Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security

USCIS Citizenship and Civic Integration Resources for Local Governments

Local communities play an important role in welcoming and assisting immigrants. USCIS has developed a list of resources for municipal governments interested in supporting citizenship and preventing immigration scams. Below are ways we can work together to help strengthen civic integration efforts in your community through proactive citizenship awareness, education, and outreach activities.

Outreach/Community Engagement

  • Local USCIS field offices regularly

  • In June 2011, we launched the Unauthorized Practice of Immigration Law (UPIL) initiative to combat immigration scams by equipping applicants, legal service providers, and community-based organizations with the knowledge and tools they need to detect and protect themselves from dishonest practices. A variety of educational tools, public service announcements, and information on finding authorized legal assistance is available on our Avoid Scams web page

  • Libraries play an important role in raising awareness about the naturalization process and the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship. Create a dedicated space in the library as a Citizenship Corner where immigrants can find information about becoming a U.S. citizen.

  • Recognizing the importance and effectiveness of the Internet for disseminating information, we developed a sample web page with helpful links. We recommend incorporating naturalization information on your government’s website directing users to USCIS web-based resources.

    • Link to USCIS resources by adding a widget to your website. The widgets are small online applications in English and Spanish that can be embedded on social media sites, blogs, or other web pages.

  • USCIS has Community Relations Officers in each of its 26 districts. We have field offices in 73 cities and 40 states. Use the office locator to find an office in your area.

Training and Technical Assistance

  • We offer free training seminars for adult educators, volunteers, and teachers. These seminars are designed to enhance the skills needed to teach U.S. history, civics, and the naturalization process to immigrant students. We often partner with state and local agencies when hosting these events and are looking to expand our training opportunities in both new immigrant gateways and established immigrant population centers. To request a training event, please send an email to office.of.citizenship@uscis.dhs.gov

  • Download a start-up guide providing an overview and recommendations on designing and implementing English as a Second Language (ESL) and civics/citizenship classes for immigrants along with lesson plans and teaching strategies for novice and seasoned ESL instructors. You can find it in the Teachers section of this site.

  • We developed a series of training modules for volunteers in adult citizenship education classrooms or other learning environments. These training modules are designed to provide volunteers with a basic understanding of adult second language acquisition and the naturalization process, including the interview and test. After reviewing the modules, volunteers can use this information to help prepare learners for the naturalization process.

Citizenship Education and Naturalization Preparation Grants

  • Public schools, local public education agencies, and state and local governments can apply for federal funding under the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program as long as they have demonstrated experience in providing citizenship education and/or naturalization preparation services to permanent residents. Future funding opportunities are dependent upon congressional action.

Educational Resources

  • We offer one free copy of the Civics and Citizenship Toolkit to immigrant-serving organizations, including state and local governments. The Toolkit contains a prepackaged set of educational materials designed to help permanent residents learn more about the United States and prepare for the naturalization process.

  • The Citizenship Resource Center provides naturalization information, study materials, and resources for adult learners, teachers, and immigrant-serving organizations. This site also includes downloadable posters and flyers promoting the rights, responsibilities, and importance of U.S. citizenship.

  • USCIS also maintains www.welcometousa.gov, the federal government’s primary web portal for new immigrants to find basic information on how to settle in the United States.

  • An orientation guide entitled, Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants, is available in 14 languages. This guide contains practical information to help immigrants settle into everyday life in the United States, as well as basic civics information that introduces new immigrants to the U.S. system of government.

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