Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program

USCIS Awards Fiscal Year 2017 Citizenship and Assimilation Grants

Nearly $10 Million Will Expand Citizenship Preparation Services in 26 States


On Sept. 28, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the award of nearly $10 million in grants to 45 organizations to help permanent residents prepare for naturalization. The grants also help these organizations promote prospective citizens’ assimilation into American civic life by funding educational programs designed to increase their knowledge of English, U.S. history, and civics. Located in 26 states, these organizations will receive federal funding to support citizenship preparation services for lawful permanent residents through September 2019. 


Since it began in 2009, the USCIS Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program has awarded a total of $73 million through 353 competitive grants to immigrant-serving organizations in 37 states and the District of Columbia. Now in its ninth year, the program has helped more than 190,000 permanent residents prepare for citizenship.

USCIS anticipates that approximately 25,000 permanent residents will receive citizenship preparation services by Sept. 30, 2019, as a result of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 awards issued through the grant program. An additional 12,000 permanent residents will be served under the ongoing FY 2016 program, which continues through Sept. 30, 2018.

USCIS awarded the grants through two competitive funding opportunities. The first funding opportunity supports organizations that provide citizenship instruction and naturalization application assistance. The second funding opportunity either assists non-profit organizations that have not previously received a grant from USCIS to establish new citizenship instruction programs, or helps organizations expand the quality and reach of their existing citizenship instruction programs.

Organizations that receive grants under this program can only use grant funds to provide services to immigrants who have been lawfully admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence.

Grant Recipient Organizations

Under the Citizenship Instruction and Naturalization Application Services funding opportunity, DHS-17-CIS-010-002, grant recipients are public or private nonprofit organizations with recent experience providing citizenship instruction and naturalization application assistance to permanent residents. These organizations include community and faith-based groups, public libraries, and adult education and literacy organizations.

Under the Citizenship Instruction funding opportunity, DHS-17-CIS-010-001, grant recipients are local public or private nonprofit organizations that have at least one year of experience providing English as a second language instruction in a classroom setting that follows a curriculum. The organizations include faith-based groups, and community and literacy organizations.

The FY 2017 recipient organizations serve both traditional immigrant population centers and emerging immigrant population centers in 26 states nationwide. The grant recipients will provide citizenship preparation services to approximately 25,000 U.S. permanent residents originally from more than 50 countries. The grant recipients represent:

  • Sixteen of the top 20 states with the largest permanent resident populations: California, New York, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, Georgia, Washington, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Minnesota and Colorado. 
  • Nine of the top ten metropolitan areas with the most new permanent residents in the past ten years: New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Atlanta.
  • Nine of the top ten states with the most naturalizations over the last ten years: California, New York, Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Georgia.

FY 2017 Grant Recipients

Grant recipients (in alphabetical order):

Citizenship Instruction and Naturalization Application Services

Organization Location
Asian Americans Advancing Justice Los Angeles, Calif.
Asian Counseling and Referral Service Seattle, Wash.
Asian Services in Action, Inc. Akron, Ohio
Association of Africans Living In Vermont Burlington, Vt.
Baker-Ripley Bellaire, Texas
Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, Inc. New Orleans, La.
Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas, Inc. Overland Park, Kan.
Catholic Charities of Orange County, Inc. Santa Ana, Calif.
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Fort Worth, Inc. Fort Worth, Texas
Center for Legal Immigration Assistance Lincoln, Neb.
Central American Resource Center of California Los Angeles, Calif.
Church World Service, Inc. Durham, N.C.
Coalition of Florida Farmworker Organizations Florida City, Fla.
Colorado African Organization Denver, Colo.
Emerald Isle Immigration Center Woodside, N.Y.
English Skills Learning Center Salt Lake City, Utah
Fresno Unified School District Fresno, Calif.
HIAS and Council Migration Services Philadelphia, Pa.
Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota Saint Paul, Minn.
Instituto del Progreso Latino Chicago, Ill.
International Institute of the Bay Area San Francisco, Calif.
International Institute of Metro Detroit Detroit, Mich.
International Institute of Metropolitan St. Louis St. Louis, Mo.
International Rescue Committee, Inc. San Diego, Calif.
Jewish Family and Vocational Service of Middlesex County, Inc. Milltown, N.J.
Jewish Family Service of San Diego San Diego, Calif.
Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts Springfield, Mass.
Kentucky Refugee Ministries, Inc. Louisville, Ky.
Latin American Association Atlanta, Ga.
Lutheran Community Services Northwest Portland, Ore.
Make the Road New York New York, N.Y.
Montgomery College Rockville, Md.
Progreso Latino, Inc. Central Falls, R.I.
Resurrection Project Chicago, Ill.
School Board of Miami-Dade County Miami, FL
SEIU 1199 League Training and Upgrading Fund New York, N.Y.
Shorefront YM-YWHA of Brighton Beach-Manhattan Beach Brooklyn, N.Y.

Citizenship Instruction

Organization Location
Center for Pan Asian Community Services, Inc. Atlanta, Ga.
Interfaith Works of Central New York, Inc. Syracuse, N.Y.
Keystone Opportunity Center, Inc. Souderton, Pa.
Nashville International Center for Empowerment Nashville, Tenn.
Pars Equality Center Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Project Learn of Summit County Akron, Ohio
North Bergen Free Public Library North Bergen, N.J.
YMCA of the University of Illinois Champaign, Ill.

Review Process

As part of the grant review process, USCIS reviewed more than 120 eligible applications using three-member teams to evaluate each proposal. The reviewers scored applications numerically using published evaluation criteria. USCIS ranked the applications under each funding opportunity based on their average scores. The USCIS internal review panel determined the final list of recipients based on the ranked order, as well as the published strategic program priorities found on page 33-34 of the notice of funding opportunity for DHS-17-CIS-010-002 (PDF) and on page 24-25 of the notice of funding opportunity for DHS-17-CIS-010-001 (PDF).

Contact Information

For additional information on the Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program, please contact the USCIS Office of Citizenship at or visit

To learn more about applying for federal funding opportunities, visit or call 800-518-4726.

Last Reviewed/Updated: