H-3 Visa for Special Education Visitors

H-3 Visa is a non-immigrant visa designed for special Education Visitors. Foreign nationals who intend to participate in special education or training in the US are issued this visa type. Let’s take a closer look at the H-3 Visa.

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This type of visa is issued to Special Education Visitors or Trainees to enable them to take part in special education or training in the US. Usually, this special education program or training is such that it cannot be offered in the applicant’s country. If you read further, you will understand what this Special Education Program is all about.

Unlike other H Visas, this Visa is not designed for US employment. It is designed to equip a foreign national with education or training for work that will be performed outside the United States.

Benefits of the H-3 Special Education Visa

Here are the benefits of the H-3 Visa:

1.  When a foreign national gets into the US with this type of visa, they get trained in a professional capacity to educate children with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities.

2.  They are allowed to travel in and out of the US or remain in the US continuously through the validity of this Visa.

3.  They are privileged to decide to bring their spouse and unmarried children under age 21.

Who Qualifies for H-3 Visa?

There are 2 categories of foreign nationals qualified for the H-3 Visa. They include,

1.  Special Education Visitors

Special Education Visitors are foreign nationals that participate in a special training program in the US. This Special training provides practical training and experience in the education of children with emotional, mental, or physical disabilities.

2.  Trainees

Trainees are foreign nationals who receive training in other career fields, aside from graduate medical education or training.

Fields for H-3 Trainees

Trainees can apply for this type of visa, under any of the following career fields:

  • Communication
  • Agriculture
  • Commerce
  • Finance
  • Government
  • Transportation, etc.

What are the H-3 Visa Requirements?

The requirements for H-3 Visa status are stated below. Prospective Special Education Visitors must meet all these requirements.

  • This type of visa applicant must be a foreign national that has no intentions of abandoning his or her homeland.
  • The applicant must be coming to the US to train in courses other than medical training education or train in Special Education.
  • The training must be such that will benefit the visa applicant in advancing a career path in his home country
  • The proposed training must be unavailable in the foreign national’s home country 
  • The special education or training the applicant intends to partake in must not be for productive employment in the US, except such employment is important or related to the program.
  • This visa applicant must get a formal invitation from the training institution before applying for the Visa.

How To Apply For The H-3 Visa?

Just like the other H visas, the H3 Visa Application process cannot be initiated by a foreign national. The prospective special education visitor can only apply to be admitted into his or her desired training institution. If admitted, the institution must petition him or her following these steps:

  • A petition should be filed to USCIS by the institution where the special education is being held. The special education institution needs to prove that they offer such training. 
  • The institution should file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker to USCIS. This form costs  $460. It is advisable to file the petition 6 months before the Special Education program begins so that the applicant does not miss out on the training.
  • USCIS will review the Form I-129. If approved, they will send Form I-797 to the special training institution. The applicant needs the form 1-797 for the application process.

What are the required Documents for H-3 Visa Application?

As an Applicant, after you receive form 1-797, you’re required to apply for H-3 Visa at the US Embassy in your home country. However, you should have the following documents with you.

  • A passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Form DS-160 online confirmation page
  • Form I-129 
  • Form I-797
  • 1 photograph 

Documents proving that you will return to your home country. You might need a property deed for this purpose.

  • An Application Fee of $190
  • A Visa interview appointment letter.

The documents listed above will be submitted during your interview. The interview is conducted to know whether a prospective Special Visitor is qualified for the special education program.

After the interview and reviewing your documents, USCIS will decide whether you’re qualified for the special education program. If you’re qualified, you will get a Visa stamp.

How Long Does It Take To Process H-3 Visa?

After applying for an H-3 Visa, you might have to wait for a month or more for your visa application to be processed. The processing time for an H-3 visa differs from country to country. 

How Long Is H-3 Visa Valid?

The H-3 Visa for Special Education Visitors is valid for 18 months. H-3 Visas for the training program are valid for 2 years. Unfortunately, there are no extensions offered for H-3 Visa holders beyond the stipulated time limit.

Can I Change My H-3 Visa Status?

Yes, you can apply for a change of your H-3 Visa status. If you find an employer who is willing to sponsor your visa, they can file a petition for the type of visa for which you qualify—it could be an H-1B, H-2A, or H-2B visa.  

H-3 Visa Cap

Each fiscal year, the numerical cap for H-3 Visa is 50. The US government only issues 50 H-3 visas to prospective Special Education Visitors.

If you have other questions about the H-3 Visa, kindly write to us in the comments section.

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