The USCIS is the agency that handles most, if not all, of the important immigration forms ranging from work permits, to green card applications, to the N-400 citizenship application. For immigrants, one of the hardest parts of being admitted to the United States, or finally going on to receive a green card or becoming a U.S. citizen is often having all of the right application materials to send to the agency, and knowing how to fill out and complete all of the forms that the USCIS has on their website.  

This is where Visa2us and other third party platforms come in handy by helping explain to potential applicants how to complete forms for the USCIS, which supporting documents are needed for each application, and other important procedural elements that need to be completed. The guidance that is offered can be the difference between a rejected or accepted application.

Civics and Naturalization

Additionally, organizations that help immigrants move from being a legal permanent resident to a fully naturalized citizen are important because they help immigrants move to the final step of having the full rights and protection of citizenship. This too is a difficult process because applicants (legal permanent residents) need to have a good understanding of the U.S. constitution and its principles, have an understanding of the history of the United States and how the government functions, and moreover be able to read and write in English.

USCIS Grant Program

Thus preparing for citizenship might seem daunting to some who don’t have a full command of the English language, or don’t have a lot of time in their schedules to take lectures or classes on U.S. civics with a focus on U.S. citizenship. However the USCIS has recently announced that it will be accepting applications for two funding opportunities under the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program. The grant opportunities will provide up to $10 million in grants for citizenship preparation programs in communities across the country.

These competitive grant opportunities are open to organizations that prepare lawful permanent residents for naturalization and promote civic integration through increased knowledge of English, U.S. history, and civics.

The USCIS recently shored up this funding through approval and support from Congress.

How Does it Work?

The grant program essentially awards money to different public or non-profit organizations throughout the U.S. that offer both citizenship instruction and naturalization application services to lawful permanent residents. USCIS expects to award 33 organizations up to $250,000 each for two years through this opportunity.

The USCIS also issues grant funding to organizations (public or non-profit) that take a specialized approach to refugees and asylees already living in the U.S., and helping such individuals integrate into American society.

The grant funding comes at a critical time when many small organizations are strapped for cash due to Covid related problems that have accrued over the past fiscal year. Winning a grant in either category can help revamp programs that were once dedicated to helping immigrants on their path to naturalization, and increase the resource base and tools that are needed to successfully help N-400 applicants ace the U.S. citizenship test. To find out more about this grant program, please see www.grants.gov, or visit www.uscis.gov/grants or email the USCIS Office of Citizenship at citizenshipgrantprogram@uscis.dhs.gov.

Keywords
USCIS Naturalization