Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance

Latest News

Washington COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund

Washington COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund Program Announcements:

The Washington COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund opened for applications on Oct. 21, 2020.  The relief fund will provide $40 million in federal CARES Act funding to distribute a one-time cash grant of $1,000 per person (up to $3,000 per household) to Washington residents who are ineligible because of immigration status for federal stimulus funds or unemployment benefits. 

To be eligible, individuals must be: 

  1. A Washington state resident, and 
  2. At least 18 years of age, and
  3. Have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic (such as losing employment, being diagnosed with COVID-19, have had to care for a family member diagnosed with COVID-19) and, 
  4. Did not receive the federal stimulus check and/or are not able to receive unemployment compensation because of their immigration status. 

Applications will be accepted starting Oct. 21, 2020 through Dec. 6, 2020. Approximately 38,000 grants will be distributed to eligible and approved applicants no later than Dec. 28, 2020.

Applications will be accepted on a first-come-first-serve basis, prioritizing those in greatest need.

Eligible community members can apply by:

  • Visiting the website at,
  • Calling the hotline  844-724-3737 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., or
  • Print the application and mail it to the P.O. Box #84327, Seattle, WA 98124.

For more information, please refer to


2020 Washington Refugee Symposium on Racial Justice

On November 20, 2020, the Washington Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance will host a one-day symposium on the intersections of racial justice, immigrant and refugee communities and the Black Lives Matter movement.


2020 Washington Refugee Symposium

Racial Justice, Immigrant & Refugee Communities & Black Lives Matter

Friday, November 20, 09:30amm – 02:00pm (PST)



If you are interested in attending, please register by Monday, November 15 at

For questions concerning registration, please send an email to


COVID-19 Updates

The Washington Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance recognizes that refugee and immigrant communities are significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  ORIA partners with organizations across the state to continue to offer services that are culturally relative and in the preferred language. Program and service changes and updates related to COVID-19 will be posted here:


New COVID-19 Emergency Support Services for Refugee Fund

The Washington Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance established a fund to provide resources for refugees and other eligible immigrant individuals and families to receive short-term assistance to cover immediate needs, including rent, utilities, internet and other approved costs.  Eligible participants can access these resources by applying at one of ORIA’s contracted services providers.  Contact information is available on this program announcement.


Extension of Refugee Cash and Medical Assistance Program

Washington extended Refugee Cash and Medical Assistance benefits due to COVID-19.  If you are a single or married refugee or humanitarian immigrant without children, and are not currently receiving cash or medical assistance, you may be eligible.  Please apply by calling the DSHS Customer Service Contact Center at 877-501-2233, or you can apply online at   For more information, please refer to the program announcement.


COVID-19 Resources 

The Washington Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance has created a COVID-19 Translated Resource Directory. This directory shares information in over 100 languages with different formats, including fact sheets flyers, posters, audio recordings, and videos.


COVID-19 Response Services

In response to COVID-19, contracted service providers are offering a menu of different service options to meet the current and changing needs of immigrants and refugees in our communities.  These services include:

These services include the following:

  • Conduct a Needs Assessment that addresses overall financial stability, housing, employment, social and emotional well-being, child and youth, and elders and health and medical needs;
  • Information and referrals on resources for COVID-19, 2020 Census, public benefits and new stimulus programs and updates on available services and resources;
  • Providing and/or connecting with new services, including helping people apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits, addressing food insecurity, addressing gaps in child care and employer outreach and engagement;
  • Education and Client Engagement offering opportunities to address social isolation through remote options, engaging volunteers to support new community members remotely and providing distance learning options for civics and ESL classes.

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.