Also known as the H3 Training Visa, this is an option allowing people to receive training while within the US. They can stay for 18 months-two years on this visa. It is useful to US employers who want to provide essential training to foreign staff. While the areas pertaining to that training are many, such as commerce, agriculture, computing, and transportation, they all have something in common. It isn’t normally available anywhere but in the US. Thus, this nonimmigrant visa category makes such training possible.
The applicants fall into these two categories:
- Trainees who cannot avail of training in fields other than graduate-level medical education in their home country. They receive an invite from the individual or organization behind the education. No cap exists for this category.
- Special Education Exchange Visitors who come over to gain both practical training and experience on how to educate children with disabilities. The numerical limit is 50 visitors per fiscal year for this category.
H-3 Visa Privileges
Both types have the freedom to leave the country as long as their visas are valid. However, it is useful that you remember that the US government will count the travel time and add it to the allotted period of stay.
Moreover, their partners and offspring – if younger than 21 – can accompany them through this visa. However, they cannot work.
H-3 Visa Restrictions
The restrictions that apply to the H-3 visa include the absence of any extension. If you’re an H-3 visa holder who needs to extend their stay, you can achieve that by applying for a Change of Status. Another limitation mandates the exit of the H-3 visa holder after the maximum period of stay expires. Even if they want to apply for Change of Status, they must leave the US for 6 months.
Other restrictions, such as the requirement of an invite, the no employment condition for the dependents, and the visa ineligibility of physicians, have already been discussed above.
H-3 Visa Requirements
You should go through these h3 visa requirements before applying for the visa:
The following proofs are mandatory for the applicants intending to obtain an H-3 visa:
- They aren’t in the US for graduate medical education/training
- Their home country doesn’t offer similar training
- The education they receive will serve to advance their careers
- They won’t work unless as a requirement for the training program
- They aren’t US citizens or residents
The trainers must provide the following proofs when they invite a Trainee/Visitor:
- Clear specifics of the training, including a fixed schedule, goals, and a rubric for evaluation
- The compatibility of the education with the petitioner’s field
- That the applicant will use the knowledge/skill once they leave the US
- The training won’t lead to a job in the US
- The training establishment is capable of running such a program, in terms of trained teachers and a physically existing facility
How Long is an H-3 Visa Valid For?
Once you receive the H-3 visa, trainees are permitted to stay in the US for 2 years while the term is 18 months for the other Visitors.
As mentioned above, Training Visa holders can apply for a change of status. This is possible if a potential employer will file Form I-129 at the USCIS on their behalf. That way, the applicant can change their visa to H-1B or TN. And, remember, if you have family with you, the employer must also file Form I-539 for them too.
How Much Does it Cost?
The total H3 Visa Cost entails a USCIS filing fee, i.e., $460 but if you want to speed things up, you may pay the fee for premium processing fee, i.e., $1440.
H-3 Visa Processing Time
Usually, the duration associated with petition approval is four to six weeks. Afterwards, the H3 Visa Processing Time may take between one to three months.
H-3 Visa Application Process
As H3 Visa Sponsors, the US organization/employer inviting you for must begin the process. They do so when they file Form I-129 with the USCIS. On approval, the petitioner can enter the US. Along with the form, the sponsor must also submit the proofs we mentioned above. The same goes for the applicant.
What Happens After the H-3 Petition is Approved?
When they get the notification that their H-3 petition passes approval, the applicant begins the rest of the process. First, they fill and submit Form DS-160 at the US Consulate. They also attach the following documentation with the form:
- Form I-797
- For themselves and each dependent traveling with them:
- Passport – must be valid
- Regulation photograph
- Birth and marriage certificate
- Evidence of permanent residence and employment in the home country
Can an H-3 Visa Holder Obtain an Extension?
Provided that a trainee still has time left on their visa, they may extend it until the period becomes equal to 2 years. The same goes for Visitors, but they can only extend for up to 18 months.
In both cases, the work begins with the filing of the Form I-129 just as they did with their first petition. But this time, they will also include:
- A letter from their sponsor giving the reason why the training remains incomplete
- Copies of Forms I-94 and Form I-797
For their dependents, H-3 visa holders will need to file Form I-539.
What About Family Members?
Just as the other non and immigrant visa options, the US allows Visa H3 holders to remain united with their family members. So, you may bring your married partner and single offspring – as long as they’re not 21 or older. They must apply for an H-4 visa and can stay for as long as you do. However, they cannot hold a job but may study without obtaining an F-1 student visa.
Can an H-3 Visa Holder Obtain a Green Card?
You’ll need to remember that the H-3 visa isn’t a dual intent visa. You only get it when you can sufficiently substantiate to the US government that you’ll be returning home. So, applying for a green card belies the nonimmigrant purpose you show before for being in the United States.
Moreover, if you do apply for a green card, you may also lose your H-3 visa. It will end in your exit from the US. Therefore, don’t expect to acquire a green card while on an H-3 visa.
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