H-3 Visa

Q: What is a “trainee” and whom can I work for as a trainee on a H-3 visa?

A: You may come to the United States temporarily on a H-3 visa as a “trainee” to receive training in any field of endeavor that is not available in your home country, other than graduate medical education or training.

As a trainee on a H-3 visa, you must be invited by an individual or organization for the explicit purpose of receiving job training. The training my be in any field including, but not limited to:

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

Your qualification for a H-3 visa will be established by a sponsor or your employer, who will sign a petition. This petition should show the following:

  • The training proposed is not available in your home country,
  • You will not be placed in a position that is in the normal operation of the business,
  • You will not be productively employed except as part of the training, and
  • The training will assist you in pursuing a career outside of the United States.

Contact our office today to speak with a lawyer to learn more about your options and to begin the visa application process.

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Q: What are some limitations of the H-3 visa?

A: There are several limitations of the H-3 visa. This visa is not intended for U.S. employment, but only for job-related training for work that will ultimately be performed outside of the U.S. While in the U.S., you can work only with the employer that admitted you to the training program and acted as your petitioner/sponsor for the H-3 visa. Also, employers may not petition for use of the H-3 visa classification for training programs that are primarily designed to benefit the U.S. companies or in circumstances where U.S. workers would be employed but for the trainees’ services. You should be aware that a H-3 visa is not the appropriate status for graduate education, including medical training, except under certain special circumstances.

The H-3 visa does not grant any grace period for travel before or after the approved visa period, so you should build this time into the program description, if needed.

A training program for a H-3 visa may not be approved under the following circumstances:

  • It deals in generalities with no fixed objective, schedule, or means of evaluating you;
  • If you already possess substantial training and expertise the proposed field of training;
  • It is incompatible with the nature of the employer’s business or enterprise;
  • It will result in productive employment beyond that which is merely necessary and incidental to the training;
  • It designed to recruit and train you for ultimately working in the United States;
  • It does not establish that the employer has the capability to provide the training specified; or
  • It is designed to extend the total allowable period of practical training previously authorized a nonimmigrant student.

Contact our office today to speak with a lawyer to learn more about your options and to begin the visa application process.

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Q: Can I bring my spouse and children to the U.S. with me while I am on H-3 visa status?

A: Yes, your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may accompany you to the U.S. while you are on your H-3 visa status. They will need to apply for H-4 non-immigrant visa status and provide the required supporting documents and application fee in order to accompany you. An H-4 visa holder is authorized to change his or her status while in the U.S. and may apply for Adjustment of Status to become lawful U.S. permanent residents.

The documents required for an H-4 visa include:

  • Completed Form I-129, along with the H supplement
  • Confirmation page of online submitted Form DS-160 with CEAC bar code
  • Letter from the employer that describes the relationship with the principal applicant and the purpose of travel
  • Pay stubs from principal applicant’s current employment and income tax returns
  • Original interview appointment letter, along with one copy
  • Original valid passports for all family members
  • Two identical passport-size photographs, with a plain white or off-white background, taken within the past 6 months
  • Older passports containing previous visas
  • Documents substantiating previous legal status in the U.S
  • Application fee
  • Reciprocity fee, if applicable
  • Copies of your documents
  • Proof of the dependent's relationship to you

Once your spouse and children have received their H-4 visas, they can either enter the country at the same time as you or join you in the U.S. later. They can travel in and out of the U.S. for short trips as many times as they would like. Dependents on H-4 visa status are not eligible to work in the U.S., but they may take part in full-time or part-time study while on a H-4 visa. If your dependents wish to work in the U.S., they must obtain a U.S. work visa.

Your spouse and children will be subject to the same period of admission and the same limitation as you. Thus, the initial stay on an H-4 visa is limited to 2 years, just as it is on an H-3 visa. An H-4 visa is eligible to be extended if the H-3 visa holder receives an extension. Your spouse and children’s H-4 visa status will end when your H-3 visa status ends.

Contact our office today to speak with a lawyer to learn more about your options and to begin the visa application process.

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Q: What are the requirements for the H-3 Special Education Training Program petition?

A: If you are coming temporarily to the U.S. to participate in a Special Education Training program for the education of children with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities, you may obtain a H-3 visa. This employer must have a professional staff and a structured program for providing education to disabled children and for providing training and hands-on experience to you.

The sponsoring employer in the U.S. will need to file the Form I-129 for you. The following documents will need to be attached to the H-3 visa petition:

  • A description of the training program, staff, and facilities,
  • Evidence that the program meets the above conditions and details of the your participation in the program, and
  • Copies of evidence that you are nearing completion of a baccalaureate degree in special education, that you already hold such a degree, or that you have extensive prior training and experience in teaching children with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities.

There is a “cap,” or numerical limit, on the number of H-3 Special Education exchange visitors each year. No more than 50 may be approved in a fiscal year.

Contact our office today to speak with a lawyer to learn more about your options and to begin the visa application process.

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Q: What should be included in the statement that must accompany a H-3 visa application?

A: Every H-3 visa application must include a detailed supporting statement about the proposed training program. Below is some of the important information that must be included in the statement:

  • Description of the type of training and supervision that will be given to you, and the structure of the training program;
  • Description of the proportion of time that will be devoted to productive employment;
  • Detailed information of the number of hours that will be spent, respectively, in classroom instruction and in on –the-job training;
  • Description of the career abroad that the training is meant to prepare you for;
  • Indication of the reasons why such training cannot be obtained in your home country and why it is necessary for you to be trained in the U.S.; and
  • Indication of the source of any remuneration that you will receive and any benefit that will accrue to the employer/organization for providing the training.

The more detailed this supporting statement is, the more likely it is that your H-3 visa application will be approved. USCIS has clearly set out its requirements for the H-3 visa training program, so if the required conditions are clearly met, there is a reasonably good chance of qualifying for this visa category.

Contact our office today to speak with a lawyer to learn more about your options and to begin the visa application process.

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