H-3 Non-Immigrant Trainee Or Special Education Exchange Visitor Visa

The H-3 Non-Immigrant visa allows foreign nationals coming temporarily to the United States as either a:

  • Trainee to receive training in any field of endeavor, other than graduate medical education or training, that is not available in the foreign national’s home country.

  • Special Education Exchange Visitor to participate in a special education exchange visitor training program that provides for practical training and experience in the education of children with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities.

H-3 Visa General Information:

Trainees:


An H-3 “trainee” must be invited by an individual or organization for the purpose of receiving training, in any field including but not limited to:

  • Agriculture
  • Commerce
  • Communications
  • Finance
  • Government
  • Transportation
  • Other Professions
This classification is not intended for U.S. employment. It is designed to provide a foreign national with job-related training for work that will ultimately be performed outside the United States. In order to obtain H-3 classification, a U.S. employer or organization must demonstrate that:
  • The proposed training is not available in the foreign national’s native country;
  • The foreign national will not be placed in a position which is in the normal operation of the business and in which U.S. citizens and resident workers are regularly employed;
  • The foreign national will not engage in productive employment unless such employment is incidental and necessary to the training; and
  • The training will benefit the beneficiary in pursuing a career outside the United States.
Each H-3 petition for a trainee must include a statement that:
  • Describes the type of training and supervision to be given, and the structure of the training program;
  • Sets the proportion of time that will be devoted to productive employment;
  • Shows the number of hours that will be spent, respectively, in classroom instruction and in on –the-job training;
  • Describes the career abroad for which the training will prepare the foreign national;
  • Indicates the reasons why such training cannot be obtained in the foreign national’s country and why it is necessary for the foreign national to be trained in the United States; and
  • Indicates the source of any remuneration received by the trainee and any benefit which will accrue to the employer/organization for providing the training.
A training program may not be approved which:
  • Deals in generalities with no fixed schedule, objectives or means of evaluation;
  • Is incompatible with the nature of the petitioner’s business or enterprise;
  • Is on behalf of a foreign national who already possess substantial training and expertise in the proposed field of training;
  • Is in a field in which it is unlikely that the knowledge or skill will be used outside the United States;
  • Will result in productive employment beyond that which is incidental and necessary to the training;
  • Is designed to recruit and train foreign nationals for the ultimate staffing of domestic operations in the United States;
  • Does not establish that the petitioner has the physical plant and sufficiently trained manpower to provide the training specified; or
  • Is designed to extend the total allowable period of practical training previously authorized a nonimmigrant student.




Special Education Exchange Visitor:


There is a numerical limit (or “cap”) on the number of H-3 special education exchange visitors. No more than 50 may be approved in a fiscal year. A petition requesting an H-3 “special education exchange visitor” must be filed by a 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. It should include a description of:

  • The training the foreign national will receive;
  • The facility’s professional staff; and
  • The foreign national’s participation in the training program.
In addition, the petition must show that the special education exchange visitor is:
  • Nearing the completion of a baccalaureate or higher degree program in special education; or
  • Has already earned a baccalaureate or higher degree in special education; or
  • Has extensive prior training and experience teaching children with physical, mental or emotional disabilities.
Note: Any custodial care of children must be incidental to the foreign national’s training.




Application Process:


In order to obtain H-3 classification, the U.S. employer or organization must file a Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. The petition must be filed with the information provided above.




Period Of Stay:


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




Family Of H-3 Visa Holders:


Trainees' spouses and children who are under the age of 21 may accompany them to the United States as H-4 nonimmigrants. However, H-4 nonimmigrants are not permitted to work in the United States.





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