H-3 Non-immigrant Trainee and Special Education Exchange Visitor

The H-3 visa is for individuals coming to the United States for training in a field that is not available in their home country or for special education exchange visitors coming for the practical training and experience in the education of children with disabilities. The requirements for each type of H-3 designation is below.

The H-3 Trainee

You can come to the United States as a trainee in areas of agriculture, commerce, communications, finance, government, transportation and other professions. To be eligible as a trainee, the sponsoring employer must prove:

  • The training is not available in your home country;
  • You will not hold a position that is apart of the normal operation of the business which require regular employment;
  • You will only be employed if it is incidental and necessary to the training; and
  • The training will help your career development outside the United States.

You must also include a statement laying out:

  • The type of training and supervision that will be given, and a description of the training program;
  • How much time will be dedicated to any “productive” employment incidental to the training;
  • The hours that will be spent on practical training and in class sessions;
  • The type of career in the foreign country that the training will help;
  • How the training is unavailable in your home country;
  • Why you must train in the United States; and
  • Monetary and other benefits to you and the employer related to the training.

If you meet the eligibility requirements, the employer may file the I-129 Petition for Non-immigrant Worker with the USCIS, along with evidence that prove each of the criteria above.

Reasons an H-3 Trainee Visa May be Denied

When submitting this application as a trainee, it is very important to submit specific information that can be backed by credible evidence. Here are some of the reasons an H-3 visa may be denied. A training program may not be approved if:

  • The information is too general about the schedule, objectives and method behind the training program;
  • The training program does not fit well into the type of business conducted by the employer or organization;
  • The petition is on behalf of a foreign national who already possesses substantial training and expertise in the proposed field of training;
  • The training program is in a field in which it is unlikely that the knowledge or skill will be used outside the United States;
  • The employer is unable to show that the training will not result in productive employment beyond the training;
  • The employer is using the trainee visa as a recruitment tool for employment of the non-immigrant worker in the United States;
  • The employer cannot prove the business has the sufficient infrastructure and resources to provide the training; or
  • The employer is trying to use the H-3 visa to extend time in the U.S. for a non-immigrant student.

Special Education Exchange Visitor

There are few of these visas approved per fiscal year, with a cap of 50. The employer must be an organization which specializing in providing education to children with disabilities. The employer must file the Form I-129, Petition for Non-immigrant worker and include evidence which includes:

  • A detailed description of the training that the foreign national will receive;
  • A list and description of the employer’s professional staff; and
  • A description of your participation in the training program.

You as the special education exchange visitor must:

  • Have completed or be close to completing a bachelor’s or higher degree in special education; or
  • Have extensive prior training and experience teaching children with disabilities.

Applying at the Embassy

If you are outside of the United States, and the USCIS approves the petition, you will apply to the embassy in your country for the visa. The employer would need to forward the approval notice to you and then you would need to follow embassy instructions to apply for the non-immigrant visa. The embassy in your home country schedules the visa interview. The officer will review all documentation and your application at the interview and inform you of the decision at the interview.

If approved for the visa, you’ll be given up to 2 years to stay in the United States as a trainee. If a special education exchange visitor, you’ll have up to 18 months. You are permitted to take your spouse and child(ren) with you to the United States as well. Your spouse would be eligible for an H-4 visa but family members with H-4 status are not eligible for work authorization.

When considering whether to go through with this type of visa application, it is important to take other circumstances and factors into consideration. Failing to do this may cause complications during the application process. For instance, any facts that involve previous denials, past immigration and criminal violations, previous marriages that involved filings, entry with other types of visas, tax issues, visa overstays, and previous employment in the United States can be just as important as the basic eligibility criteria. A single criminal violation, whether a misdemeanor or more serious, or an immigration violation can lead you to be inadmissible to the United States, which may require additional steps to getting the visa, such as a waiver.

It is important to consult an experienced immigration attorney to assist you with your case. An attorney will assist with gathering evidence, and advocate vigorously for you during the process. Here at ST Law Office, I have dedicated my practice solely to immigration matters and have diverse experience surrounding these issues. I vigorously advocate no matter how simple or complicated the matter. Don’t hesitate to call us at 561-405-4889 or to schedule your initial phone, online or in-person consultation now.

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