H-3 – Trainee Visa


The H-3 nonimmigrant visa category is available for a worker who is coming temporarily to the U.S. to receive training (other than graduate medical education or training). The training may be provided by a business entity, academic, or vocational institute. The H-3 nonimmigrant visa category is also available for workers who are coming temporarily to the U.S. to participate in a special education training program for children with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities. There is a limit of 50 visas per fiscal year allocated to H-3 aliens participating in special education training programs.


The training program must be one that is not designed primarily to provide productive employment. The petition for the H-3 must, by regulation, present evidence that:
  • The proposed training is not available in the foreign worker’s country
  • The training will benefit the beneficiary in pursuing a career outside the U.S.
  • No productive employment is involved unless it is incidental and necessary to the training and pursuing a career abroad
  • The beneficiary must not be placed in a position that is in a normal operation of the business in which citizenship/resident workers are regularly employed.


The petition should also include:
  • The reason why the training program is not available in the home country
  • How the program benefits the petitioner
  • The source of the remuneration for the trainee
  • The position and duties of the training program
  • The number of hours of supervised and unsupervised training
  • The number of hours of classroom instruction
  • The proportion of time devoted to productive employment
  • The type of training, supervision and structure of the training program



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