Office of Legal Immigration

Section I Grant Information


The Office of Legal Immigration Grant is newly developed in response to Senate Bill 2142 enacted by the Sixty-eighth Legislative Assembly to create the Office and develop a pilot program to support businesses pursuing or employing legal immigrants and to support communities to develop immigrant integration plans and activities. Improving employer awareness of and access to international recruitment pathways, preparedness to employ foreign-born individuals, and support economic inclusion in the workforce will improve recruitment and retention of foreign-born workers and those that are internationally educated and credentialed. Investing in community integration activities and increasing awareness of community-based resources and programs will improve the lived experiences and long-term retention of New Americans and immigrants living in North Dakota.


The Office of Legal Immigration grant is designed to support eligible employers and community-based organizations in their efforts to recruit, retain, and integrate New Americans in North Dakota. 

Grant Guidance

The Office of Legal Immigration Grant is administered by the Workforce Development Division of the Department of Commerce. References to ‘Division’ throughout this guide are in reference to the Workforce Development Division.

Questions may be directed to: 

Janna Pastir
ND Department of Commerce
P.O. Box 2057
Bismarck, North Dakota 58502-2057 Phone: 701-328-5393

Accordion Section Title
Grant Tracks - Track A requires a 1:1 match. Track B requires a 4:1 Match

This program has three tracks, each focused on developing or expanding strategies to improve economic and community inclusion of New Americans and immigrants in North Dakota.

  • Track A- Employer Strategies designed to support foreign-born workers onsite through the development of language specific signage, training and policy manuals, human resource materials, etc., access to English language learning, cultural trainings provided by New American and Immigrant serving organizations in North Dakota either in-person or virtually for current staff, and to partner/subcontract with New American and Immigrant serving organizations in North Dakota to provide community acclimation and integration activities and services for employees as a pilot.
    • Projects in Track A may be eligible for up to $125,000.
  • Track B - Community-Based Strategies designed for organizations that serve New Americans and Immigrants to improve accessibility and awareness of the programs and services available to New Americans through the development or improvement of online and print resources. Strategies also include community-wide activities and events to support integration and inclusion.
    • Non-profits that serve New Americans and Immigrants in North Dakota may request funds for content development to support utilization of existing community integration and workforce readiness or training programs. Funds may be used for website and print material enhancements that improve the user experience and awareness of available programs and services provided by New American and Immigrant serving organizations. May include marketing to raise awareness among employers and communities of the services available. 
    • Projects in Track B may be eligible for up to $80,000
  • Track C - Community-based organizations listed in Section C, Track B Eligible Applicants, are eligible to apply for funds to partner/subcontract with New American and Immigrant serving organizations or community development and activities organizations to plan and facilitate community engagement activities that support connectedness, integration, cultural education, and appreciation. 
    • Activity projects in Track B may be eligible for up to $20,000
Accordion Section Title
  • Track A Eligible applicants include:
    • North Dakota based employers that employ or plan to employ foreign-born workers.
    • North Dakota based industry associations that represent employers that employ or plan to employ foreign-born workers.
    • Applicants must be registered and in good standing with the North Dakota Secretary of State’s office.
    • Activities must take place in North Dakota.
    • Majority of workers impacted must reside and intend to work in North Dakota.
  • Track B and C Eligible applicants include:
    • North Dakota based New American and Immigrant Serving organizations and nonprofits
    • Job Development Authorities
    • Community Development Organizations
    • Chambers of Commerce
    • Political Subdivisions
    • Other organizations addressing local or regional workforce or community development needs.
    • Applicants must be registered and in good standing with the North Dakota Secretary of State’s office.
    • Activities must take place in North Dakota.
  • Ineligible Applicants Include:
    • Applicants that reside or operate outside of North Dakota
    • Individuals 
    • Political organizations subject to tax under IRC section 527, such as political parties; campaign committees for candidates for federal, state, or local office; lobbying organizations, and political action committees.
    • Institutions of postsecondary education 
    • School districts and private schools

Section II Grant Proposals

All application materials MUST be submitted online and will be sent to the applicant after if approved through the initial screening.

