H-3 And J-1 Visa: Good Alternatives to H-1B Visas

Every year, the United States accepts thousands of foreign workers. Such entrants to the USA are accepted on a temporary basis, with the view to returning home to gain employment. As one of these individuals, you previously would have needed a H-1B visa to be granted access to the US. Each visa, however, has different conditions attached and can therefore be confusing if you don’t know the finer details. So, are the H-3 and J-1 visas good alternatives to H-1B visas?

H-3 Visa for Trainees

The H-3 visa is designed to allow you as a foreign entrant to sustain a level of temporary work. You need to be invited by an individual or organization for the purposes of receiving instruction and training in fields other than medicine.

Any training program undertaken by an individual on a H-3 must not be designed to primarily provide employment – i.e. it must be educational and not for paid work purposes.

If you’re looking to come to the US on a H-3 visa, you also can’t be able to complete your training in your country of origin. The H-3 visa may be issued for a period of up to 3 years.

J-1 Visas for Exchange Visitors

The J-1 visa is fairly similar to the H-3 in the sense that it only accepts bona fide trainees. As one of these trainees, you’ll have full intention of completing your course of study and then leaving the United States to seek employment in your country of origin.

An exchange program may include purposes such as teaching, observing, studying, conducting research, consulting, and receiving any form of training.

J-1 applicants must have the required funds to support them during their stay in the United States, and they need to speak English fluently. This type of visa is valid for up to 18 months in total.

H-1 B for Temporary Workers

The H-1 B visa is a work visa, which allows US employers to temporarily employ foreign workers. However, as the worker you must be employed in a specialty occupation. Such specialty occupations include, but are not limited to:

  • chemistry
  • architecture
  • engineering
  • mathematics
  • medicine and health
  • social science
  • education
  • law

When applying for this visa, you’ll also need to have a bachelor’s degree as a minimum qualification, as well as any state licensure required to practice within a specific profession.


The requirements for a H-1 B are much higher than those of the H-3 and J-1 visas. This is because applicants for the H-1 B will be granted employment authorization if approved.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Good Alternatives to H-1B Visas, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at 480.461.5330, log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.