Temporary Trainee Visas are for foreign nationals who wish to come to the U.S.
for on-the-job training provided by a company in the United States. H-3
Temporary Trainee Visa holders are allowed to work only for the company that is
providing the training and employment should only play a minor role in the
program. The main objective should be the training, not actual work.There
is currently no annual cap on H-3 admissions to the U.S. Also included in this
category is the Special Education Exchange Program.
Requirements and Restrictions
following programs qualify for H-3 Temporary Trainee Visas: agriculture,
technology, finance, communications, government, and almost any other fields,
except for medical training programs. H-3 status is not
appropriate for graduate education, including medical training, except under
petitioning employer or sponsor must demonstrate that the:
training is not available in the H-3 Trainee’s home country;
- H-3 Trainee will not be
placed in a position which is in the normal operation of the business and
in which U.S. citizens and resident alien workers are regularly employed;
Trainee will not be productively employed except as incidental to training;
will benefit the H-3 Trainee in pursuing a career outside the U.S.; and
Trainee has a foreign residence to which he/she must return.
petition should be filed by the U.S. employer along with a training program
which includes the following:
description of the training and the supervision to be given
of time that will be devoted to productive employment
of classroom hours per week and the number of hours of on-the-job training
of the position and duties for which the training will prepare the H-3
Trainee (i.e., IBM develops new software that is unknown in another
county, but which they will market there; IBM can petition to train people
to use that software so that they can use it when the software is sold in
their home country.);
explanation of why the training is required and why the trainee cannot
obtain the training in his/her country of residence;
explanation of how the training will benefit the trainee in pursuing a career
explanation of the benefits the employer will derive from the training and
why the employer will incur the cost of providing the training without
significant productive labor from the trainee(s); and
of remuneration received by the trainee.
The H-3 Petition is filed by the
U.S. Employer using Form I-129, Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker and H
Supplement. The forms should be accompanied by a letter from the Petitioner, training
program, summary and/or evidence of the trainee’s credentials, and the
appropriate filing fee. The H-3 Petition is
filed with the appropriate USCIS Regional Service Center.
Petitioner’s may file for multiple beneficiaries if the dates
of training and duties/training are the same and the individuals will be
applying for their visas at the same consulate or, if they do not need visas, they
will enter at the same port of entry.
the USCIS approves the petition, the H-3 Trainee must apply at the U.S.
Consulate for the visa. Consulates
set their own interview policies and procedures regarding nonimmigrant visas.
Be sure to check the consulate’s website for their specific instructions. They will also list the visa
application fees and current forms to submit.
Entry into the U.S.
Please be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the
United States. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has authority to
deny admission at the port of entry to any applicant who is inadmissible under
INA, even if the applicant has a visa. Also,
the CBP, not the consular officer, determines the period for which the
bearer of a temporary work visa is authorized to remain in the United States.
At the port of entry, CBP officials issue Form I-94, Record of
Arrival-Departure, which notes the length of stay permitted.
Admission and Extension
The maximum period of admission in H-3 status is two years.
Typically, the H-3 Trainee will be admitted for the length of the training
program. If the visa is approved or admission is for a shorter period, the H-3 visa
may be extended in increments of up to one year, but no longer than 2 years.
An H-3 Trainee who has remained in the U.S. for the maximum
two years is not eligible for an extension, change of status or readmission to
H or L status unless the Trainee resided and is physically outside the U.S. for
the immediate prior 6 months. However, this rule does not apply if training is
seasonal, intermittent, or less than 6 months.
If the training undergoes a
substantial change from that which is authorized, a new petition must be
filed. Otherwise, if the H-3
Trainee continues to participate in the training program, he/she is deemed to
have violated his/her nonimmigrant status and is therefore, deportable.
and unmarried children under 21 years of age of H-3 visa holders are eligible
for H-4 visas. Dependents may remain in the United States, travel in and out of
the country, but are not allowed to work on H-4 visa status.
H-3 Special Education
Since 1990, there has been an
exception from the requirements of H-3 training programs for participants in
special education programs which provide practical training and experience in
the education of children with physical, mental or emotional disabilities. The only requirements are that the
petition be filed by a facility with a professionally trained staff and “a
structured program for providing education to children with disabilities, and
for providing hands-on experience to participants in the special education
exchange visitor program.” The
beneficiary must be nearing completion of a Bachelor’s or higher degree or have
extensive prior training or experience caring for disabled children. There is an annual limit of 50 such
visas available annually and the maximum period of admission is 18 months. A
beneficiary in this category who has remained in the U.S. for the maximum
period of 18 months may not seek a change or extension of status or readmission
under H or L categories unless he or she has resided and is physically present
outside the U.S. for the immediate prior 6 months.
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