The H-3 visa is a non-immigrant visa category in the United States that is designed for individuals who wish to come to the U.S. to receive training or instruction that is not readily available in their home country. The H-3 visa is not intended for traditional employment, but rather for individuals who seek to acquire new skills or knowledge. There are two main types of H-3 visas:
H-3 Trainee Visa: This type of H-3 visa is for individuals who want to come to the U.S. to receive training in any field, including but not limited to agriculture, commerce, communications, finance, government, transportation, and more. The training program should be provided by a U.S. company or organization and must be designed to benefit the trainee in pursuing a career outside the United States.
H-3 Special Education Exchange Visitor Visa: This category is specifically for foreign nationals who wish to come to the U.S. to participate in a special education exchange program. The program is typically designed for individuals looking to work with disabled or exceptional students.
Eligibility criteria include having a job offer for a training program that is not available in the applicant’s home country and is not intended to provide productive employment. The training program should not be used as a method for the trainee to work in the U.S. in a job that would typically require an H-1B visa.
It’s important to note that H-3 visas are temporary and time-limited, and the training must be for a specific period. The H-3 visa holder is expected to return to their home country after completing the training. It is not a pathway to U.S. permanent residency or citizenship.
The application process typically involves these steps:
The U.S. employer files a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), requesting approval for the H-3 visa program.
If USCIS approves the petition, the foreign national applies for the H-3 visa at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country.