H-3 Trainees

This category is generally referred to as the Principal Trainee Category. It permits training in a wide variety of activities provided that the following four conditions are met:

(1) The proposed training is not available in the alien's own country;

(2) The beneficiary will not be placed in a position which is in the normal operation of the business and in which citizens and resident workers are regularly employed;

(3) The beneficiary will not engage in productive employment unless such employment is incidental and necessary to the training; and

(4) The training will benefit the beneficiary in pursuing a career outside the United States.

The following restrictions test whether these four conditions have been met:

  • The program may not result in productive employment beyond the need to train;
  • The program must not be designed to enlist aliens for the petitioner's regular U.S. staff;
  • The program must have a fixed schedule, objectives, and means of evaluation;
  • The program must not be incompatible with the petitioner's business;
  • It must be possible to clearly accomplish the program with the petitioner’s plant and staff;
  • The program must not seek to teach skills that the trainee already has or is unlikely to use outside the United States;
  • The program may not extend the total allowable period of practical training previously authorized the trainee as a nonimmigrant student.

The H-3 petition must be supported by a statement including a breakdown of hours for any classroom instruction or on-the-job training; the proportion of time devoted to productive employment; the career abroad for which the training will prepare the trainee and why the trainee needs be trained in the United States. The statement must also indicate the source of any compensation to the trainee and what benefit the petitioner will derive. The maximum validity of the H-3 visa is two (2) years. The spouse and minor children of the H-3 trainee may accompany the H-3 trainee in H-4 status. They may not accept employment in the United States unless they have some independent eligibility for employment authorization.