Working in the United States
H-3 Nonimmigrant Trainee or Special Education Exchange Visitor
The H-3 nonimmigrant visa category allows foreign nationals coming temporarily to the United States as either a:
For more information, see USCIS Policy Manual Volume 2: Nonimmigrants, Part J, Trainees (H-3) [2 USCIS-PM J]
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:
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:
Each H-3 petition for a trainee must include a statement that:
A training program may not be approved which:
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:
In addition, the petition must show that the special education exchange visitor is:
Note: Any custodial care of children must be incidental to the foreign national’s training.
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.
Last Reviewed/Updated: 09/09/2014