H-3 Visa

The H-3 non-immigrant visa category specifically designed to allow the aliens coming temporarily to the United States as either:

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

The USCIS calls this loose classification, ‘any field of endeavor’. This includes agriculture, technology, communications and governmental leadership. This loose classification does not include people seeking graduate medical training. Nurses and medical students on vacation, however, may be eligible for the H-3 Visa.


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 an alien with job-related training for work that will ultimately be performed outside the United States.


  • The proposed training is not available in the alien’s native country;
  • The alien 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 alien 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.


    • 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 alien;

  • Indicates the reasons why such training cannot be obtained in the alien’s country and why it is necessary for the alien 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.


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 alien will receive;
  • The facility’s professional staff; and
  • The alien’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.


The H-3 Visa is not self-petitioned. An employer must petition on behalf of you, the trainee. The employer must provide certain evidence about the training, including a description of the training program, your compensation (if any) and reasons why you need the training. The employer must then submit a petition on Form I-129 with the regional USCIS center that has jurisdiction over the place where the training will be.


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.


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.

An H3 holder who has been in the United States for 24 months must remain outside of the United States for at least 6 months before he or she can apply for readmission in another H or L classification. The six months foreign residence requirement cannot be waived.


  • Proof that this training is not available in your home country.
  • Proof that this training will aid you in your career outside the U.S.
  • Proof that you will not engage in wilful employment while in the U.S.
  • Proof that the training is formal in nature.


  • A filled-in appropriate DS 160 visa application Form. Separate applications for each person are compulsory.
  • One recent photograph as per the specification of each applicant, with the entire face visible. The picture should be taken before a light background and without head covering. You may refer to specification on this link https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/photos.html
  • A passport, valid for travel to the United States for at least six months longer than your intended visit.
  • Approval Notice of Action from USCIS


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