The H-3 Trainee Visa

The H-3 visa is a non-immigrant visa allowing aliens to attend a traineeship in the U.S., i.e. they are allowed to work in compliance with their visa. This visa is most often used by firms and companies working with a parent company or subsidiary abroad that want to give a unique work experience to the alien as a trainee.

Who is eligible?

In addition to being admissible in general, the alien beneficiary must meet the following requirements:

Additionally, the petitioner has to submit a training program explaining the necessity and specialty of this traineeship by showing:

Length of Stay

There is a time limit of two years for the initial issue of an H-3 visa. Usually, it is issued for the time of the traineeship. If the alien stays in the U.S. for a full two years, he/she has to leave the U.S. for six months in order to receive a new H or L visa.


First, the U.S. employer ( petitioner ) has to file the petition with a regional INS office. After receiving the approval notice, the alien beneficiary obtains with this approved petition an H-3 visa with a U.S. consulate abroad. Change of status ( changing from another non-immigrant visa classification to H-3 without leaving the U.S. ) may also be available, but not in every case.

Finally, when the beneficiary applies for admission into the U.S. with his/her issued visa stamp, it is advisable to have the original approval notice.

Forms and Documents Checklist

Step One: Petition



Step two: Application



NOTE: This is the process of obtaining a visa for a person who is outside the United States. A person who is inside the U.S. may be allowed to change from his/her current visa to an H-3 visa.

For in-depth information, contact Capriotti & Associates to schedule a consultation appointment.

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