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DownloadLearn more about how the immigration process works and help you with your immigration concerns and questions. The Charleston USA Immigration Law Center is here to support you in your goal to become a United States citizen.

H-3 Visa, Foreign Trainees or Special Education Exchange Visitors

The H-3 visa is a temporary non-immigrant visa for two specific categories: foreign trainees and special education exchange visitors.

Foreign Trainees & Interns

This category is for aliens to receive training they cannot get at their home country in areas such as;

  • Agriculture, forestry & fishing,
  • Arts & culture,
  • Aviation including flight training,
  • Construction & building trades,
  • Education, social sciences, library science, counseling & social services,
  • Health related occupations,
  • Information media & communications,
  • Management, business, finance & commerce,
  • Public administration & law,
  • Sciences, engineering, architecture, mathematics & industry

They must pass an English Proficiency Examination and be invited by U.S. individuals or organizations. They cannot work and the training cannot be for graduate nor medical education. They must be currently enrolled at home in a degree program or graduated within 12 prior months from time of application. The training program cannot displace any American workers nor duplicate training they may have already received elsewhere. It also must be fulltime (32 hours or more per week).

They also must demonstrate financial resources sufficient to support themselves for their entire U.S. stay.

Sponsor Obligations for H-3 Visa

Sponsors must verify eligibility of all trainees, issue USCIS form DS-2019s, assist as facilitators and counselors, screen placement, review host organizations, maintain all required record keeping and complete a vast array of other obligations.

Program Duration

The terms of training and interning vary from 12 to 24 months dependent upon the program. And some situations extensions are permissible.

H-3 Visa Application Process

The sponsor must file a USCIS Form I-129, plus an H Supplement, all accompanying documents and pay all required filing fees. Approvals often take up to 4 months. Upon approval notification is sent to the trainees local U.S. Embassy or Consulate for processing and an Interview at which the trainee will be hopefully approved for its H-3 entry visa. Remember, the border agents have final determination of entry into the U.S.

We can help you navigate the maize of requirements to become a trainee or a sponsor of a Foreign Exchange Trainee Program.

Special Education Exchange Visitor

This program has an annual cap of only 50 visas. They are almost never approved and very difficult to obtain. It is designed for the trainees with experience in teaching those with physical, mental and emotional disabilities. The period of stay is limited to 18 months. Application is made on USCIS Form I-129, with accompanying documentation and paying all required filing fees all similar to the process for other H-3 visa applicants.

A spouse and children under 21 can also enter under the H-4 visa classification, they cannot work but they are permitted to attend school.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
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Charleston USA Immigration Law Center, LLP - Immigration Lawyer in Charleston, SC
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