H-3 Visa

The H-3 visa allows you to come to the U.S. a trainee or a special education exchange visitor.



As an H-3 trainee, you can receive training in any "field of endeavor", except graduate medical education/training, that is not available in your home country.  Such fields of endeavor include, but are not limited to: commerce, finance, government, communications, transportation, agriculture, and other professions.  This visa category is designed to provide you with job-related training for work that will ultimately be performed outside the U.S.; it is not intended for employment in the U.S.

In order for you to obtain an H-3 visa, a U.S. employer or organization must demonstrate that:

1. The proposed training is not available in your home country;

2. You will not be placed in a position which is in the normal operation of the business and where U.S. citizens and permanent resident workers are regularly employed;

3. You will not engage in productive employment, unless such employment is incidental and necessary to the training; and

4. The training will benefit you in pursuing a career outside the U.S.


Special Education Exchange Visitor

This allows you to participate in a special education exchange visitor training program that offers practical training and experience in the education of children with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities.  The annual limit (“cap”) for this classification is only 50 per fiscal year.  An I-129 petition must be filed by a U.S. facility which has professionally trained staff and a structured program for providing education to children with disabilities, and for providing training and hands-on experience to participants in the special education exchange visitor program.


How to apply

1. First, the U.S. employer/facility has to file a Form I-129, Petition for Non-immigrant Worker, along with proper Supplements and supporting documents, with USCIS.

2. Once the I-129 petition is approved, you can apply for an H-3 visa at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate.



Dependents (spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age) of H-3 workers are entitled to H-4 visas/status.  H-4 dependents may study, but cannot engage in employment in the U.S.


Period of stay

A trainee may be allowed to remain in the U.S. for up to 2 years.  If the trainee petition is approved for a special education exchange visitor, the trainee may remain in the U.S. for up to 18 months.

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