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Fact Sheet: FY 2011 Citizenship and Integration Grant Program

Introduction

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today the availability of three competitive grant funding opportunities designed to help prepare lawful permanent residents (LPRs) for citizenship and promote immigrant integration in the United States. USCIS will offer approximately $8.5 million for citizenship preparation programs in communities across the country.

Background

Under the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011, Congress authorized $11 million to enhance immigrant integration initiatives within USCIS, the majority of which will support the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program. The fiscal year (FY) 2011 program will include three competitive funding opportunities and approximately $8.5 million to support citizenship preparation services for LPRs.

Two of the grant opportunities will strengthen citizenship preparation programs that provide direct services in communities across the country. The third grant opportunity will increase the capacity of members or affiliates of national, regional or statewide organizations to offer citizenship services in underserved communities. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and USCIS’s Office of Citizenship anticipate offering 35 awards, subject to the availability of funds. Grant recipients will be announced in September 2011.

Through these competitive grant programs, USCIS seeks to expand citizenship preparation programs for LPRs to ensure that those who are committed to the goal of U.S. citizenship have access to the support they need to be successful. Grant funding may only be used to provide direct citizenship preparation services to LPRs. Increased learning opportunities and additional citizenship education resources in communities will help LPRs improve their English language skills and increase their knowledge of U.S. history and government as they prepare for citizenship.

Citizenship and Integration Direct Services Grant Program – Citizenship Instruction Only

This funding opportunity will focus on organizations providing citizenship instruction to prepare LPRs for the civics and English (reading, writing and speaking) components of the naturalization test. Citizenship instruction must include:

  • U.S. history and government (i.e., civics) instruction; and
  • Civics-focused English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction.

Grant funds may also be used for:

  • Outreach to inform LPRs of services offered through this grant-funded program;
  • Staff professional development;
  • Educational resources; and
  • Volunteer training.

Eligible applicants are organizations with public or non-profit status that can demonstrate recent experience providing citizenship instruction to immigrants. This includes, but is not limited to: public or private non-profit organizations; public school systems, universities and community colleges; civic, community and faith-based organizations; adult-education organizations; public libraries; volunteer and literacy organizations; and state and local governments.  

Funding Opportunity: DHS-11-CIS-010-001
Application Deadline: April 1, 2011 (No extensions)
Estimated Number of Awards: 10
Anticipated Funding Amount: $1,500,000
Performance Period:  Two years (comprising two one-year budget periods)  
Anticipated Award Date: September 2011
Maximum Grant Award: $150,000 ($75,000 for the first year budget period and $75,000      for the second year budget period)

Citizenship and Integration Direct Services Grant Program – Citizenship Instruction and Naturalization Application Services

This funding opportunity will focus on organizations who prepare LPRs for citizenship by offering both citizenship instruction and naturalization application services. Proposed activities must include the following two components:

  • Citizenship instruction (as described above); and
  • Naturalization application services, within the scope of authorized practice of immigration law, to support the naturalization application and interview process. 

Grant funds may also be used for:

  • Outreach to inform LPRs of services offered through this grant-funded program;
  • Staff professional development;
  • Educational resources; and
  • Volunteer training.

Eligible applicants are organizations with public or non-profit status with demonstrated recent experience providing direct citizenship instruction and naturalization application services to immigrants. This includes, but is not limited to: public or private non-profit organizations; public school systems, universities and community colleges; civic, community and faith-based organizations; adult-education organizations; public libraries; volunteer and literacy organizations; and state and local governments. 

Eligible organizations must be recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and have a BIA accredited representative, or have an attorney, either on-site or off-site, who provides or supervises the naturalization application services. 

Funding Opportunity:   DHS-11-CIS-010-002
Application Deadline:   April 1, 2011 (No extensions)
Estimated Number of Awards: 20
Anticipated Funding Amount:   $4,000,000
Performance Period:       Two years (comprising two one-year budget periods)
Anticipated Award Date:     September 2011
Maximum Grant Award:  $200,000 ($100,000 for the first year budget period and $100,000 for the second year budget period)

Citizenship and Integration National Capacity Building Grant Program

This funding opportunity will provide grants to national, regional or statewide organizations for costs associated with program management, organizational capacity building and technical assistance, as well as costs for affiliates or members to develop and implement sustainable local citizenship preparation programs.

Principal applicants must propose four sub-applicants within the grant application. The principal applicant should select the sub-applicants based on the sub-applicants need for, and potential to benefit from, the capacity building and technical assistance services provided by the principal applicant. The objective of this funding opportunity is to build the sub-applicants’ long-term capacity to provide direct citizenship instruction and naturalization application services to LPRs. The four sub-applicants may not be located in the same city or locality.

Eligible principal applicants are national, regional or statewide organizations that can demonstrate recent experience providing capacity building and technical assistance to organizations to develop direct citizenship preparation programs. Eligible principal applicants must have proven subject-matter expertise in citizenship instruction and naturalization application services. Principal applicants must be public or private non-profit organizations with an established multi-site network of affiliates or members to serve as sub-applicants. Sub-applicants included by the principal applicant in this funding announcement are not eligible to apply for either of the FY 2011 Citizenship and Integration Direct Services Grant Programs (DHS-11-CIS-010-001 and DHS-11-CIS-010-002). 

Funding Opportunity:    DHS-11-CIS-010-003
Application Deadline:    April 1, 2011 (No extensions)
Estimated Number of Awards:  Five
Anticipated Funding Amount:  $3,000,000
Performance Period:      A mandatory two-year performance period from Oct. 1, 2011 to Sept. 30, 2013
Anticipated Award Date:    September 2011
Maximum Grant Award:   $600,000

Application Information

Organizations must apply electronically for these grants using the application package and instructions available at www.grants.gov. Detailed application instructions can be found in the FOAs and on www.grants.gov

All applicants and sub-applicants applying for federal funding must have a Dun and Bradstreet Universal Data Numbering System (DUNS) number. Instructions for obtaining a DUNS number can be found at www.grants.gov/GetStarted.

Once your organization has a DUNS number, applicants must next register with the Central Contractor Registry. The Grants.gov website at www.grants.gov/GetStarted provides step-by-step instructions for registering with the Central Contractor Registry. DHS strongly encourages applicants to obtain or update all registrations related to Grants.gov well in advance of the April 1, 2011 deadline.

Contact Information

For additional information and updates on the FY 2011 Citizenship and Integration Grant Program, visit www.uscis.gov/grants or contact the USCIS Office of Citizenship by phone at 202-272-1280 or by e-mail at citizenshipgrantprogram@dhs.gov.

A stakeholder engagement will be held for those with questions regarding the grant program. For more information on this engagement, visit www.uscis.gov/nationalevents

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.

Media inquiries should be directed to USCIS Office of Communications at 202-272-1200.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 01/20/2011