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H-3 Visas for those who wish to undergo training in the US

What is an H-3 Visa?
It is classified as a non-immigrant visa. It is issued to foreign nationals who desire to come to the US to
undergo training that is not available in their own country and which will benefit them in pursuing a
career or livelihood outside the United States.

How long is the validity of an H-3 visa?
H-3 visas can be issued with a validity of up to two years. After the two years’ validity are over, the visa
cannot be extended. The foreign national will need to depart from the US and re-apply for another

Can I work while I hold an H-3 visa?
Foreign nationals who stay in the US under an H-3 visa can engage in employment which is incidental
and necessary to their training. The trainee job should not be necessary in the usual course of trade,
business or operations of the US employer.

Can I receive compensation while I train in the US?
Yes, you may receive compensation for the training you obtain. The fact that you will be paid for your
work during training is not a barrier to obtaining an H-3 visa. Mostly, US companies that provide the
training will pay for living expenses, provide board and lodging, or provide food allowance. The US
Company that petitions to train you must disclose how they intend to pay you and how much they will
pay you in salaries or wages for the time you work during training. However, the US company must
prove that paying you will not displace a US worker or that the work you will do is productive
employment from which the US Company will benefit. If the foreign company where you are employer
will pay your salary while you are undergoing training, this will help prove that you are qualified under
the H-3 training program you are applying for.

I am currently holding an F-1 visa, can I change my visa to an H-3?
If while under the F-1 visa, the student has already gained expertise or received practical training, then
there is no need for an H-3 visa. If you can prove that your training under the H-3 visa is a continuation
of the training while on an F-1 visa, then this is acceptable. However, changing your visa status may be
difficult as the consul may scrutinize the petition and supporting documents more strictly.

What kind of training programs are qualified under the H-3 visa category?

The training program must not be available in the foreign national’s home country. The training program
cannot be used as a stepping stone to a regular employment position in the US company offering the
training program. The training program may allow the trainee/visa holder to engage in productive
employment, but the employment must be incidental and necessary for the training. The training must
benefit the foreign nationals, opening employment and career opportunities in their own countries.
The training program may be in any field of endeavor such as agriculture, commerce, communications,
finance, government, transportation, or the professions, as well as training in a purely industrial
establishment. The training program may also be one that provides practical training and experience in
educating children with physical, mental or emotional disabilities.

Can nurses apply for an H-3 visa?
Yes, but the nurses must prove that they are not eligible for an H-1 (professional employment) visa.
They must have obtained a nursing education and be fully certified and licensed to practice nursing in
their own country. The training program that they will join must address a genuine need to be trained as
the training program is not available in their home country. While the training will benefit the nurse
personally, the foreign employer of the nurse must also prove that they will benefit from the training
that the nurse will receive. The US hospital or training center must also provide a statement certifying
that the nurse is fully qualified in the place where the nurse will receive training and that the US hospital
or training center is authorized to provide the training desired.

Medical students who want to undergo training while they are on vacation from their studies in their
country can also apply for an H-3 visa for short-term training. If they wish to undergo internship or
residency, though, they cannot do it through an H-3 visa.

What kinds of documents do I need to prepare and present?
The applicant for an H-3 visa must present the following documents:

  • An official description of the training program in the US.
  • Academic records of the trainee/applicant such as diplomas, degrees, transcripts of records
  • Resume and/or curriculum vitae of the applicant
  • Basic information about the US company providing the training including the size and nature of
    their business
  • Information about the staff that will provide the training such as educational documents,
    professional certifications and licenses, resumes and job descriptions.

What purpose and intentions must I prove?
Applicants for an H-3 visa must prove that:

  • They have ties to their country of residence or nationality that they do not wish to abandon. To
    prove this, the applicant may present property titles or deeds, mortgages or lease agreements.
  • They have an occupation or employment abroad that they wish to continue or pursue after
    completing the training program.
  • They do not have intent to immigrate or to establish permanent residency in the US.

Confused as to whether you are qualified to apply for an H-3 visa? Talk to any of our lawyers at Lluis
Law. They are competent and experienced in helping applicants determine and prove their qualifications
for a visa they desire to obtain. Call us today.