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General Questions about OAPIA

The following are answers to frequently asked questions.

What kinds of services does OAPIA provide?

OAPIA assists constituents with accessing government services, conducts outreach to ensure that community member’s concerns are voiced and carried out, and provides materials in languages that are widely spoken in the API community. In addition, OAPIA's subject matter liaison helps community members with more specific questions regarding economic development, education, employment, mental health, health and human services, housing, and safety issues.

Can I get information and services in my language in the District of Columbia?

Yes, the District of Columbia is committed to ensuring that Asian and Pacific Islander residents are able to take full advantage of the DC Language Access Act of 2004. The Act provides greater access to District government programs and services for individuals who may not speak, read, write and/or understand the English language.

According to the DC Language Access Act of 2004 you have the right to:
  • Request and receive interpretation services at no extra cost to you
  • Request and receive vital documents in your language at no extra cost
  • Make a complaint to the DC Office of Human Rights (OHR) if you do not receive the aforementioned accommodations.

The Language Access Act presently covers Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese, and Amharic. For additional information, please visit the Language Access Act here or the Office of Human Rights.

You can also request to receive translated material from different DC agencies depending on your needs, and their expertise.

I have legal issues that I would like help with. How can you help me?

OAPIA does not provide direct legal services. OAPIA does, however, provide assistance with cases involving APIs, including informational inquiries, housing, employment, safety, and business issues. Language interpretation services are also provided at OAPIA-organized events. To find out which API organizations offer those services, please click here.

I am having an immigration problem. How can you help me?

The federal government, through the US Department of State, deals with all immigration proceedings. Mayoral and city bureaus have no jurisdiction over these procedures. For more information regarding the immigrant process please visit the US Department of State or the US Citizenship and Immigration Service.

To use DC services, you must be a resident of DC and provide a valid address, regardless of your official US residency status, except where a service is provided by federal funds.

I would like to volunteer as an intern for the Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. How do I apply?

OAPIA accepts interns on a rolling basis. Find out more information about our OAPIA Internship Program.