Trainee (H-3)

The H-3 trainee is a nonimmigrant who seeks to enter the United States at the invitation of an organization or individual sponsor for the purpose of receiving training in any field of endeavor, except graduate medical education / training. This classification is not intended for U.S. employment.  It is designed to provide the foreign trainee with job-related training for work that will ultimately be performed outside the United States.


The H-3 visa may be granted for a period of up to two years and cannot be extended. If the training is for a two-year period, the trainee must return to their home country for a six-month period before applying to work in the United States.

Family of H-3 Visa Holders

Trainees' spouses and children who are under the age of 21 may accompany them to the United States as H-4 nonimmigrants. However, H-4 nonimmigrants are not permitted to work in the United States.


  1. The training must not be designed primarily to provide productive employment.
  2. The trainee must intend to return to their foreign residence upon completion of the program.
  3. The proposed training must not be available in the foreign national’s home country.
  4. The trainee must not be placed in a position in which citizen and resident workers are regularly employed.
  5. The trainee must not engage in productive employment unless it is incidental and necessary to the training and pursuing a career outside the United States.
  6. The training must benefit the foreign national in pursuing a career outside the United States.