Exchange visitors enter the United States in J-1 visa status. This classification is for individuals approved to participate in work-and study-based exchange visitor programs. All J-1 nonimmigrants must be sponsored by an organization that is designated by the Department of State.
Unlike the F or M visa, when you agree to participate in an Exchange Visitor Program you will be subject to the two-year home-country foreign residency requirement if your exchange program is funded by either your government or the U.S. government, involves specialized knowledge or skills deemed necessary by your home country, or you received graduate medical training. If this requirement applies, you must return to your home country for a cumulative total of two years at the end of your exchange visitor program. You are not prohibited from traveling to the United States but may not benefit from certain employment-based or family-based visas until the foreign residency requirement is satisfied.
For more information regarding J-1 exchange visitor status visit J1Visa.state.gov.