Initial Screening

The items listed below need to be completed and/or uploaded as part of the applicant’s submission. All applications and supportive documentation must be submitted by 12 p.m. CST on July 30, 2024.

Accordion Section Title
Proposal Requirements

All application materials MUST be submitted using the online portal. The items listed below need to be completed and/or uploaded as part of the applicant’s submission. All applications and supportive documentation must be submitted by 12 p.m. CST July 30, 2024.

•    Vendor registration with Office of Management and Budget to receive payment (if you have never received or have not received payment from the state within the past 12 months): Supplier Registration

Grant proposals must follow the format shown in Section II Part B, Proposal Format (below). Proposals that fail to meet the criteria set forth in Part B will not be rated and applicants will be required to resubmit using the proper format pending funding available after review of completed applications submitted by the application close date.

An initial screening for applications must be submitted online before a full application can be submitted. Click the link below to begin your initial screening.

Initial Screening

Accordion Section Title
Proposal Format

Complete proposals need to demonstrate a clear and concise explanation of the project, how recruitment and retention of New Americans and Immigrants will be improved by the employer or community-based organization’s activities. The Department requires this section be used as a template for applications. Applications will only be received and accepted through the online portal available after submitting the project screening.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Applicants must complete all sections to be considered for review.

Proposal elements must include the following:

  1. Project Description
    1. Describe the project in general:
      1. Identify which track (A or B) and applicant type is applying; provide a brief narrative of the organizations. This can include organizational charts that demonstrate capacity to carry out the proposed activities.
      2. Provide a brief description of the proposed activities.
      3. Identify how the proposed activities align with the selected track.
      4. Indicate whether the activities lead to improving recruitment, retention, and/or integration and how. 
      5. Explain how and where the activities will be provided (virtual, in-person, employer or community-based).
      6. Explain the need for this project, such as:
        1. Preparing for or supporting existing foreign-born workers and community members.
        2. Ability to apply for, perform, and advance in employment.
        3. Fostering a supportive and diverse workforce.
        4. Expanding organizational capacity and reach.
        5. Meeting an unmet or under-met employer or community need.
        6. Identify partnerships that will be subcontracted, support the work and adoption of ongoing efforts.  
  2. Project Impact
    1. Show reach and sustainability of activities:
      1. Identify the need as it relates to the employer, community, and workforce that will participate in or be supported by the proposed activities.
      2. Identify the number of individuals that will be impacted at the employer or community level.
      3. Identify how the activity or strategy is sustainable beyond the grant period.
        1. Examples would include one-time translation services, one-time website enhancement, adoption of integration practices, etc. 
  3. Goals and Timeline
    1. Identify an initial and a minimum of 2 progress milestones.
    2. Identify Short, intermediate, and long-term goals that the proposed activities will address.
    3. Identify a timeline for implementing activities and trainings directly or through subcontractors.
      1. Only activities that occur on and after to the award date of a fully executed agreement are allowable grant expenses.
  4. Budget Proposal - The budget section must include a line-item budget and a narrative that explains how the line-item funds will be used and how it relates to the proposed project.
    1. Eligible grant fund expenses:
      1. Subcontractors that provide translation, training, support services, material/resource development, etc.
        1. Subcontractors may include travel and lodging costs to provide training on-site in North Dakota.
      2. Technology needed to provide or participate in virtual training or language learning for English and contextual language learning (excluding personal devices like phones and laptops). 
      3. Venues, speaker fees, equipment, supplies (excludes food, beverages, prizes, etc.) for community events.
    2. Ineligible grant fund expenses that may be used as match:
      1. Travel and lodging for training and/or certification of applicant employees.
      2. Applicant operational expenses (including but not limited to salary/fringe, organizational operations, and indirect costs).
      3. Existing subscriptions or license fees for language, translation, or other training services.
      4. Staff time, benefits and other operational costs of any applicant organization that relates to administering the proposed project.
    3. Ineligible projects or costs that cannot be used as match include:
      1. Duplication or cost off-set of services and programming already in place.
      2. Programs that are duplicative of state resources or programs.
      3. Subsidized or supplanted projects that are an extension of existing services, programs, and activities.
      4. Legal, recruitment, or housing fees associated with Visa applications or Department of Labor certifications.
      5. Development of new curriculums or training by the applicant.
      6. Funds cannot be used for lobbying at the local, state, or federal level.
      7. Development of a scholarship fund.
      8. International recruitment related fees including staffing agencies, legal services, or travel of foreign-born workers as it relates to the proposed activities.
  5. Budget Narrative:
    1. Identify total project cost, grant funds requested, match obtained, match pending.
    2. Provide a description of the match (equipment donations or discounts, in-kind activities including staff time related to grant funded activities, cash donations) and the source supplying the match.
      1. Track A Projects will require at least one dollar of matching funds for each dollar of state funding requested.
      2. Track B Projects will require at least one dollar of matching funds for every four dollars of state funding requested.
    3. Describe how the match/in-kind and match/in-kind provider relate to the proposed activities.
    4. Explain any other fund-leveraging and activities beyond match.
    5. Bids, Quotes, Estimates, proposals are required to demonstrate how costs are determined as it relates to the funds requested.
  6. Budget Breakout - The budget breakout will be formatted as shown below. This is a template. The line items fields can be changed to reflect applicant activities and funding needs.

