If you are a trainee or a special education exchange visitor, you will need to apply for an H-3 Visa. You will be able to participate in visa training programs that allow you to learn skills in the United States and then apply your knowledge in your home country. If you are a participant in H-3 training for special education, you will get hands-on experience in the education field–specifically for children with disabilities—through the visa training programs.
The H-3 career training visa is a nonimmigrant visa, which simply means you are allowed admittance into the United States if you are a citizen of another country outside of the U.S.
An H-3 Visa is officially called the Nonimmigrant Trainee or Special Education Exchange Visitor Visa. we often get the question “What is an H-3 used for?” The visa’s purpose is for people to come to the United States to be trained in specific fields and to then take the knowledge learned back to their country of origin to apply the skills.
To actually obtain an H-3 visa, you must be an H-3 trainee with an invitation by either an individual or an organization.
The statutes for H-3 are under laws that are part of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), specifically section 8 CFR 214.2(h)(7). The law states the rules and regulations of each subcategory of the nonimmigrant trainee and special education exchange program.
Depending on your reasoning for obtaining an H-3 visa, you must meet the following eligibility requirements.
As the person conducting training and inviting the trainee to the United States, you must petition for the trainee’s visa.
As a petitioner working in a field that is not a graduate medical program and that does not participate in the special education visitor program, you will need to provide evidence that shows your own credibility and that of your program. The visa card training program needs to be presented to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with the following:
As a petitioner for the special education visitor’s program, you must provide:
The training performed will be in the trainee’s field of work. An H-3 trainee must meet the following requirements:
Similar to the special occupations visa, the beneficiary must be in the field of work provided by the trainer. Section 8 CFR 214.2(h)(4)(iii)(C) of the INA lists the beneficiary’s requirements for a special occupation. The beneficiary must hold a bachelor’s, bachelor’s equivalent, or a higher degree from an accredited institution, or state licensure or certification, or have specialized training in the field.
Training can be conducted in any field other than physician/medical training. Some of the more common fields of work are agriculture, finance, communications, transportation, government, and commerce. Again, the skills learned from training must be with the intention to take and apply them to the beneficiary’s job position in their home country.
As a participant in the special education exchange program, you need to be close to graduating from a bachelor’s or higher degree program specializing in special education. You are also eligible if you have already earned your bachelor’s degree or another higher degree in special education or if you have extensive experience and training in the childcare sector of education, specializing in working with children with disabilities. Disabilities may include physical, mental, or emotional disabilities.
H-3 Visas are not for graduate medical training, but a medical student may still be able to enter a residency program with H-3 status. Though these circumstances are rare, select hospitals may be able to petition for a medical student who is receiving their schooling abroad. If the student is taking a medical school vacation, they may have a residency or internship as an extern, established under statute 8 CFR 214.2(h)(7)(i)(A).
Nurses usually petition for an H1-C Visa. If nurses come to the United States on a nonimmigrant work visa, it would be for employment. But there are exceptions that allow nurses to come to the United States for training under the H-3 Visa. This law is established under statute 8 CFR 214.2(h)(7)(i)(B) relating directly to nurses.
If it can be proven that specific training is not available in the nurse’s country of origin and that the training is for a desired and specified purpose, then a petitioner can ask for an H-3 Visa. The training must meet a need in the home country and the need must still be there after the training is complete.
For a nurse to qualify for an H-3 Visa, they must be able to legally practice professional nursing in the country where they received their license. Another option is for the nurse to have gone to school in the U.S. or Canada. This can be proven with a copy of the nurse’s full, unrestricted license. The person petitioning for the nurse must also submit a statement verifying the nurse’s qualifications and that they are allowed to receive the training. The petitioner must also give their qualifications and address their own credibility for giving the training.
After you have been invited to be an immigration trainee, the person who invited you must petition for you via Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. When submitting the form, the petitioner must include all valid evidence demonstrating that the requirements for the visa training program are met by both the H-3 training petitioner and the H-3 trainee.
After USCIS has received the form, you may be asked to take a biometrics exam, if applicable. You will then get a notice of USCIS’s decision telling you whether the petition was accepted or denied. After the petition is approved, you can then apply for the actual H-3 Visa at the U.S. Embassy or consulate.
In addition to receiving the H-3 Visa for training purposes, you have other privileges when in the United States.
You may travel in and out of the country during your stay as an H-3 Visa holder. You may also change your status after you have received training, but only after six months spent out of the country.
One of the main limitations of an H-3 Visa is that medical education and training are not included. This means that if you are a physician or aspiring physician, you may not come to the United States under H-3 status to receive your training or education.
Other limitations to the H-3 Visa include:
The length of your stay will depend on the length of your training program. If your H-3 petition is approved, you can stay in the United States in your H-3 training program for two years. Since the special education exchange visitor visa has different qualifications than other trainee programs, the special education H-3 Visa’s duration is 18 months.
After two years, you may not extend your stay for the H-3 Visa. This visa only lasts for up to two years.
If your original training program stay was less than two years, you are allowed to file for an extension of stay as long as the extension does not go over the two-year time period. Since the purpose of an H-3 training visa is for training purposes only without the intent of remaining in the United States, you are not allowed to apply for work visas such as the H-2 Visa for temporary workers or the L-1 Intracompany Transfer Visa right away.
If you would like to apply for a work visa, you will need to spend the six months following the end of the training outside the U.S. There are exceptions to this rule. You may not need to leave the United States if your visa training program was less than six months long. Speak with your immigration attorney to discuss options for work following your time with a U.S. trainee visa.
Yes, your family members do have benefits under your H-3 Visa. You may bring your spouse and your children (as long as they are under 21 years old). Your family members will become H-4 nonimmigrants. However, they are not allowed to be employed in the United States under H4 status. But since your family members are not H-3, they are allowed to apply for another H visa.
The experienced attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates P.C. are here to help you with your H-3 Visa. Whether you are the petitioner or the beneficiary, applying for an H-3 Visa can be a complicated task. We provide legal representation for you and your business. If you have any questions about the qualifications, application process, possible restraints, or other H-3 topics, we are here to meet your needs. Contact us at 312.444.1940 or fill out an online contact form today.View Similar Articles