The Office of Citizenship (OoC), within U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is charged with promoting instruction and training on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
USCIS recognizes that naturalization is an important milestone
in the civic integration of immigrants.
Naturalization requirements, such as knowledge of English and of U. S. history and civics, encourage civic learning and build a strong foundation upon which immigrants can exercise their rights and responsibilities.
Through preparing for naturalization, immigrants will gain the tools to become successful citizens—ready to exercise their rights and meet their responsibilities as United States citizens.
The goal of the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program is to expand the availability of high quality citizenship preparation services for lawful permanent residents in communities across the nation.
Additional activities that support this goal include making citizenship instruction and naturalization application services accessible to low-income and other underserved lawful permanent resident populations; developing, identifying, and sharing promising practices in citizenship preparation; supporting innovative and creative solutions to barriers faced by those seeking naturalization; increasing the use of and access to technology in citizenship preparation programs; working with local libraries, which serve as a vital resource for immigrant communities; and engaging receiving communities in the citizenship and civic integration process.
The Citizenship and Integration Grant Program addresses the following DHS mission as specified in the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR):
Enforce and Administer Our Immigration Laws Goal 3. 1:
Strengthen and Effectively Administer the Immigration System • Promote lawful immigration; • Effectively administer the immigration services system; and • Promote the integration of lawful immigrants into American society.
Request for Proposals In fiscal year (FY) 2015, a total of up to $10,000,000 in federal funding is available for eligible organizations to provide direct citizenship preparation services to lawful permanent residents.
Proposed citizenship preparation activities must include the following two components:
1. Citizenship instruction to prepare lawful permanent residents for the civics (U. S. history and government) and English (reading, writing, and speaking) components of the naturalization test.
Program design must include:
• The use of a nationally normed standardized test of English proficiency for student placement and assessment of progress; • The provision of at least 40 hours of citizenship instruction over an 8-15 week class cycle for students at or below the NRS high intermediate level; • Enrolling a minimum of 200 non-duplicated lawful permanent residents in citizenship classes with a minimum of 40 hours of instruction over the two year period of performance; and • The use of citizenship teachers, whether a volunteer or paid, who have at least one year of experience teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) or citizenship to adults.
2. Naturalization application services, within the scope of the authorized practice of immigration law, to support lawful permanent residents in the naturalization application and interview process.
Services must include:
• The provision of naturalization eligibility screening; • The preparation and submission of a minimum of 200 Forms N-400, Application for Naturalization with Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative over the two year period of performance; • Ongoing case management; • The use of a BIA accredited representative or an attorney who is an employee at the applicant organization or at the sub-awardee organization.
(Pro bono or volunteer attorneys may be used to supplement the program.) Attorneys and BIA accredited representatives must sign Form N-400 as the preparer, submit Form G-28 with each Form N-400 filed under this grant, and mail the naturalization application package to USCIS on behalf of the client.
Services may also include interview preparation, a representative’s appearance at the naturalization interview, and filing of other forms or documents (such as Form N-648, Medical Certification for Disability Exceptions), if applicable.
Partnerships Partnerships are encouraged.
Applicants may include partnerships with other public or non-profit organizations in their proposal.
The principal applicant must directly provide either citizenship instruction or naturalization application services, or both.
A partner organization is considered a “sub-awardee” if the organization will receive a portion of the grant funding to provide additional or complementary direct citizenship instruction or naturalization application services.
The applicant must complete a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the prospective sub- awardee.
The applicant must clearly demonstrate how it will monitor the prospective sub-awardee’s performance and ensure that the prospective sub-awardee complies with all grant award conditions and data reporting requirements.
Prospective sub-awardees must have their own individual Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and will be responsible for financial and performance reporting.
Sub-awardees must submit their reports to the primary applicant for submission to DHS.
If the partner organization will not receive a portion of the grant funds, then the partner is not considered a prospective sub-awardee, and would not be required to complete an MOU or obtain a DUNS number.