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Visa Options for Trainees

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Training is often an important part of advancing in a career or being skilled at a job. There are two visa options that visa applicants may utilize to receive practical training in the U.S. for a particular job or occupational field. These two visas, H-3 and J-1, have several requirements but can be very useful to obtain when to receive beneficial training in the U.S.

What is a "trainee?"

A trainee is a person who is receiving training in the U.S. The training is usually for a job. Trainees on these visas are intended to receive training for a job that the trainee may later obtain.

H-3 Visa

To apply for the H-3 visa a detailed account of the type of training the trainee will receive must be submitted to the USCIS. The applicant must also identify a U.S. employer or organization that will provide the training. If the petition is approved the trainee may be allowed to stay in the U.S. for up to 2 years.

What kind of training does the trainee under an H-3 visa receive?

An H-3 visa is available to trainees who come to the U.S. to receive training in a particular field. The training is intended to be for a job located outside of the U.S. The USCIS states on its webpage that training in any field will qualify; some of the listed fields are agriculture, commerce, communications, finance, government and transportation. While this visa covers any field, it cannot be used for medical education or training.

H-4 Visa for Dependents

There is also an H-4 visa available for family members of the trainees. If the H-3 visa is approved, the applicant may be able to take family members to the U.S. while trainee is completed.

J-1 Visa for Exchange

Another option for trainees is the J-1 Visa. This visa is intended for those coming to the U.S. to teach, learn, receive training, research and observe. This visa could be a good option for those coming to the U.S. for an internship or to receive occupational training. Medical students seeking training in the U.S. may use this visa.

This visa is designed as an exchange program. The exchange program must be approved by the government in order for the applicant to participate in the training program. The programs will generally train the individual in a specific business field. There are three requirements that the trainee must meet in order to be able to apply for a J-1 visa.

These requirements are:

  1. The applicant must possess a degree from a foreign post-secondary academic institution.
  2. The applicant must have at least one year of work experience in the applicant's specific academic field and training must have been received outside of the U.S.
  3. The applicant must have had five years of work experience outside of the U.S. The work experience must be in the same field that the applicant is seeking training for in the U.S.

Contact us

Contact the Law Offices of Sweta Khandelwal to discuss the H-3 visa, J-1 visa or other options for trainees. Attorney Khandewal has over 10 years of experience working on immigration cases. The Law Offices of Sweta Khandelwal is conveniently located in the Silicon Valley.

Cited Sources:

Exchange Visitors, July 17, 2015, USCIS

H-3 Nonimmigrant Trainee or Special Education Exchange Visitor, July 20, 2015, USCIS

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