J-1 and H-3 Visas for Trainees and Interns:
While the most popular student visa is the F-1 visa (link to SEVIS page), there are other options available to institutions who would like to sponsor a foreign national for training or education but are not affiliated with a SEVIS certified institution. We provide support for clients who need to bring trainees or interns to the United States on either a J-1 or H-3 visa.
H-3 Training Programs
An H-3 visa allows an employer to create a training program, with the caveat that the visa applicant cannot have the opportunity to obtain the same training in their home country. Under an H-3 visa, training may take place for up to 24 months. Upon completion of the 24 month training, an individual can return to their home country and apply for an additional 24 months training program. One clear handicap to the H-3 visa is participants may not participated in employment that is not directly related to the training. For that reason, H-3 visas are commonly used for companies who are hoping to open a branch of their company in another country and would like to conduct training in the United States.
Employers who use a J-1 visa must go through a pre-approved training program provider — taking the onus of creating the program from the employer. This also avoids the requirement that training be unavailable in the visa applicant’s home country. 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, or, if they are a physician, apply for a Conrad Waiver. J-1 visa applicants must have a professional certificate or degree from an academic institution, in addition to a year of relevant work experience.
Common industries for J-1 training include:
- Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing;
- Arts and Culture;
- Construction and Building Trades;
- Education, Social Sciences, Library Science, Counseling and Social Services;
- Health Related Occupations;
- Hospitality and Tourism;
- Information Media and Communications;
- Management, Business, Commerce and Finance;
- Public Administration and Law; and
- The Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics, and Industrial Occupations
If your business or organization is considering sponsoring students or trainees on H-3 or J-1 visas, it is important to have an experienced business immigration attorney on your team. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation to learn more about how we can help you.