Information

You must apply electronically for this grant using the application package and instructions available at www.grants.gov. You can find detailed application instructions in the notice of funding opportunity and on www.grants.gov.

You and any sub-applicants applying for federal funding must have a Dun and Bradstreet Universal Data Numbering System (DUNS) number and must register with the System for Award Management (SAM).

The Grants.gov website at http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html provides step-by-step instructions for obtaining a DUNS number and registering with SAM. USCIS strongly encourages you to obtain or update all registrations related to Grants.gov before the May 15, 2015 deadline. USCIS has developed a tip sheet to help you prepare your proposals.

Contact Information

For additional information and updates on the FY 2015 Citizenship and Integration Grant Program, visit www.uscis.gov/grants or email the USCIS Office of Citizenship at citizenshipgrantprogram@uscis.dhs.gov.

USCIS will hold a stakeholder engagement on April 14, 2015, to address questions about this grant opportunity. For more information on this engagement, visit http://www.uscis.gov/outreach/upcoming-national-engagements/upcoming-national-engagements. To learn more about applying for federal funding opportunities, visit www.grants.gov or contact the Grants.gov support line at 1-800-518-4726.

Please direct all media inquiries to the USCIS Office of Communications at 202-272-1200.

Background

Since the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program began in FY 2009, USCIS has awarded approximately $43 million through 222 grants to immigrant-serving organizations that have provided citizenship preparation services to more than 100,000 permanent residents in 35 states and the District of Columbia.  

Through this grant opportunity, USCIS seeks to expand the availability of high-quality citizenship preparation services. Increased learning opportunities and additional citizenship instruction resources in communities will help permanent residents improve their English language skills, increase their knowledge of U.S. history and government, and understand the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizens. Expanding the availability of citizenship preparation programs will help interested permanent residents access the support they need to successfully become U.S. citizens.


1National Reporting System for Adult Education (NRS)

2Each student may only be counted once, even if he or she enrolls in multiple classes.

3All teachers under this program, whether volunteer or paid, must meet this requirement.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 04/01/2015