H-3 and J-1 Visas for Trainees
H-3 Visas are for temporary workers invited by an individual or organization for purposes of receiving instruction and training other than to receive graduate medical education or training. The training program must be one “that is not designed primarily to provide productive employment.” An H-3 visa may be issued for periods up to three years.
J-1 Visas are for exchange visitors who are bona fide trainees and have no intention of abandoning their foreign residence. Participation in an exchange program may be for purposes such as teaching, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, and receiving training. The applicant must have sufficient funds and fluency in English. The J-1 trainee visa is available for intern who are still in college as well as recent graduates for periods up to 12 months. The J-1 practical training visa program is generally available for periods up to 18 months.
Certain J visa holders are subject to a requirement that they must return to their home country or country of last residence for two years upon completion of their training in the U.S. Waivers to this 2 year residency requirement may be granted.