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H-3 Visa for Professional Trainees

H-3 Visa for Professional Trainees

H-3 for Professional Trainees

Purpose of the H-3 Visa Classification: The H-3 Visa classification allows foreign trainees and visitors to enter the U.S. at the invitation of an organization, facility or individual for (1) the purpose of receiving training in any field of endeavor or for (2) participation in a special education exchange visitor program. Thus the H-3 visa allows aliens to attend a traineeship in the U.S., i.e. they are allowed to work in compliance with their visa. This visa is most often used by firms and companies working with a parent company or subsidiary abroad that want to give a unique work experience to the alien as a trainee.

Who is eligible?

In addition to being admissible in general, the alien beneficiary must meet the following requirements:

  • Receive no graduate medical education or training in the U.S.
  • Not have the opportunity to receive this kind of training in his/her home country.
  • Need this traineeship to advance his/her career outside the U.S.

Additionally, the petitioner has to submit a training program explaining the necessity and specialty of this traineeship by showing:

  • That the training won't result in productive employment.
  • That it is highly structured and organized.
  • That the alien beneficiary is trained for a position abroad but not necessarily for one with the U.S. employer.
  • Length of Stay
  • There is a time limit of two years for the initial issue of an H-3 visa. Usually, it is issued for the time of the traineeship. If the alien stays in the U.S. for a full two years, he/she has to leave the U.S. for six months in order to receive a new H or L visa.
  • Procedure
  • First, the U.S. employer ( petitioner ) has to file the petition with a regional INS office. After receiving the approval notice, the alien beneficiary obtains with this approved petition an H-3 visa with a U.S. consulate abroad. Change of status ( changing from another non-immigrant visa classification to H-3 without leaving the U.S. ) may also be available, but not in every case.
  • Finally, when the beneficiary applies for admission into the U.S. with his/her issued visa stamp, it is advisable to have the original approval notice.
Advantages of the H-3 Visa Classification:

H-3 Trainee Visa: The H-3 trainee program allows foreign nationals to receive training by U.S. employers in a wide variety of activities.

Although the H-3 visa trainee program is not available for graduate medical education or training, a medical student attending a foreign medical school may be classified as an H-3 visa trainee for purposes of an externship in the U.S.

Qualified nurses, who may not meet the requirements for the H-1 visa classification, may seek H-3 visa classification as an H-3 visa trainee.

H-3 Special Education Exchange Visitor Visa: The H-3 special education exchange visitor program allows foreign visitors to receive practical training and experience with a U.S. facility in the education of disabled children.

Disadvantages of the H-3 Visa Classification:
  • Foreign Residence Requirement: H-3 Visa Exchange Visitors or H-3 Visa Trainees who have spent respectively 18 months or 24 months in the U.S. in either H-Visa or L-Visa classifications may not seek extension, change status to, or be readmitted in either H-Visa or L-Visa status unless they have resided outside the U.S. for the previous six months. See belo

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