LAST week the U.S. State Department opened its annual visa lottery, officially known as the Diversity Visa Program, offering foreigners the opportunity to win a permanent resident visa to the United States. Applications will be accepted through noon on Dec. 4.Through the program, 50,000 permanent resident visas are awarded to people from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.Interested Costa Ricans must fill out the application form available at www.dvlottery.state.gov. Applicants are chosen by a computer-generated random lottery drawing. The visas are awarded among six geographic regions, with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration. More information is available at www.usembassy.or.cr.