The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 eliminated national origin, race, and ethnicity from the immigration process. Instead, a certain number of Green Cards were made available for people from each country. Families already in the United States were then allowed to request for family members living overseas to get a Green Card so they could live in America. Unfortunately, there was no program such as the USAFIS available at that time to help people get their Green Cards.
At first, the Act selected more immigrants from Europe, but eventually, more people from Latin America and Asia began immigrating to the United States, accounting for up to two-thirds of the total in 1975. Congress eventually created and passed a new law that allowed for countries of the Western Hemisphere to receive Green Cards.
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 was amended to add new work certification requirements, which made it difficult for people from Ireland to qualify for the Green Cards. Many Irish people would instead get a temporary visa to the United States and then stay over the allotted time. In the early 1970’s, many people from Italy desired to immigrate to the United States as well.
Finally, it was decided that something should be done to help these types of situations. In 1986, the Immigration Reform and Control Act was passed, and with it, the introduction of the Green Card Lottery. Called the NP-5 program, the Act allowed for the first 10,000 people applying for a Green Card to be accepted. Over 1.4 million people applied during that seven-day period of time in 1987, and the top three countries who won Green Cards were Ireland, Canada, and Great Britain. In 1987, most people applied for a Green Card on their own, but USAFIS is available today to help people who are eager to receive their Green Cards and need assistance with the procedure.
The number of Green Cards that were granted was slowly increased, until in 1995, the final total was 50,000 Green Cards. The law also changed, making the process more like an actual “lottery,” where all applications were thrown into a pool and a computer would randomly choose the winners who would then be allowed to apply for the Green Cards. Since the application process must be done exactly right, USAFIS can help foreigners who want to get their Green Cards.
The Green Card Lottery has been a very successful program for the government of the United States, the only country to have such a program. It allows foreigners to move to the United States of America and enjoy most rights of citizens. With the help of programs such as USAFIS, foreigners can get the assistance they need to get moved to America quicker than ever.