We see immigrant integration along a spectrum. An unauthorized or undocumented immigrant resides on one end (least integrated). A newly naturalized citizen regularly voting and volunteering for the community is on the other end (most integrated). We differentiate integration from assimilation. With assimilation, immigrants are encouraged or forced to completely disown or stop practicing their culture of origin. With integration, immigrants are encouraged to maintain the practices of their culture of origin, while moving towards increased civic engagement here in the U.S. OIRA has programs and policies that welcome immigrants and help move them along the spectrum (see below).

Graphic showing how OIRA achieves its mission.


On September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced that it would be ending the program as of March 5, 2018. If your DACA work permit expires between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018, you should renew your DACA by October 5, 2017. More about resources and events for DACA recipients.


The City of Seattle and King County are funding a network of community-based organizations to provide FREE legal aid to low-income immigrants and refugees in detention, facing removal, or in danger of losing their immigration status and who work in the city of Seattle or reside in King County. Services will begin in October 2017. More about the Legal Defense Network.


The New Citizen Campaign (NCC) is an effort to help the tens of thousands of Seattle legal permanent residents (LPRs) become U.S. citizens. This campaign utilizes citizenship workshops and clinics, outreach and education, citizenship curriculum and legal assistance, and engagement with local and national partners to achieve our goal of naturalizing the over 75,000 LPRs living in the Seattle/King County area. More about the New Citizen Campaign.


The New Citizen Program (NCP) is a component of the New Citizen Campaign. NCP provides free naturalization services to low-income immigrants and refugees living in Seattle/King County through a City-funded consortium of 13 community-based organization partners. More about the New Citizen Program.


Ready to Work was designed for residents who face immense barriers to learning English and gaining employment. The program combines English as a Second Language (ESL) classes with computer literacy instruction and case management to help immigrants gain job readiness skills and take steps toward economic self-sufficiency. More about Ready to Work.


Seattle Votes was a survey campaign to identify and better document the barriers to civic engagement for Seattle's immigrant and refugee residents. By partnering with hundreds of organizations, thousands of Seattle-King County immigrants and refugees had a chance to tell us why they don't become citizens, register to vote, or vote. More about Seattle Votes.


The Immigrant Family Institute (IFI) is a program that brings together immigrant male youth of color (ages 10-14), their parents/guardians, and Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers to learn from each other. This program ran in spring of 2017 and builds off the award-winning success of the Refugee Women's Institute (RWI), a program designed to build understanding and trust between Seattle refugee communities and law enforcement. More about the Immigrant Family Institute and Refugee Women's Institute.


Our commitment to Language Access has resulted in a program and a plan with the overall goal of increasing the City's capacity and competence in serving limited English proficient immigrant and refugee residents. More about the Language Access Program.


We recognize that ethnic media provides essential services for immigrant and refugee communities, and thus the City strives to ensure equitable access for ethnic media to press events, ad buy opportunities, and communicating with key City staff. The City of Seattle also believes that effective outreach to immigrant and refugee communities must include an ethnic media component. More about the Ethnic Media Program.


The Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs is a proud partner
of the Mayor's Youth Employment Initiative.

Mayor's Youth Employment Initiative