Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance

Latest News

Updated Jan. 19, 2023: 

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 a list of all of the service providers, please refer to Program Announcement.

Updated:  Dec. 12, 2022

Notice of Funding Opportunity: Support for Arriving Refugees and Humanitarian Immigrants

Over the past year, more than 15,000 newcomers have resettled in Washington’s local communities, including Afghans and Ukrainians.  Each person and household has a distinct pathway and set of experiences and needs.  The Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance is seeking to strengthen the capacity of local receiving communities to welcome these newcomers and ensure that they have access to needed services and supports.

ORIA is announcing an open funding opportunity to accept applications from nonprofit organizations interested in serving recently arrived refugees and humanitarian immigrants.  Applications will be accepted from Nov. 28, 2022 through Jan. 27, 2023, and will be reviewed and awarded as they are received. As this is an urgent and emerging need, the office will give priority to organizations that have capacity to begin contracts in January and February 2023. 

Information Session:  The Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance hosted an information session on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022.  For information shared during this session, please refer to the PowerPoint Slides and the Question and Answers document. 

For more information, please refer to the complete application information below.  If you have questions about the open application process, please submit them to oriainfo@dshs.wa.gov

Updated: Nov. 14, 2022

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

On Nov. 14, 2022, The Washington COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund closed.  If your application is approved, at least $1,000 will be sent in the mail as either a check or prepaid card, between December 2022 and January 2023. It will be sent to the mailing address you provided in your application.

If you need to check your application status, update your mailing address, or have questions about your payment, you can call the Helpline: 844-620-1999 or log into your application account at wa-immigrantrelieffund.livestories.com/login

If you are in need of financial assistance, someone in your family may be eligible for the following resources, offered by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services:

Apply to these DSHS programs online via Washington Connections, by phone at (877) 501-2233, or in person at your local Community Services Office. 

  • If you applied online, your next step would be completing an interview either via phone at 877-501-2233, or in person at your local Community Services Office.
  • To get help in a language other than English, you should call (800) 797-0617, Monday through Friday, 8AM to 5PM to get language assistance. If you get a recording, please leave a message with your phone number and the language you speak and they will call you back with an interpreter.

In addition, starting in April 2023, people who filed taxes can apply for Washington’s new Working Families Tax Credit. Eligible people could get as much as $1,200 from their taxes.


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.