Chapter 2 - H-3 Categories
H-3 trainees are aliens who have been invited to participate in a training program in the United States by a person, a business, or an organization. The training must be unavailable in the alien’s home country. There are no numerical limits on the number of people who can be granted H-3 visas as trainees each year.
An H-3 trainee cannot engage in productive employment in the United States unless such work is incidental and necessary to the training and must not be placed in a position which is in the petitioning entity’s normal operation and in which citizens and resident workers are regularly employed. Finally, the training must benefit the alien pursuing a career outside the United States.
An H-3 trainee must be invited by a person or organization for the purpose of receiving training (except as a physician), in any field including:
A purely industrial establishment
A hospital approved by the American Medical Association (AMA) or the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) for either an internship or residency program may petition to classify a medical student attending a medical school abroad as an H-3 trainee if the student’s training will be done as an extern during his or her medical school vacation. The hospital must also satisfy the H-3 trainee petition requirements.
A petitioner may seek H-3 classification for a nurse if:
The nurse-beneficiary does not have H-1 status;
Such training is designed to benefit both the nurse-beneficiary and the overseas employer upon the nurse’s return to his or her country of origin; and
The petitioner establishes that there is a genuine need for the nurse-beneficiary to receive a brief period of training that is unavailable in his or her native country.
Additionally, the petitioner must:
Satisfy the H-3 trainee requirements;
Establish that the nurse-beneficiary has a full and unrestricted license to practice professional nursing in the country where the beneficiary obtained a nursing education or that such education was obtained in the United States or Canada; and
Include a statement certifying that the nurse-beneficiary is fully qualified under the laws governing the place where the training will be received and that under those laws the petitioner is authorized to give the beneficiary the desired training.
B. Special Education Exchange Visitors
H-3 special education exchange visitors are participants in a structured special education program that provides practical training and experience in the education of physically, mentally, or emotionally disabled children. This category is limited to an 18-month period of stay and to 50 visas per fiscal year. 
1. [^] The H-3 nonimmigrant classification is defined in INA 101(a)(15)(H)(iii) as, “an alien having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning who is coming temporarily to the United States as a trainee, other than to receive graduate medical education or training, in a training program that is not designated primarily to provide productive employment … ” The regulations impose additional requirements on the extern and nurse subcategories that do not apply to the general trainee category. See 8 CFR 214.2(h)(7)(i).
10. [^] See Section 223 of the Immigration Act of 1990 (IMMACT 90), Pub. L. 101-649 (PDF), 104 Stat. 4978, 5028 (November 29, 1990). See 8 CFR 214.2(h)(7)(iv) and 8 CFR 214.2(h)(8)(D). See 55 FR 2606, 2628 (PDF) (Jan. 26, 1990).
No forms available at this time.
No appendices available at this time.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is revising its policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to align with the Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements Final Rule, published in the Federal Register on August 3, 2020. This guidance becomes effective October 2, 2020. For information regarding implementation, see our litigation summary.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is updating and incorporating relevant Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM) content into the USCIS Policy Manual. As that process is ongoing, USCIS has moved any remaining AFM content to its corresponding USCIS Policy Manual Part, in PDF format, until relevant AFM content has been properly incorporated into the USCIS Policy Manual. To the extent that a provision in the USCIS Policy Manual conflicts with remaining AFM content or Policy Memoranda, the updated information in the USCIS Policy Manual prevails. To find remaining AFM content, see the crosswalk (PDF, 327.05 KB) between the AFM and the Policy Manual.
This technical update replaces all instances of the term “foreign national” with “alien” throughout the Policy Manual as used to refer to a person who meets the definition provided in INA 101(a)(3) [“any person not a citizen or national of the United States”].