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The H-3 Temporary Trainee Visa


An H-3 trainee is a nonimmigrant who seeks to enter the United States at the invitation of a U.S. organization 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. An H-3 Trainee may be approved by the USCIS to stay in the U.S for a period of up to two years.

Special Considerations of the H-3 Visa

  • Conditions: The company proposing the training is required to demonstrate that:
    1. The proposed training is unavailable in the trainee's own country;
    2. 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;
    3. The trainee will not engage in productive employment unless such employment is incidental and necessary to the training; AND
    4. 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:
    1. Deals in generalities with no fixed schedule, objectives, or means of evaluation;
    2. Is incompatible with the nature of the company's business or enterprise;
    3. Is on behalf of a trainee who already possesses substantial training and expertise in the proposed field of training;
    4. Is in a field in which it is unlikely that the knowledge or skill will be used outside the United States;
    5. 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;
    6. Is designed to recruit and train aliens for the ultimate staffing of domestic operations in the U.S.;
    7. Does not establish that the petitioner has a physical plant and sufficiently trained personnel to provide the specified training; OR
    8. Is designed to extend the total allowable period of practical training previously authorized for a nonimmigrant student.

Our attorneys have assisted many U.S. companies in developing appropriate training programs for foreign nationals under the H-3 category. Whether you're a foreign national seeking to receive training or a U.S. company willing to provide such training, we welcome the opportunity to work with you in securing the required immigration status. Please call us at 847-763-8500 to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your immigration goals.