H-3 Nonimmigrant Trainee or Special Education Exchange Visitor

H-3 (Trainee or Special Education Exchange Visitor) Visa

What is the H-3 visa?

The H-3 visa is a non-immigrant visa that permits foreign nationals to come temporarily to the United States as either non-medical trainees or special education exchange visitors.

What are the requirements for an H-3 visa?

  • As a trainee, you must be invited by an individual or organization to receive training in any field, including agriculture, finance, or transportation, among others.
  • The U.S. employer must show that the training is not available in the foreign national’s country, that the foreign national will not be placed in a position where U.S. workers are normally employed, and that the training will benefit the foreign national in a career abroad.
  • As a special education exchange visitor, you must receive training in a facility which has professionally trained staff and a structured program for educating children with disabilities, and for providing training and hands-on experience to participants in the program.

What strategic considerations should I keep in mind?

  • There is a cap on the number of H-3 special education exchange visitors. No more than 50 may be approved in a fiscal year.
  • If the petition is approved, the trainee may be allowed to remain in the United States for up to 2 years.
  • If the trainee petition is approved for a special education exchange visitor, the trainee may remain in the United States for up to 18 months.
  • Trainees’ spouses and children under 21 may accompany them to the U.S. as H-4 nonimmigrants. However, H-4 nonimmigrants may not work in the U.S.

H-3 visas are given to foreign nationals invited to the United States by an American organization or company for the purpose of receiving instruction and training. The trainee has no productive role unless it is incidental or necessary for the training and is pursuing a career outside the U.S.

How do I qualify for this visa?

The applicant must have a foreign residence to return to and the proposed training should not be available in applicant’s home country. The training acquired will benefit the trainee’s career outside the U.S.

How long can I stay in the US on this visa?

H-3 visa holders are allowed to stay for the duration of their training program (up to 2 years). To qualify for readmission,

H-3 visa holders are allowed to stay for the duration of their training program (up to 2 years). To qualify for readmission, the trainee should be present outside the U.S. for six (6) months. If the training is seasonal, alternating, or 6 months or less, this rule does not apply. Lastly, trainees in a Special Education Exchange Program are eligible for extension of visa up to 18 months. There is a limit of 50 visas per year in this category.