K1 Affidavit of Support: I barely meet the requirements. Am I better off marrying & applying for the K3?

My boyfriend and I have been together since he was 16 and I was 17 (and we have evidence of this). We’re both 20 now. I’m a flat-ass-broke college student but I managed to save enough money to visit him for 3 months in Uganda when I was 18. We have plenty of evidence of this, in addition to years of e-mail messages, exchanged photographs, and so forth. I always called by phone card but have been using Skype for the last 8 months or so, so the Skype charges show up on my bank statements (which I save).

We’ve talked about marrying someday, but not until I am out of college, finished with the Americorps (1 year), and finished with at least 2 years of work. It will be another 4 years, at least, and probably more since I’ll have to save up enough cash to visit him again, shortly before we apply for the visa.

My concern is my income and the required Affidavit of Support. By all means, I’ll meet income the requirements, but I won’t have a whole lot more. I expect that I’ll be making $ 10-$ 14 an hour (15k-25k a year) upon my Americorps completion as an experienced administrative assistant, hopefully full-time. My only assets will consist of my motorcycle ($ 2,700 currently) and, if I’m lucky, my own mobile home ($ 2,000-8,000).

Yeah, I know, I was born white trash and I’m probably going to stay that way. I will meet the income requirements, but again, most likely I won’t be making much more and I won’t have crap in terms of assets. If we meet the rest of the requirements (and, of course, are still happily together another 4+ years from now), will the fact that I barely meet the income requirements severely hurt our chances of being approved?

And if so, would getting married and then applying for the K3 visa improve our chances? I really don’t like this idea, for a few reasons:
1. Getting married and then spending months apart from each other? That sucks. . . .
2. Getting married and then applying, and still getting denied? That’s nerve wrecking and even worse.
3. Getting married and not getting approved within two or three years? That’s probably the heartbreaking end of our relationship. We’ll be almost 30 by then.

I know I’m thinking very far into the future, but when I think about Americans who marry foreigners I think of the upper-middle-class white guy with a $ 200,000+house and $ 5k in the bank, not someone like me.

Do poor people like me have a shot at this process, too? And would applying for a K3 visa [after being denied at least once for a K1 visa] drastically help our chances?

Thoughts?

Thanks 🙂

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