The U.S. Department of State administers an annual Diversity Visa Lottery (DV Lottery) for lawful permanent resident status in the U.S. This year, citizens of all countries except Brazil, Canada, China (mainland), Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Peru, Poland, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and Vietnam are eligible to apply. Please note that this year Russian nationals are eligible to apply, in contrast to recent years.

Applications must be made online at www.dvlottery.state. gov by noon EST on December 1, 2008. There is no fee to apply for the DV Lottery. The government has issued a Fraud Notice noting that some companies posing as the U.S. Government have sought money in order to “complete” lottery entry forms. There is no charge to download and complete the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form. The Department of State notifies successful DV Lottery applicants by letter, not by e-mail, and paying a fee will not increase the possibility of being selected.