Immigration Act of 1990

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The Immigration Act of 1990 is one of the major laws regulating U.S. immigration.  Its passage resulted in an increase in the total number of people that may immigrate to the U.S. every year.  It also accomplished the following:

In addition, the Immigration Act of 1990 created a visa lottery program that randomly assigns visas to persons depending on their country of origin and immigration statistics from the previous five years. 

What Types of Visas were introduced by the Immigration Act of 1990?

In addition to reforming immigration policies, the Immigration Act of 1990 created several new visa categories and revised some of the existing ones. 

In particular, the Act created five employment-based visa categories (EB visas) and also addressed the four categories under the family-sponsored preference categories.  These nine categories are collectively referred to as the “Preference System” for visa applications.

The five employment-based visa preference categories are:

The four different family-sponsored preference categories for U.S. visas are:

Each of these preference categories may be subject to various limitations and regulations that can change every year.  This is because U.S. immigration agencies often approve visas based on the numbers of visas issued to each particular country of origin in previous years. 

Also, each visa preference category is associated with different filing requirements and processing times.  For example, there are various waiting periods and quotas for family-based visa applications.

Do I need a Lawyer if I have questions about the Immigration Act of 1990?

If you have questions regarding the Immigration Act of 1990, you should consider speaking with an immigration lawyer.  An immigration attorney can help answer your questions about the various immigration laws and policies, which often change on a yearly basis.  Also, if you will be applying for a visa or other immigration documents, your lawyer can help you compile the necessary application information.  Immigration lawyers can also provide representation in court or during an immigration hearing. 

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Last Modified: 10-23-2012 03:09 PM PDT

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