H-3 is a non immigrant visa where foreign nationals can come to train in “any field or endeavor” (except for graduate medical training) for a total of 2 years.

COMPARE WITH H-1B

Unlike H-1B the H-3 visa has no quota. However, H-3 has strict non immigrant intent. H-1B has the dual intent and can convert to Permanent Residency. H-3 cannot.

The foreign national on H-3 trains in the US, but has to go back to their home country, where such training is unavailable and the foreign national will benefit his career in her home country from such training.

Additionally H-3 is for training only, not for productive employment. Thus it may be hard to convert an H-3 to a subsequent H-1B.

COMPARE WITH J-1

Both H-3 and J-1 are training visas. However, H-3 training programs does not require pre approval as J-1 does and is thus ideal for Corporations. Also unlike J-1 there is no fixed home country return rule as J-1 does. However graduate medical training is precluded on H-3.

COMPARE WITH L-1

Under L-1 the foreign employee comes to the US to contribute to the US employer. Under H-3 the opposite is true. The trainee after being trained in the US goes to the foreign country to benefit the foreign employer. Thus while L-1 converts to Permanent Residency, the H-3 does not.

REQUIREMENTS
The primary requirement is a detailed training program with the time requirement to train.

  1. Fixed training schedule which is compatible with employer’s business. The petitioner/employer must have resources and sufficient manpower to provide such training.
  2. Objectives of such training, ie how it will benefit the trainee in pursuit of employment in the foreign country. The employer can train an individual for its foreign office or for the office of an US employer’s partner or ally in a foreign country.
  3. The program should include all materials, books, etc use.
  4. There must be classroom time.
  5. There may be some “on the job” training details.
  6. Details on whether there is some “productive employment incidental and necessary” to the training
  7. The method of supervision and evaluation of the training
  8. The qualifications of the trainee. This can be a trap. The trainee must have education to benefit from the training, but cannot be too qualified for the training.
  9. Such training is not available in trainee’s home country.
  10. Since this is not productive employment, the salary should be less than productive employment.
  11. Cannot extend the training provided in Optional practical training to students.

Family members of the H-3 trainee can come on the dependent H-4 visa. They cannot work in the US.