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Business Immigration: How to Choose Between the J-1 and H-3 Trainee Programs

When it comes to immigrant trainee programs for businesses and organizations, there are a number of possibilities. The two most popular options are the J-1 and the H-3. In this blog entry, we break down the basics.

Getting Approval

The first thing you’ll need to know is where you will get approval for each of these options. The J-1 is administered through the Department of State, so you will need to follow all of their standards. The H-3, on the other hand, is run through US Citizenship and Immigration Services. The actual processes of getting approval aren’t that different, and will just require you to submit paperwork and supporting documentation for approval.

Time Limits

This is one of the most important factors to consider. The amount of time you are permitted to stay in the country is different in each program. The J-1 is a shorter-term option, and allows you to stay only for 18 months. There are no options for extensions either, so once the time limit is up, the training must be complete.

For the H-3, however, the training may go on for up to 24 months. If additional training is required, the individual can return to their home country and then apply for additional training, up to a second term of 24 months.

Other Requirements

There are some other key requirements that you need to be aware of. The J-1, for example, requires the trainee to already have a professional certificate or degree from an academic institution. They also need a year of related work experience. An alternative option is to have five years of experience, but no degree or certificate. The trainee must also avoid productive employment unless it is necessary for the training.

The H-3 candidate must prove that the proposed training that they will receive is not available in their home country. They also cannot displace US workers or engage in non-incidental employment.

If your business or organization is considering immigrant trainee programs, like the J-1 or the H-3, it’s important that you have an experienced immigration attorney on your team. Please contact me today to learn more!