The US immigration sector has a new buzz. The USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) is now accepting applications for 2 opportunities to do funding. These will be under the Citizenship & Assimilation Grant Program. The grant opportunities are mandated by Congress. They are funded with appropriations and not with the agency’s operating funds.
The opportunity will provide to the tune of $10 million in grants for citizenship preparation programs in communities countrywide.
The grant opportunities that are competitive in nature, are accessible to organizations that make lawful permanent residents ready for naturalization. There will also be the promotion of civic assimilation via increased knowledge of Civics, History, and English.
USCIS is looking forward to announcing award recipients in September 2020. This will happen only if the agency staff is available to oversee the program and review applications. But if the agency staff is to be furloughed in late August, USCIS expects that the grant program could be affected. It may even get terminated for the fiscal year.
USCIS is looking to expand the availability of citizenship of high-quality and assimilation services across the country. That will come with grant opportunities like:
Citizenship Instruction and Naturalization Application Services: This grant opportunity will fund up to 33 organizations. They offer services like citizenship instruction and managing naturalization application to lawful permanent residents. Apply by August 31, 2020.
The Refugee and Asylee Assimilation Program: This grant opportunity will fund up to half a dozen organizations. The aim is to give personalized services to lawful permanent residents who arrived in the US under the US Refugee Admissions Program or have been given asylum. Apply by August 31, 2020.
Various program and organizational factors will be under the consideration of USCIS. This will include past grantee performance, when making decisions about the final award.
Also, all grant recipients that are funded must be enrolled in E-Verify as a regular employer. This must be done within 30 days of taking the award and must remain as a participant. The participant must be in terms with E-Verify all through the period of grant performance.
Funded grant recipients must verify all newly hired people at locations where they are hired. The new hires must be working on an activity or program that’s funded completely or partly under the grant.
There’s a new aspect in this year’s program is a prerequisite. Applicants and sub-awardees certified under the SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) must satisfy all SEVP requirements while applying.
Since its start in 2009, the USCIS Citizenship & Assimilation Grant Program has awarded $92 million approximately via 434 grants to organizations serving immigrants in 39 states as well as the Columbia district.
Applications can be submitted for one of these funding opportunities one has to visit grants.gov.
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