What Is the H-3 Trainee Visa?

The United States visa system is designed to control the number of people entering the country each year. There are visa options are available for non-US citizens interested in coming into the United States to work, as opposed as entering to visit. Browsing the list, which is populated with coded entries (i.e. H-1, H-2 etc.), it can often be hard to tell the difference between a visitor and a work visa. So, what is the H-3 trainee visa?

H-3 Trainee Visa Breakdown

The H-3 Non-immigrant Trainee or Special Education Exchange Visitor visa allows you to temporarily come to the United States as either a:

  • Trainee: This is an individual who receives training in a field of endeavor. This doesn’t include graduate medical education or training, but only when this type of training is not available in your country of origin.
  • Special Education Exchange Visitor (SEEV): This type of H-3 visa is capped at fifty per year. As a SEEV, you can participate in special education exchange visitor programs. These programs provide practical training and experience when educating children who live with physical, mental, or emotional difficulties.

1. Trainees

To be eligible for a H-3 Trainee visa, you must be invited by an individual or company to receive training. Potential fields of training may include agriculture, commerce, finance, government, communications, or transportation.

Applicants of this type of visa must intend to return to their country of origin to find permanent employment – not seeking to gain employment in the USA. This will be assessed at the point of entry to determine the risk of potential asylum seeking.

2. Special Education Exchange Visitors

Applicants for the H-3 Special Education Exchange Visitor visa must file a petition to work in a facility which has professionally trained staff – including a program for the education of children with disabilities.

In this case, the application must include a description of the training you’ll receive, the professional staff of the facility, as well as your potential participation in the training program.

Additional Information

If your petition is approved, you’ll be able to live and work in the United States for a maximum of 2 years. If the petition is for a Special Education Exchange Visitor, the maximum period of stay is up to 18 months.

Families of those in receipt of a H-3 visa may be entitled to also travel to the USA. They’ll be classed as H-4 non-immigrants. They must be spouses and children under the age of 21, but won’t be permitted to work in the United States.

Further information regarding the H-3 Trainee visa can be found on the Department for Homeland Security website.

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 H-3 Trainee Visa, 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.