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The Greatest Visa Of All Time – A/K/A H-3 - The Uncapped Visa Exempt From COVID Many Restrictions

Author: US Visa Immigration Lawyer

When it comes to the United States Immigration for business and pleasure, travel for business has always been an easier avenue to procure an immigration benefit. It is the same for most countries that require foreigners to request travel in advance. While likely reasons for this correlation in the US may stem from an accounting calculation, bias, or a genuine security concern; the person travelling is typically more concerned with not getting stuck in an airport and losing their time and money. With the COVID restrictions to travel becoming worse in effect on immigration than any of Trump’s Muslim or Country Bans, immigrants and businesspersons alike are naturally concerned.

Proving strong ties to home countries now is difficult in a global pandemic, even people from the US are now having trouble proving that they will return to their homes in the US for foreign travel. It is natural for the average person to have difficulty proving strong ties currently. Corporations on the other hand, do not have this difficulty. In fact, the corporate narrative is much different than the individual narrative. Corporations and even small businesses need quality employees to maintain or expand their businesses. As a result, employment visas without caps are imperative to any US business or corporation that requires a foreign employee to travel for once in a lifetime training opportunities. The good news for the individual or employee is that while the primary purpose of the travel is to improve the individual’s skill or expertise, you can’t be expected to train for more than 40 hours a week on average. That leaves a healthy 56 hours a week for sleep and 72 hours a week of potential leisure time to explore New York City or near any other part of the United States where the training can take place.

H-3 Visas allow individuals or corporations to invite a temporary worker to receive instruction and training in any field of endeavor apart from medical education and medical training. There are specific visas for medical education and medical training that are stricter in skill qualifications but more forgiving in other minimum requirements. While H-3 visas apply to a multitude of scenarios, some of which I will list below; there are a couple of “dealbreakers.” Therefore, it is up to the applicant to prove their training and instruction is not only valid but that it also does not fall into any of the dealbreaker categories.

H-3 Training and Instruction is valid when:

  1. The training and instruction will benefit the beneficiary in pursuing a career outside of the US.
  2. There is a fixed schedule for the training and instruction.
  3. There are fixed objectives or means of evaluation.

Very straight forward. Start with an idea for training that could benefit you, your business, or your employer’s business in the US. Make sure at some point the petitioning business can provide a detailed itinerary and there are some means of indicating your learning throughout the process.

H-3 Training and Instruction is not valid when:

  1. The training is available in the individual’s country.
  2. The individual/employee seeking training and instruction cannot be placed in the normal business operation. **Unless it is incidental and necessary to the training.
  3. Petitioner’s business or enterprise (The business or corporation that invited you) is not compatible with the nature of the training and instruction (i.e., a Karate School might be able to invite a person for a special training in Karate, but they certainly cannot invite a person for special training in Electrical Engineering).
  4. The individual/employee seeking training already possesses substantial training and expertise in the proposed field of training.
  5. The instruction or training provided is unlikely to be used outside of the US.
  6. The training and instruction are likely to result in productive employment beyond what is incidental or necessary to the training. In other words, your business must be sufficiently staffed to operate normally without the trainee’s assistance.
  7. The training and instruction are designed to recruit and train the individual for eventual domestic operations in the US.
  8. The business cannot establish that it has the necessary accommodations to provide the training and instruction offered. Is designed to extend the training and instruction of a previously authorized nonimmigrant student.

These dealbreaker categories are mainly in place to protect the individual or employee from situations that approach involuntary servitude or that fall into other categories (such as H-1B filings) which have yearly caps and filing deadlines. So, what are some typical H-3 filings?

  1. Top professionals, athletes, artists, and their training seminars
  2. Observation and study of technological advancements based in the US.
    1. 55 Water Street in Manhattan has one of the most energy efficient air-conditioning systems in the world. A person working on energy efficiency projects or air-conditioning systems could reasonably request training and instruction on how the system works.
  3. An individual is planning on taking a functioning system for their profession, athletics or art and implementing or teaching it in their home country. They contact the person or business they wish to learn from, and the business or person agrees to teach through a series of training and instruction.
18 October 2021
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