U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has given $10 million in grants to help legal permanent residents apply for U.S. citizenship. Around 40 organizations, located in 24 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, will receive federal funding to help green card holders to prepare for citizenship. The funds will be used by the organizations to help permanent residents to apply for citizenship through September 2016.
USCIS has awarded around $43 million in grants to public and private non-profit organizations since 2009. This program has so far helped 93,000 green card holders to prepare for naturalization. The agency believes that it would help more than 32,000 green card holders to apply for citizenship by 30th September, 2016.
USCIS also has an online Citizenship Resource Center that provides learning materials to help green card holders prepare for citizenship. Reports show that there are more than 8.8 million legal residents in the U.S. who, though eligible, have not yet thought about filing applications for citizenship. USCIS works with federal and municipal agencies in order to create awareness about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship among such legal residents.
The grant recipients were announced by USCIS during the Constitution Week (September 17-23). The Director of USCIS, León Rodríguez stated that this program helps to achieve their goal of integrating immigrants and helping them participate in American civic culture.
USCIS has awarded grants to public and private non-profit organizations that have experience in helping permanent residents prepare and apply for U.S. citizenship. Public school systems, faith-based groups, adult education organizations, and literacy organizations are among those who have received grants. This year’s grant recipients will help the legal residents who are eligible for citizenship to prepare for the civics and the English parts of the naturalization test. Those organizations also will help the applicants with their naturalization applications.