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H-3 Nonimmigrant Trainee or
Special Education Exchange Visitor

immigration lawyers

The H-3 nonimmigrant visa category is for an alien coming temporarily to the United States as either a:

  • Trainee to receive training, other than graduate or medical education training, that is not available in the alien’s home country or
  • Special Education Exchange Visitor to participate in a special education exchange visitor training program for children with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities.


An H-3 “trainee” must be invited by an individual or organization for the purpose of receiving training, other than graduate or medical education training, in any field including, but not limited to:  

  • Commerce 
  • Communications 
  • Finance 
  • Government 
  • Transportation 
  • Agriculture 
  • Or the professions

This classification is not intended for employment within the United States. It is designed to provide an alien with job related training for work that will ultimately be performed in the alien’s home country.

In order to obtain H-3 classification, a U.S. employer or organization must provide:

  • Detailed description of the structured training program in which you wish to pursue. The description should indicate the number of hours per week that you will be in classroom training and the number of hours per week that you will be involved in on-the-job training 
  • Summary of your prior training and experience 
  • Explanation of why your training is needed 
  • Explanation of why you can’t take the training in your home country 
  • Explanation of how the training will benefit you in pursuing your career in your home country 
  • Explanation of how your employer or organization will pay for the cost of providing you the training without actually employing you

 Special Education Exchange Visitor

There is a numerical limit (or “cap”) on the number of H-3 “special education exchange visitors” each fiscal year.  As of February 1, 2010, USCIS had not received any petitions  requesting H-3 classification to participate in a special education exchange visitor program in fiscal year 2010.

A petition requesting an H-3 “special education exchange visitor” must be filed by a U.S. employer or organization and include a description of the training the alien will receive and description of the staff and facilities where he/she will be trained. The employer should also explain the details of your participation in the training.

In addition, the U.S. employer or organization must show that the beneficiary is:

  • Nearing the completion of a baccalaureate degree program in special education
  • Has already earned a baccalaureate degree in a special education program, or
  • Has experience teaching children with physical, mental or emotional disabilities. 

Note: Any custodial care of any children must be incidental to the alien’s training.

 Application Process

In order to obtain H-3 classification, your United States employer or organization must file a Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. The petition must be accompanied by the information provided above.

 Period of Stay

If the petition is approved, you may be allowed to remain in the United States for up to 2 years. If your petition is approved for you to obtain training in the area of special education, you may remain in the United States for 18 months.

 Family of H-3 Visa Holders

Your spouse and children who are under the age of 21 may accompany you to the United States. However, they will not be permitted to work in the United States.

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Moses Apsan and his staff, based in New York City and Newark, NJ provide exceptional legal services throughout the world, in all aspects of immigration to the United States, including non-immigrant (temporary visas), immigrant visa (Green Card) and deportation defense. In addition Mr. Apsan, has been practicing Bankruptcy law and Divorce laws for over 35 years, He was the President of the Federal Bar Association, New Jersey Chapter (1997-2002). He speaks Portuguese and Spanish..

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