In July 2018, the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service announced a grant program that would offer up to $10 million in funding to agencies that help lawful permanent residents prepare for their naturalization petitions. The program may help Illinois residents who want to apply to become naturalized citizens prepare for their interviews, tests, and other aspects of the naturalization process. The funds will be available to agencies, not individual applicants. The program could help residents have a greater chance to succeed in their petitions for naturalization.
Grant Program From the USCIS
The USCIS announced that it would use fees it has collected to offer a number of grants totaling up to $10 million through its Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program. The money will be available to pro-immigrant organizations that help immigrants prepare for the naturalization process and provide them with help in learning civics, English, and U.S. history. The grants will be offered in two categories.
The first category of grants will be given to 36 agencies that help immigrants by offering services for naturalization applications as well as education to help them with the U.S. history, civics, and English portions of the naturalization test. The second category of grants will go to four agencies that help immigrants who originally entered the U.S. as refugees prepare for naturalization. Grants in the second category will go to agencies that work to help refugees develop the skills and knowledge they will need to become U.S. citizens.
In the fiscal year 2018, USCIS announced that it had awarded $9.425 million in grants to 40 agencies across the U.S. that provide services to lawful permanent residents to prepare for naturalization. The agencies and organizations that received the grants will be funded through the program through 2020.
The Citizenship and Assimilation Grant Program has offered grants to organizations that serve immigrants since it was established in 2009. Through the program, USCIS has awarded 393 grants totaling $82 million to agencies located in 38 U.S. states.
Agencies that might be interested in applying for grants through the program should be aware that the process is competitive. They might want to begin preparing their grant applications and watch for information about deadlines for the next funding round.