Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance

Latest News

Updated: Sept. 19, 2022

Washington COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund 2022-2023 Open Application

The DSHS Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance is pleased to announce a third round of funding for the WA COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund. The open application for 2022-2023 launches on Sept. 19, 2022.   The application will be open for nine weeks, beginning Sept. 19 to Nov. 14, 2022. This resource will assist eligible and approved applicants by providing cash assistance to immigrants who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To be eligible to apply for the fund, you must be an immigrant living in Washington State, you aren’t eligible for federal stimulus funds or unemployment insurance due to your immigration status, and you’ve experienced hard times because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If your application is approved, you could receive a payment of at least $1,000. It is not a loan, and you will not have to pay anything back. Your information is safe and protected.  The public charge rule does not apply for this fund. You can apply or get help with your application in multiple languages.

To apply for the WA COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund, please visit here.

The application is available in English, Español, Chinese ( 中文), Korean  한국어한국어 and Tagalog.

If you need help applying to the fund, please contact our Outreach and Application Assistance partners. https://immigrantreliefwa.org/#GetHelp

For more information, please watch this video:  https://youtu.be/4806lUzGqso


Updated August 03, 2022: 

New ORIA Housing Stabilization Services Program

DSHS Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance is launching the Housing Stabilization Services program to support eligible refugees and immigrants in financial need of rental assistance.  This program is available to support the many new arrivals Washington has welcomed since July 1, 2021, including Afghans, Ukrainians, and many others.  For more information and to contact a local community services provider, please refer to our Program Announcement.


Updated May 05, 2022: 

Information related Ukrainian refugees

Washington state has a long history welcoming refugees fleeing war and persecution in their home countries. Over the past 10 years, more than 30,000 refugees from over 70 countries have resettled in Washington state through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. This includes over 6,500 Ukrainians who have resettled in our local communities since 2010, including 121 newly arrived individuals since October 2021. 

As the federal government prepares guidance to states on the pathways by which Ukrainian refugees will be arriving, Washington’s Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance is working with our refugee resettlement agencies and local communities to prepare for an increase in arrivals. At this time, we do not have any additional information about how many people might come to Washington state or when they might arrive. It is too early to estimate the numbers of people who will arrive in local communities in Washington.

When refugees and immigrants do arrive in our state, we work with our community-based partners and resettlement agencies to connect people with vital, culturally responsive and linguistically appropriate services like food and cash assistance, temporary and long-term housing, medical screenings and behavioral health services, employment and training programs, child care assistance and help navigating social services.

Through Washington’s recent participation in the federal government’s Operation Allies Welcome, our state welcomed more than 3,200 Afghan arrivals since October 2021. Building off of the work we have done over the past six months, the Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance will work with communities and organizations to support those seeking refuge in Washington state, specifically those from Ukraine as well as many other across the world.

What can people do to help?

Anyone interested in helping can connect directly with local refugee resettlement agencies or directly with the DSHS Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance by sending an email to ORIAinfo@dshs.wa.gov.

What public benefits and refugee assistance services are Ukrainians eligible to receive?

On May 21, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Additional Ukraine Supplement Appropriations Act, 2022 (AUSAA). This law makes certain citizens, nationals, and residents of Ukrainian eligible to receive federal public benefits and refugee assistance services. 

For a complete list of the federally funded benefits and services, please refer to this table.


Updated May 11, 2022

Washington’s Ukrainian Welcoming Task Force

As the humanitarian crisis continues in Ukraine, millions of people have been displaced from their homes. The DSHS Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance is facilitating the Washington Ukrainian Welcoming Task force to coordinate services for Ukrainians arriving across the state. The initial meeting included an overview of the Ukraine arrivals in Washington, the new Uniting for Ukraine program, and an update from variety of state agencies.  

For the full Video/Audio recording of the briefing please visit here.

For the Power Point Presentation of DSHS / ORIA on Ukrainian Welcoming Task Force please visit here.

For the PowerPoint Presentation on Ukrainian Health Updates please visit here.

For the PowerPoint Presentation about Welcome.US please visit here.


Upcoming Public Events:

Statewide Refugee Advisory Council Public Forum, May 19, 10am - 12:00pm (PST). For more details please visit here.

What We Do

About ORIA

The Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance (ORIA) is located within the State of Washington, Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), Economic Services Administration (ESA), Community Services Division (CSD). Our goal is for refugee and immigrant families and individuals to succeed and thrive in Washington State.

Can We Help You?

Washington Welcomes Refugees

Washington is home to a very large, diverse and dynamic refugee and immigrant community and has historically ranked as one of the top ten resettlement states in the U.S.

We have strong community partnerships and provide culturally appropriate services through contracts with community-based organizations, voluntary refugee resettlement agencies, local community colleges, and government agencies.

Access Our Services

Complete an application online. Find out if you are eligible and apply for services on-line using our Washington Connection portal.

Visit your local DSHS Community Services Office (CSO). If you are receiving public benefits, ask your DSHS Caseworker about ORIA services.

The Department of Social and Health Services has many other programs and services to help you. To learn more about DSHS services and how to apply for public benefits click here.

Self-sufficiency through support, education and training.