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History of the Green Card Lottery

History of the Green Card Lottery

The DV lottery is the most popular and easiest way to get a permanent residence card in the United States, better known as a green card. Do you know when it started and what was the idea behind the lottery? We’ll tell you everything, keep reading!

America is a country of immigrants and there are many nations in the world. So the main idea and goal of the DV lottery program is to preserve American cultural diversity and maintain the image of the United States as a country of potential, attracting a large number of ambitious and active people.

The first idea and the first variation is the visa lottery
In 1977, Ronald Reagan, the former president of the United States, passed a bill granting amnesty and permanent residency cards to 2 million Mexicans living in the United States illegally, and he became concerned about racial diversity in the United States. So the idea was to restore and preserve the national diversity of the country through the green card lottery. The requirements of the participants were made rather simple so that almost everyone has the opportunity to immigrate to the United States. See the list of requirements here:
The first edition of the Green Card Lottery was established in 1987 and was named “NP-5 Lottery Program”. 5000 visas were issued to participants from 36 countries for two years. A few years later the number of visas for the lottery was increased to 15,000.

How the green card lottery evolved
In 1990 and 1991, the program was called the “OP-1 Program” and 10,000 visas were issued. Over the next 2 years the program was renamed the AA-1 program and was established as a temporary solution, issuing 40,000 visas for 37 countries. Interestingly, 16,000 of these were reserved for Northern Ireland.

In 1994 alone, the program was transformed into its current familiar version, which issues 55,000 visas to all countries except countries with large numbers of immigrants (more than 50,000 immigrants have legally immigrated to the United States in the last five years). The list of ineligible countries changes every year. See the list here:
The online registration system was created in 2003. Until 2002, all lottery applications had to be mailed to U.S. authorities in paper form. Millions of applications were processed manually.

Now you can easily create an accurate photo for the service and submit your application online at the official website Great, isn’t it? You can train and view the DV lottery form before opening it here:

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