The Firm
Practice Areas
Our Team Featured Clients Firm News Contact Us

H-3 Trainee Visa

Law Offices of Yu & Associates

Who Can Apply for an H-3 Trainee Visa?

The H-3 category applies to an alien coming temporarily to receive training from an employer in any field other than graduate education or training, such as:

  1. Foreign nationals receiving training which is not available in their country;
  2. Foreign nationals as special exchange visitors to receive training in educating children with physical, mental or emotional disabilities;
  3. Multinational companies sending their foreign employees to the U.S. for on-the-job training.

Currently, there is no annual cap on the H-3 Trainee visa.

Can Spouses and Children Accompany the Visa-holder to the U.S.?

Dependents (spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age) of H-3 trainees are entitled to H-4 status with the same restrictions as the principal. However, dependents may not be employed while in H-4 status.

What are the Requirements for the U.S. Employer?

The petitioning employer or sponsors must demonstrate that the:

  1. Proposed training is not available in the beneficiaryí»s home country;
  2. Beneficiary will not be placed in a position which is in the normal operation of the business, and in which citizens and resident alien workers are regularly employed;
  3. Beneficiary will not be productively employed except as incidental to training; and
  4. Training will benefit beneficiary in pursuing a career outside the U.S.

The employer needs to prove such training is not available in the applicantí»s home country. More than fifty percent of the training has to be in a structured classroom training environment and the training has to enhance the career of the H-3 trainee abroad.

Who Should File the H-3 Trainee Visa Petition?

The H-3 petition should be filed by the U.S. employer and should include:

  1. A detailed description of the training program, including the number of classroom hours per week and the number of hours of on-the-job training per week;
  2. A summary of the prior training and experience of each alien in the petition; and
  3. An explanation of why the training is required, whether similar training is available in the alien's country, how the training will benefit the alien in pursuing a career abroad, what benefits the employer will derive from the training, and why the employer will incur the cost of providing the training without significant productive labor from the trainee.

How Long Can an H-3 Trainee Stay in the U.S.?

H-3 trainees can stay in the U.S. for a maximum of two years. There is no extension allowed after the two-year training period. H-3 Trainees must return to their home countries for six months before re-entering the U.S. in another status.

Can the H-3 Trainee Be Paid by the U.S. Employer?

The H-3 visa does not require the employers to pay a prevailing wage, but they can pay the H-3 trainees some wages for any work that is incidental to the training.? H-3 trainees cannot compete with any U.S. workers who are presently employed in the company. The training program must not be used by the employer for purposes of hiring in the U.S.


The above is intended as a general introduction and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion for your particular case. Please contact the Law Offices of Yu & Associates with any specific questions. Tel: (301) 838-8986, Email:, Address: 110 N Washington St., Suite 328E, Rockville, MD 20850.

© Yu & Associates, 110 North Washington Street, Suite 328E, Rockville, MD 20850. Tel: 301-838-8986