H-3, Trainee Visa

The H-3 nonimmigrant visa classification is designed to allow foreign nationals to enter the U.S. temporarily to receive training from a U.S. employer which is not available in his home country. The training may be in any field, with the exception of graduate medical education or training.

To qualify for H-3 classification, the U.S. employer must provide classroom-style and/or on-the-job training for the majority of the time. Any hands-on productive work must be incidental to, and in service of, the training. The beneficiary may not fill a position which is in the normal operation of the business.

Typically, we support our H-3 filings by providing a copy of the educational curriculum that will be employed for the training program. The program must include a fixed schedule with specific objectives. The company must also show that the training is something the foreign national ultimately will use outside the U.S. In addition, the company providing the training must describe the source of funding for the program and how the company expects to benefit from training the alien.

For example, in some cases the U.S. company providing the training is a multinational corporation that seeks to employ the foreign national abroad at one of its foreign affiliates. This would be acceptable. However, USCIS will question cases in which there is no apparent benefit to the company for providing the training, as this would tend to indicate either that the foreign national will actually be working for the company rather than merely receiving training; or that at the conclusion of training the company will employ the beneficiary in the US, both of which are not permissible for H-3 classification.

A foreign national may be admitted to the U.S. in H-3 status for a period of up to two years. Time spent in other H or L classifications counts against time permitted in H-3 status.

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