H-3 Training Visa

New York H-3 Training Visas Attorney

The H-3 non-immigrant visa category is designed for foreign nationals who come to the US to receive training in various fields. The training may be in “any field of endeavor” including agriculture, commerce, communications, finance, government, transportation and even purely industrial areas. The only sort of training that is specifically excluded is graduate medical training. Nurses may, in some circumstances, receive training in the US in H-3 status, and foreign medical students on school vacation can participate in externships at US hospitals.

A maximum of 3,000 H-3 visas are issued every year. Visas are issued for a maximum period of two years. Your spouse and unmarried children will be entitled to an H-4 derivative status.

Visa Applications:

All H-3 petitions are filed first with the appropriate United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) office by the US Employer. If you are outside the US and your petition is approved you will have to apply for an H-3 Visa at the US Consulate in your country of residence. If you are already in the US in a different status you may apply for a Change of Status to H-3. However, if you leave the US, you will have to apply for an H-3 Visa at a US Consulate in order to be admitted again in this status.

Extension of Stay in the US and Change of Status:

When you come to the US with an H-3 Visa, the Immigration Officer at the port of entry will usually grant you permission to stay (a Status) for the period up to the date your visa expires. This Status may be EXTENDED or CHANGED to another status for example, to B1/B2, L, E-1, E-2, F/J/M OR Green Card.

A. The employer must show:

The proposed training is not available in the beneficiary’s own country.
The beneficiary will not be placed in a position which is in the normal operation of the business and in which citizens and resident workers are regularly employed.
The beneficiary will not engage in productive employment unless such employment is incidental and necessary to the training.
The training will benefit the beneficiary’s career outside the United States.

B. The training program must:

Describe the type of training and supervision to be given and the structure of the training program.

Describe the amount of time devoted to productive employment, if any.

Show the number of hours spent in classroom instruction and on-the-job training.

Describe the career abroad for which the training will prepare the beneficiary.

Describe the reasons why the beneficiary cannot be trained in his or her own country and why he or she needs to be trained in the United States.

Describe the source of remuneration to be paid the trainee.

Describe the benefit to the petitioner for providing the training.

C. Training programs may not:

Deal in generalities with no fixed schedule, objectives, or means of evaluation.

Be incompatible with the nature of the petitioner’s business.

Be on behalf of a beneficiary who already has substantial training or expertise in the field.

Be in a field which is unlikely to be useful outside the United States.

Result in productive employment which is more than incidental or necessary to the training.

Involve insufficient physical plant or insufficiently trained manpower to provide the training.

Be used to extend practical training to a foreign student.

D. Other issues:

Admission can be 10 days earlier than the start date.

An H-3 trainee who has spent 24 months in the United States may not seek extension, change of status, or be re-admitted to the United States in H or L status unless he or she has resided outside the United States for the immediate prior six months, unless the person did not reside continually in the United States, and the training in the United States was seasonal or intermittent or was for an aggregate of six months or less per year.

E. Medical Externs:

Hospitals may petition for H-3 externs if:

The hospital is AMA or AOA approved for internships or residency programs;

The trainee is a medical student attending a medical school abroad;

The trainee will engage in employment as an extern during his or her medical school vacation.

F. Nurses:

Sponsor/petitioners may petition for H-3 nurses if:

There is a genuine need for the nurse to receive brief training;

The training is unavailable in his or her country;

The training is designed to benefit the nurse and the overseas employer upon return to the nurse’s country of origin, and provided:

  • a. The nurse has a full and unrestricted license to practice professional nursing in the country where he or she obtained nursing education, or if educated in the United States or Canada and
  • b. The petitioner provides a statement indicating the nurse is fully qualified where the training will take place to engage in the training, and the petitioner is authorized to provide the training in its jurisdiction.
G. Special education exchange program trainees:

The trainee must come to the United States to be in a structured program that provides practical training and experience in the education of children with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities.

The petitioner’s facility must have 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.

The requirements for alien trainees above do not apply for participants in special education exchange visitor programs. The requirements for this program are:

  • a. Custodial care of children must be incidental to the training.
  • b. The trainee must be nearing completion of a baccalaureate or higher degree in special education, or already holds such a degree, or has extensive prior training and experience in teaching children with physical, mental, or emotional abilities.

There is an annual cap of 50 visas to be issued to participants in special education exchange visitor

Frequently asked questions:

I am in the US on an H-3 Status, can I change my employer?

Yes, you may change your employer. In order to do that the new employer must file a new H-3 petition.

When can I start the training with the new employer?

You may start the training with the new employer on the date the Petition for the new H-3 training program is approved.

How long does it take for the USCIS to make a decision on an H-3 Petition?

A decision can take approximately 90 days. Sometimes, the USCIS issues a “Notice of Action” requesting additional documents and /or information to support the petition, and this procedure delays the processing time.

What is premium processing?

Premium Processing is a faster way of getting the USCIS decision on certain employment-based petitions and / or applications. Generally speaking the USCIS promise to make a decision on a case filed with premium processing within 15 calendar days. This service costs a $1,000 in filing fees, payable to the USCIS and is available to H-3 petitions.

My spouse is on an H-4 status, can s/he work?

No. A person on an H-4 status is not permitted to work in the US. However, if he or she finds a job, s/he may contact us to check his/her options to change status from H-4 to for example, to B1-B2, H,L, E-1, E-2, F/J/M OR Green Card, or any other category, which may allow him/her to work for that employer.

Do I have to come to your office in order to file the application?

No. Petitions to EXTEND / CHANGE status and for a visa do not generally require a personal meeting in our office. We provide services to many of our clients nationwide through mail, fax and email correspondence.

How do I start a case?

To start a case you will have to provide us with your resume and a profile of the company who wishes to sponsor you for the Visa. We charge $275.00 to evaluate a case. However, if within 30 days you decide to employ the services of our firm, this payment will be credited toward the additional legal fees expected to be paid for our services.

**This is general information and is NOT intended to provide legal advice.