H-3 Visas- Trainees

Eligibility:   The following individuals or entities will be eligible for an H-3 visa.

  • Foreign nationals who will receive training, not available in their own country.
  • Foreign nationals as special exchange visitors to receive training in educating children with mental or emotional disabilities.
  • Multinational companies sending foreign employees to the U.S. for job training.
  • Training in the U.S. will benefit the beneficiary in his path in a foreign career.
  • The alien must not be in a position that citizen and resident workers are employed.

The Program Will Be Unacceptable If:

  • It deals in generalities and does not provide a fixed schedule, objectives, or means of evaluation.
  • It is on the behalf of a beneficiary who has previous substantial training and expert knowledge in the area.
  • The program is in a field of knowledge that is unlikely to be used outside of the U.S.
  • The program is likely to result in productive employment that is beyond what is incidental and necessary to the actual training.
  • If it is created to recruit and train foreign nationals to ultimately be staffed in the U.S.
  • If it has not been established that the petitioner possesses the physical plan and adequately trained personnel to provide training of the specified nature.
  • Designed to further the total permitted period of practical training of a previously authorized nonimmigrant student.

The training program by regulation 8 C.F.R. §214.2(h)(7)(ii)(B) must include:

  • Type of training and supervision, which will be given.
  • The amount of time that will be dedicated to productive employment.
  • The amount of classroom instruction hours.
  • Hours of on-the-job training, supervised and unsupervised. Supervised work should be focused on training and the amount of unsupervised work should be minimal.
  • The ultimate position for which the training will prepare the applicant.
  • The reason(s) why the applicant cannot be trained in his/her own country.
  • The reason why the training program would benefit the petitioning company.
  • The source of compensation to be given to the trainee.

Externs And Nurses:

  • An extern might be eligible for an H-3 visa if he is involved in a residency or internship at an AMA or AOA hospital and will participate in an externship during his school vacation.
  • Nurses might be eligible for an H-3 visa if they have an unrestricted license from the country where they obtained their medical education or if their education was in Canada/U.S., and their petition provides a statement that the nurse is eligible under state law to partake in the training.

To Compare: B-1 and J-1 from H-3:

A person who would be eligible for an H-3 visa can acquire a B-1 if he/she receives a salary abroad or a J-1 if involved in a J program.

Admission And Extension:

  • Admission is for the length of the training program and not to exceed 2 years.
  • Extension, C/S or readmission will not be granted to H or L status after the 2-year period unless the alien resided and is physically present out of the U.S. for 6 months.
  • Approval of a permanent labor certification or the filing of a preference petition by the same employer for the same or a different job might result in denial of the extension.
  • An application must be filed by the employer on an I-129 form.


Special Education Exchange Program:

  • Exchange status is granted to individuals participating in a special education program.
  • This is limited to a period of 18-months and 50 visas per year.
  • Procedure: This will be processed as an H-3 visa. It must be filed by a facility that has professional, trained personnel and a structured program for children, which will give training and hands-on experience. There must be evidence that the applicant is almost finished with a BA or a higher degree or has substantial previous training or experience.

When in the U.S. for 18 months under the H/L status the individual may not apply for a C/S or E/S or readmission under the H/L categories except when he/she has lived and been physically present outside the U.S. for the past 6 months.