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H3 Trainee Visa Application

The H3 trainee visa category is strictly intended for foreign nationals seeking on-the-job training provided by a U.S. company or a U.S. government agency in order to further their career in their home country. In order to be eligible for an H3 visa, similar training opportunities must not exist in the foreign national's home country. This classification is not intended for employment within the United States. A foreign national is not eligible for this classification if they are coming to the United States for graduate education or training. If this is the case, J-1 and F-1 classifications may be more appropriate.


The H-3 Visa Category

  • An H3 visa holder can take part in a training program offered by a U.S. company or U.S. government agency, and therefore can work legally in the United States, as long it is not productive employment.
  • There are no numerical limits to H3 Trainee Visas though there is a limit of fifty (50) per year regarding "special education" H3 Trainee Visas.
  • In order to apply for an H-3 visa at a U.S. consulate overseas, the H3 visa applicant must be the beneficiary of an approved visa petition. In other words, before the trainee can apply for the H3 visa, the company which is sponsoring the training must file a petition with USCIS. Generally, it takes USCIS two (2) to four (4) months to approve the visa petition. Once the petition is approved, the applicant must schedule an appointment to apply for the visa at a nearby consulate.
  • An H3 visa holder can travel in and out of the United States without restrictions, or can stay in the United States continuously until the visa expires.
  • H-4 visas are available for accompanying spouses or unmarried children under the age of twenty-one (21). H-4 visa holders cannot work in this country but they can study in U.S. primary and secondary schools

Getting an H3 Visa

This e-book provides detailed information on how to apply for an H-3 trainee visa. The H3 visa allows foreign nationals to come to the United States for the purpose of training in fields such as commerce, communications, finance, government, transportation, agriculture, government leadership or "special education".


The H-3 visa classification is not intended for employment within the United States. The visa category allows for up to two (2) years of job-related training and H3 visa holders are expected to use this training to advance their skill-set in a job outside the U.S.


The H-3 Visa e-book includes:

  • Qualifications and Eligibility requirements;
  • A detailed overview of the application process;
  • All of the necessary application forms and guidance on how to complete the forms accurately and completely;
  • Instructions on how to extend your status once you are in the U.S.;
  • Rules on maintaining status in the U.S.; and
  • All visa application forms.

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