Who is it for: H-3 visas are also known as Trainee or Special Education Exchange Visitor visas. H-3 visa holders are allowed to come to the United States on a temporary basis as a:
- Trainee – this allows the visa holder to receive training in almost any field of study, excluding graduate medical education, if that training is not available in the visa holder’s country of origin.
- Special Education Exchange Visitor – allows a visa holder to take part in special education training and experience related to the education of children who have special needs, such as emotional, mental or physical disabilities.
H-3 visa holders are ultimately expected to perform their job in a country other than the United States.
Typically, Trainee visa holders work in agriculture, finance, government, transportation and commerce and communications. While physicians are not eligible under this visa category, medical students and nurses may be eligible in some instances.
Check Your Eligibility
Trainee visa applicants must be invited by an organization or an individual to receive training.
Immigrant or Non-immigrant visa: Nonimmigrant visa
Duration: H-3 Trainee visa holders can stay in the United States for as long as two years. H-3 Special Education Exchange Visitor visa holders can stay in the United States for as long as 18 months.
Details: Spouses and children under 21 years old can join the H-3 visa holder in the United States as H-4 visa holders. It is important to note that H-4 visa holders are not allowed to work in the United States during their stay.
USCIS puts a cap of 50 Special Education Exchange Visitor visas per year.
Check Your Eligibility
To apply: To apply for an H-3 visa, a sponsoring organization or employer must submit a Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129 on behalf of the applicant. In addition to the application, the submission must also include the following:
For a training program…
- A description of the training and how the applicant will be supervised.
- How much time will be allotted to actual employment.
- A breakdown of how many hours will be spent on in-class training and how many hours will be spent in on-the-job training.
- A description of the type of job the training will prepare the applicant for when they return to their country of origin.
- A statement of why the applicant must receive training in the United States instead of training in their country of origin.
- The amount of pay and benefits the trainee will receive.
For a special education exchange visitor…
- Proof that the petitioner requesting the H-3 visa is a facility that has trained staff and programs in place that educate children with disabilities.
- A description of the kind of training the applicant will receive and list of the facility’s professional staff.
- A statement and proof that the applicant is close to completing a degree program in special education or that they have already completed a degree program in special education.
- In lieu of a degree, it is acceptable to provide documentation that the applicant has significant experience teaching special education students.
For more information: United States Citizenship and Immigration Services provides a comprehensive overview on H-3 visas.