H-3 Visas - Trainees

The H-3 nonimmigrant visa classification is intended for trainees -- those individuals who have been invited to the United States by an individual or organization to receive training in any field including, but not limited to:

  • Commerce
  • Communications
  • Finance
  • Government
  • Transportation
  • Agriculture
  • the professions

Eligibility for the H-3 visa classification is not available for persons who will engage in graduate education or training. Programs for graduate education or training are required to utilize the F-1 and J-1 classifications, respectively.

The H-3 classification is not intended for employment within the United States. Instead, the H-3 visa classification is meant to allow U.S. employers to provide job related training that the H-3 trainee will apply while working outside the United States.

 

Eligibility Criteria 

In order to obtain H-3 classification, a U.S. employer or organization must provide:

  • A detailed description of the structured training program that the H-3 trainee will pursue. The description should indicate the number of hours per week of classroom training and the number of hours per week that require “on-the-job” training;
  • A summary of the H-3 trainee’s prior training and experience;
  • An explanation of why the training is needed;
  • An explanation of why the training cannot be completed in the H-3 trainee’s home country;
  • An explanation of how the training will benefit the H-3 trainee in pursuing a career in the home country;
  • An explanation of how the employer or organization will pay for the cost of providing training without actually employing the H-3 trainee.

In order to obtain H-3 classification, a United States employer or organization must file an H-3 visa petition with USCIS. Once the petition is approved, the H-3 trainee may apply for a visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in his/her country of residence. 

 

Period of Stay 

If the H-3 visa petition is approved, the trainee is permitted to enter and remain in the United States for up to 2 years.

 

Family Members of H-3 Visa Holders  

The H-3 trainee’s spouse and children who are under the age of 21 may accompany him/her, however, they will not be permitted to work in the United States.