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H-3 visa: Q&A

By August 19, 2020March 31st, 2021News

What is the H-3 trainee visa?

The H-3 trainee visa is for individuals who are coming to the U.S. to receive training in their field of endeavor (medical training is excluded).

Do I need a sponsor for an H-3 visa?

Yes and no. You must be invited by an individual, business, or organization for purposes of receiving the training, and that individual, business, or organization must file an I-129 petition to USCIS. However, you do not need a sponsor like you would need for an H-1B visa.

Will I have to show that I have a non-immigrant intent when applying for an H-3 visa?

Yes. You will have to demonstrate that you have a non-immigrant intent and that you have a foreign residence to which you intend to return to at the end of your stay.

What are the H-3 visa requirements?

To qualify for an H-3 visa you must meet the following requirements:

  • The training cannot be available in your home country;
  • You cannot be placed in a position in which citizens/resident workers are usually employed;
  • You cannot engage in productive employment unless it’s incidental and necessary to the training (the training program cannot be primarily designed to provide productive employment);
  • The training must benefit you in pursuing your career outside the U.S.

Please note that your H-3 petition may not be approved if, for example:

  • You already possess training and expertise in your field of expertise;
  • You want to get training in a field in which it is unlikely that the knowledge and skills will be used outside the U.S.;
  • You will be engaging in a productive employment; or
  • The training is designed to ultimately recruit and train aliens for domestic staffing and operations

What is a training program?

When submitting an H-3 visa petition to USCIS, you will need to explain the structure of the training program, including how many hours will be spent on classroom instruction and how many hours will be spend on the actual job training. You will also need to explain why the training cannot be provided in your home country and how the training in the U.S. will prepare you for your career abroad. You will also need to indicate whether you as the trainee will receive any remuneration.

How long can I stay in the U.S. on an H-3 visa?

Up to 2 years.

What form does the organization have to submit to USCIS?

The inviting individual/organization will have to submit form I-129 with USCIS. The petition can be filed either as a Change of Status if you are already in the U.S. on some other non-immigrant visa, or as Consular Processing, requiring that you apply for an H-3 visa stamp at a U.S. Consulate abroad. In both cases, Form I-129 will have to be filed with USCIS.

Is there a lottery for the H-3 visa?

No. There is no limit as to how many H-3 visas can be issued. As a result, there is no lottery like there is for an H-1B visa.

Can my family come with me if I get an H-3 visa?

Yes. Your spouse and children (unmarried and under the age of 21) can apply for an H-4 visa. Unfortunately, your spouse and children cannot apply for work authorization in the U.S.

Please click here to find out more about the H-1B visa.

Please click here to find out more about what is the difference between H-1B and E-3 visa.

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