What is an H-3 Visa?

The H-3 Visa is a visa that allows applicants to be in the United States for a specified period of time to receive training or special education. The applicant must be entered in a program that is not available in the country of origin. The program cannot be a full advanced degree or medical education. The H-3 Visa does not allow the holder to work within the US. There is a visa cap on the H-3 Visa of 50 applications granted each year.

Who can apply for H-3 Visa?

Anyone looking to further their education through training programs or special education programs can apply for this type of visa.

How do I apply for a H-3 Visa?

In order to apply for a visa you must have a formal acceptance from the training program or special education program. The program must benefit the applicant's future career and is not available in the applicant's home country. The institution offering the training should begin the application. After the application has been filed by the institution, the applicant will also need to file an application online and pay the application fee. You will also need to schedule and complete a visa interview.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the H-3 Visa Processing Time?

Processing times vary for each application. The institution accepting you should petition for your visa at least 6 months before the program is set to begin. It typically takes 4-6 weeks for a petition to be processed. Once it has been, you may apply for the H-3 Visa. This usually takes 1-3 months.  

How long is my H-3 Visa Valid for ?

You may stay in the US for the length of your program. For training programs this visa is valid for 2 years, while for special education it is valid for 18 months. It cannot be extended.

Can I change my H-3 Visa into a different visa?

Yes, you may choose to apply for a different type of visa while in the US in order to take a job after the completion of your program. You are not allowed to apply for a Green Card.

Why would my application be denied for an H-3 Visa?

Your application might be denied if:

  • The cap has been met
  • The training program did not petion in time
  • The specified program is general or you have already completed similar training at home
  • The applicant plans to be employed in the US

Can I bring my family with me?

Yes! You will need to have your spouse and children under 21 apply for an H-4 Visa. This type of visa does not allow the holder to work. However, they may apply to change their visa status if they find employment.


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