    Total Project Cost (Grant funds + Match/In-kind): $    
    Budget Breakdown


Section III Proposal Review and Approval

A. Proposal Review and Rating

Review and rating of proposals is conducted by the Workforce Development Division of the Department of Commerce. The Division will work with designated individuals to clarify proposals, verify match requirements, and to ensure completeness. 

B. Application Timeline & Grant Approval

  • Applications will be reviewed by the division.
  • Applicants will be notified of follow-up questions and clarification in approximately 3 weeks from application period closed date.
  • Notice of award will be issued in approximately 4 weeks from received date.

The Division will officially notify the grantee of the award by contacting the respective applicant. The notification will include:

  1. Amount awarded.
  2. Request that the applicant name an authorized agent as the contact with the division on the specific grant.
  3. Request that the grantee not publicize the award, pending a press release by the Department of Commerce first.

Section IV Grant Agreement

Grant Agreement Development

Upon approval of a grant proposal, the division will develop a grant agreement. The division will work with the authorized agent to finalize grant agreement details.

The budget breakout section of the grant proposal will be inserted into the grant agreement under Section 3, Compensation. Payment of grant funds will be based on the grantee reaching milestones. The payment schedule for funding will be made in accordance as follows:

  1. Twenty-five percent (25%) of the total award will be disbursed upon execution of the grant agreement and successful submission of Request for Funds form.
  2. Twenty-five (25%) of the total award will be disbursed upon reporting and documentation by the grantee showing the first milestone has been met. 
  3. Remainder of funds will be provided, upon report and documentation by the awardee after the second and third milestone described in the application has been met. All unspent funds must be returned to the State by July 15, 2025.
Accordion Section Title
Matching Requirements
  1. General Match Requirements
    1. Cash, equipment, supplies and/or in-kind (i.e., salary/fringe, mileage, and lodging) may be used as match under the Office of Legal Immigration Grant.
    2. Match must be identified in the proposal. In some instances, match may not be fully obtained at the time the proposal is made. This is allowable, however in that instance, the grant award will be contingent upon submission and approval of match by the Division.
    3. Identified match collected prior to grant award date will not be eligible. Only eligible costs incurred during the grant period are eligible.
    4. All match contributions must be properly valued by the donator and clearly identifiable from the grantee’s records and have adequate supporting documentation.
    5. Match should be from the private sector. State and federal funds may qualify as match if the source of the funds allows. If using state or federal funds as match, applicant must specify the source and demonstrate that they can be used as match per funding source regulations.
    6. Match must be approved by the Division and must be directly related to the approved project.
    7. Project records must include documentation to demonstrate that match was used to support acquisition or provision of the approved grant project.
    8. All match used to support grant reimbursement must be used solely for this project during the grant agreement period
Accordion Section Title
Cash Match
  • All cash match reported must be supported by documentation of the day the cash was received and the related accounting records that show the cash was used for the project.
  • Cash match must be applied to the project and must be spent within the grant agreement dates of the project.
Accordion Section Title
Equipment/Supplies Donation or Discount Match
  • Match from equipment or supplies donation or discount must include documentation to support valuation of the donated/discounted item(s) at the time of use for the project. The match contributor must describe the item(s), state the value, and explain how the value was determined. The match contributor must sign and date the document containing this information. Note: If the match contributor is unwilling to provide this information, the requestor will contact the Division for assistance in determining an alternate method.
  • Donation of equipment, supplies, or in-kind activities received prior to use for the project will not be eligible as match for this project.

