Immigration Act of 1990

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Immigration Act of 1990
Great Seal of the United States
Long title An Act To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to change the level, and preference system for admission, of immigrants to the United States, and to provide for administrative naturalization, and for other purposes
Enacted by the 101st United States Congress
Public Law [USCIS Pub.L. 101–649]
Statutes at Large 104 Stat. 4978
Legislative history

The Immigration Act of 1990 (Pub.L. 101–649, 104 Stat. 4978, enacted November 29, 1990) increased the limits on legal immigration to the United States, revised all grounds for exclusion and deportation, authorized temporary protected status to aliens of designated countries, revised and established new nonimmigrant admission categories, revised and extended the Visa Waiver Pilot Program, and revised naturalization authority and requirements.[1]

The Act created the Diversity Immigrant Visa program. It also removed homosexuality as a grounds for exclusion from immigration and provided for exceptions to the English testing process required for naturalization set forth by the Naturalization Act of 1906.[citation needed]


After it became law, the United States would admit 700,000 new immigrants annually, up from 500,000 before the bill's passage. The new system continued to favor people with family members that already worked in the United States, but added 50,000 "diversity visas" for countries from which few were emigrating, as well as 40,000 permanent job-related workers and 65,000 temporary worker visas. Additional provisions strengthened the U.S. Border Patrol and altered language regarding disease restrictions in a way that permitted the Secretary of Health and Human Services to remove AIDS from the list of illnesses making a prospective immigrant ineligible to enter the country.

Visas created[citation needed] by the act:


  1. ^ "Immigration Act of 1990". GLOSSARY. USCIS. Retrieved 27 August 2012.