Some Exchange Visitors are subject to what is called the two-year home country physical presence requirement. This "two-year residence" requirement applies to you:
If you do not know whether your country and/or field appear on the Exchange Visitor Skills List check here or ask at OISS. The two-year home country physical presence requirement is explained on the reverse side of the DS-2019 form.
At the conclusion of a J-1 program, the exchange visitor who is subject to this requirement must reside for an aggregate of two (2) years in his or her country of nationality or last legal permanent residence or have the requirement waived before being eligible for other U.S. immigration statuses, including H, L or permanent resident status. Persons subject to the two year home country residence requirement can return to the U.S. during this period in most other non-imimgrant statuses, including tourist status.
For information about the process of applying for a waiver of this requirement, check this Web site at the Department of State.
United States Information Agency