Foreign residents who wish to train in the United States need to obtain a visa specifically for that purpose in most cases.
The following are three visa designations used for professional training in the United States.
B-1 Business Visa
B-1 visas are for short term, business related trips to the United States. People with this visa designation can only participate in short periods of training. Longer programs may require applying for a H-3 visa.
F-1 Optional Practical Training
Academic students going to school in the United States with an F-1 visa can apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) if they are able to meet at least two of the following requirements:
- They have to currently maintain an F-1 visa status.
- They have to be a full time F-1 student in good standing.
- The job they wish to train in has to be related to their academic major (or concentration).
H-3 Nonimmigrant Trainee or Special Education Exchange
H-3 visas are available to foreign residents to train professionally in the United States provided that the training is not available in their home country.
Alternatively, they can participate in the Special Education Exchange program, but there are only 50 visas allotted for this program per year.
Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, is used for this visa designation. Dependent spouses and children of primary applicants can accompany the training individual with a H-4 visa.