Note: Educational discount is an approved match, but the Division discourages using this as a form of match.

Accordion Section Title
In-Kind Match
  • In-kind match is defined as temporary use of equipment, space, or personal services. In-kind match can also include, but not limited to, salary/fringe and/or travel (mileage and lodging).
  • Documentation of in-kind match must include a description of the process for determining the value of the services.
  • If in-kind personal service is provided on a fixed contract amount, the documentation must include the services to be provided, the name of individual(s) providing the services and the time period in which the services are to be provided.
  • If the in-kind personal service is provided based on an hourly amount, the documentation must include a description of the services provided, the name of individual(s) providing the in-kind personal services, the hourly rate for the service and a time sheet with an hourly log reflecting the time services were provided.
  • In-kind space must be valued at market rate for the area. Documentation must include the methodology for determining the rate and proof of rates for the market.

Reporting Requirements

Performance Reporting

  • Performance reporting for the Office of Legal Immigration Grant Program is required under the Common Accountability Measures established by the Division of Workforce Development in compliance with NDCC 54-60-19.2. The GRANTEE will submit the performance data as requested by the Department of Commerce, Workforce Division Performance Accountability Reporting. The GRANTEE must submit metrics for outcomes of milestones and additional reporting requirements determined based on individual proposed project activities. Grantee will send separate notification of delivery (exclusive of data) to the Department of Commerce via email to: The subject line must read: Office of Legal Immigration Grant Reporting

Progress Narrative

  • Progress Narratives will be required at a minimum every 3 months from the commencement of the agreement and with any request for funds disbursement and budget modifications (as outlined in the agreement). The required information will be sent out with the required documentation form upon approval. The progress narrative must include a brief report of implementation progress and basic demographic information, which will include progress on milestones identified in the project proposal description and implementation. The progress narrative must also include a detailed report of expenditures under this grant, including both grant and match funds. (Note: If it is determined that grant funds have been utilized for ineligible expenses, the Department of Commerce may terminate the grant and seek recoup the misused funds). Narratives will be sent via email to: The subject line must read: Office of Legal Immigration Grant Progress Narrative ending (date) The final report must include a complete line-item list of how grant and matching funds were used and must be submitted within 30 days of the agreement expiration.

Expenditure Report/Request for Funds

  • Payment of grant funds will be made as outlined, in the signed agreement. Requests for funds will include a clear description and valuation of match received to date. Request for Funds forms will be sent via email to the following email address: The subject line must read: Office of Legal Immigration Grant Request for Funds.

NOTE: Failure to comply with the reporting requirements for the Grant may result in termination of the Grant.

Grant Agreement Modification

  • The grantee will contact the Department of Commerce to get prior approval on changes to match, authorized use of grant funds, grant agreement term, or funding. Approved requests may be denied if not appropriate to the grant or may require grant agreement modification prior to implementation. A line-item deviation from grant agreement budget of no more than 10% will be accepted without prior permission and will not require grant agreement modification. This deviation allowance does not include total grant agreement amount. Grant agreement modifications should be completed during the grant agreement period.

Grant Agreement Closeout

  • Near the end of the grant agreement, the Division will notify the grantee via letter and or email, that the grant agreement has been closed. This notification signifies the end of the grant agreement and releases the administrator and the grantee from any further obligations under the grant agreement. 

Section V Monitoring

The Division will monitor at least 50% of all grants during the grant term. Monitoring via desk review is allowable if documentation can satisfactorily support the review. Monitoring times will be targeted to allow the grantee to have submitted at least one request for funds. This gives the monitor and grantee an opportunity to review the process more completely.