H-3 Visa: Nonimmigrant Trainee or Special Education Exchange Visitor

H-3 Visa: Nonimmigrant Trainee or Special Education Exchange Visitor

H-3 visas are nonimmigrant visas allowing foreign nationals to enter the United States for the purpose of participating in special education visitor training or training of any field other than graduate medical education. The field of endeavor cannot be offered in the applicant’s home country.


Trainees entering the United States through an H-3 visa must be invited by an organization for the purpose of receiving training. Training may be in any of the following fields, but not limited to:

  • Agriculture
  • Commerce
  • Communications
  • Finance
  • Government
  • Transportation

The H-3 trainee classification is not intended for permanent employment, but rather for job-related training to be performed outside of the United States. In order to obtain H-3 classification, employers must also demonstrate specific criteria including the following:

  • Training for specified field is not available in foreign national’s country
  • Foreign national will not be employed by an organization or company in the U.S
  • Training in this field will benefit the trainee pursuing a career outside of the United States

Petition for H-3 Visa

When petitioning for an H-3 visa, certain requirements must be followed. The petition must:

  • Describe the type of training and structure of program
  • Outline time that will be devoted to employment
  • Outline number of hours that will be spent in instruction
  • Describe career abroad that trainee is training for
  • Indicate reason why training cannot be obtained in foreign country

Special Education Exchange Visitors

Petitions filed for H-3 visas under “special education exchange visitor” must be filed by facilities who intend to professionally train on a structured program providing education to children with disabilities. Criteria for special education exchange visitors should include a description of the following:

  • Training the foreign national will receive
  • Outline of the facility’s professional staff
  • The foreign national’s participation in the program

Application Process

To apply for an H-3 visa, you must complete and submit Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker.

Period of Stay

For trainees, the period of stay in the United States is 2 years. For special education visitors, the period of stay is up to 18 months.

Family of H-3 Visa Holders

Spouses and children (under the age of 21) may accompany an H-3 visa holder to the United States under H-4 visa.

Contact an Immigration Attorney Today

If you are a company seeking H-3 Visa certification for trainees or special education exchange visitors, contact the legal team at Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. today. With over seven decades of combined experience, we’re here to guide you through the process of obtaining the nonimmigrant visas you need. Contact a member of our team today at 312.444.1940.

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