The H-3 Temporary Trainee Visa
An H-3 trainee is a nonimmigrant who seeks to enter the United States at the invitation of an organization or individual for the purpose of receiving training in any field of endeavor. Regulations specifically prohibit the training program from being “designed primarily to provide productive employment.” However, some employment will be permitted if it is incidental and necessary to the training.
Terms of Stay
An H-3 Trainee may be approved by the CIS to stay in the U.S for a period of up to two (2) years.
Ability to Seek U.S. Education
H-3 trainees are allowed (as a component but not as the main purpose of their course of training) to pursue studies in the U.S.
The H-3 trainee CANNOT engage in productive employment unless such employment is incidental and necessary to the training. “Productive employment” has been found to occur in cases where (a) a substantial salary has been offered to the trainee, AND (b) a training program is long and repetitious which consists primarily of on-the-job-training.
Ability of Spouse to Work in the U.S.
Spouses of H-3 visa holders are NOT eligible for employment.
Special Considerations of the H-3 Visa
- Conditions: The company proposing the training is required to
- The proposed training is unavailable in the alien’s own country;
- The trainee will not be placed in a position in the normal operation of the business in which US citizens and permanent resident workers are regularly employed;
- The trainee will not engage in productive employment unless such employment is incidental and necessary to the training; AND
- The training will benefit the trainee in pursuing a career outside the United States.
- Restrictions on the Training Program: A training program CANNOT be approved if the program:
- Deals in generalities with no fixed schedule, objectives, or means of evaluation;
- Is incompatible with the nature of the company’s business or enterprise;
- Is on behalf of a trainee who already possesses substantial training and expertise in the proposed field of training;
- Is in a field in which it is unlikely that the knowledge or skill will be used outside the United States;
- Will result in productive employment beyond that which
is incidental and necessary to the training- “productive employment” has been found to occur in cases where (a) a substantial salary has been offered to the trainee, AND (b) a training program is long and repetitious consisting primarily of on-the-job-training;
- Is designed to recruit and train aliens for the ultimate staffing of domestic operations in the U.S.;
- Does not establish that the petitioner has a physical plant and sufficiently trained personnel to provide the specified training; OR
- Is designed to extend the total allowable period of practical training previously authorized for a nonimmigrant student.
- The “Six-Month Residence Outside the U.S” Rule: If an H-3 Trainee has spent two years in the United States as an H (including H-1B) or L nonimmigrant, he or she may NOT seek an extension, change status, or be readmitted to the U.S in an H or L status unless he or she has resided and been physically present outside the U.S. for the immediately prior six months.
- Only 3,000 H-3 Visas Are Issued Each Fiscal Year