I am a US citizen and my fiancee is Ecuadorian and we are in a fairly complex situation. We have been together for 4 and a half year now and we know we want to spend the rest of our lives together and are planning to get married. Her parents approve of our marriage but say she has to graduate college first, which she will do with a double major in Accounting and Business Administration on May 23, 2105. She will return to Ecuador on June 1st before her F1 visa expires unless she gets an internship/job with Optional practical training (more later) that would allow her to work and stay here longer. I was born in the US and am a citizen and I will also be graduating with my PhD in October-December 2015. We are both applying to jobs in the US and Germany, and if we both can get jobs we would most likely move to Germany for at least a few years. Now here are some of my questions and scenarios I have in my mind and I would like some advice as to which route would be best to follow:
1. I read about adjustment of status visas and it appears we are too late to apply since her visa expires at the beginning of June 2015, so we would have to get the K1 visa instead. However, both of these cost $2,000 from what I read and I am not even sure if she would be able to get a job and make back that amount of money if we plan to leave for Germany in December. Since her parents want to wait until after she graduates to allow us to marry, we would need to get married after she graduates on May 23 and before her F1 visa expires on June 1, which is a tiny window of time. If we don't get married before she goes back, how long would it take for her to be able to come back to the US and live and work with me? If we get married within this time window, will she be able to stay and continue looking for work even after her F1 visa expires? If we get married through this route and then move to Germany, will her green card still be vaild if we decide to move back to the US in about 3 years?
2. She can ideally get a job or internship with her Optional Practical Training which can last up to 12 months that would allow her to work in the US legally after completing a Bachelor's Degree program. However, it seems that many companies ask questions in their applications that seem like she will be ruled out just due to this unique status. If we do this, we would most likely get legally married in US before going to Germany (but not applying for the green card) or getting married in Ecuador and moving to Germany in January 2016. Do you know anything about her eligibility to work in Germany if we are married and I have a job? If she cannot get a job with OPT, can she remain in the US looking for work while we get married and apply for the green card?
We would like to stay together throughout the rest of 2015 and ideally have her working in the US and us living together. No matter what I know I want to be with her forever and we are worried that we might have to separate after her graduation if her OPT falls through. Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated.