H-3 Visa


The H-3, or Nonimmigrant Trainee or Special Education Exchange Visa is a category of visas that enables foreigners to enter the United States on a temporary basis as:

  • A Trainee: These individuals will be entering the United States for the sole purpose of receiving training in any field that they are pursuing and training in their particular field is not available in their country of origin, with the exception of medical training or education on a graduate level.
  • Special Education Exchange Visitor: These individuals must be entering the United States with the purpose of participating in a special education exchange visitor training program. The training program will offer the individual hands-on training and experience that they can use to teach children who have been diagnosed with mental, physical, or emotional disabilities.

Note: The H-3 Visa is granted on a temporary basis and it is not a pathway to citizenship. Trainees can remain in the US for as long as 2 years, while Special Education Exchange Visitors can remain in the US for as long as 18 months. Extensions are not available for the H-3 Visa; however, visa holders can apply for a change of status. More information about the H-3 Visa requirements can be found here.

H-3 Requirements

US-based employers or organizations must apply for the H-3 Visa, and they must demonstrate the following:

  • Training is unavailable in the home country of the foreign national.
  • Foreign nationals won’t be placed in a position of normal operation for the business or organization and positions that citizens and residents of the US are employed on a regular basis.
  • Foreign nationals will only participate in employment on a productive level if doing so is related to and necessary for training.
  • Training will be beneficial for the foreign national who will be seeking employing outside of the US.

H-3 Visa Costs

The total costs of the H-3 Visa vary and are dependent on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Applicants for this Visa can expect to pay:

  • USCIS I-129 Petition Filing fee

H-3 Process

The process of filing for the H-3 Visa is as follows:

  • A US employer or organization must complete and file a Form I-129.
  • A petition for a Trainee must include a statement that thoroughly details the form of training and supervision that the foreign national will receive and other pertinent details.
  • A petition for Special Exchange Visitors must include a statement that highlights the type of training the foreign national will receive, the professional staff of the facility where training will be provided, and the level of participation the foreign national will have in the training program, as well as other pertinent information.
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