H-3 visas are available for foreign nationals who will receive training in the United States in any field other than graduate medical education or training. To obtain H-3 status, an employer must establish that the proposed training is not available in the foreign national’s home country, confirm that the foreign national will not be placed in a position regularly held by a U.S. worker, and state how the training will benefit the individual in his or her career abroad. H-3 petitions must include a detailed training timeline that explains precisely how the trainee will accumulate the knowledge (e.g. observation, classroom instruction, on-the-job training). Productive employment is not permitted unless such employment is incidental and necessary to the training.
H-3 status may not be granted to individuals who already possess substantial training and expertise in the proposed field of training. Therefore, if the foreign national already possesses experience and/or expertise, the petitioning organization must explain precisely what new information the trainee will learn.
An individual may hold H-3 trainee status for up to two years. Also, H-3 trainees generally are required to remain outside of the U.S. for at least six months following the completion of their training before they may be admitted in H or L visa status.
For additional information about visas that may be appropriate for short-term training in the U.S., please see B-1 in lieu of H-3 and J-1.