Confusion about K1 visa and work permit afterwards

Hello, my (USA) partner (China) and I are looking at getting married in the States and having him immigrate through here with a k1 visa. However, we have some concerns regarding financials, work permits, etc and was hoping to receive some guidance here.

To give some background, we have not yet started the process and probably will start the process in the next year or so. I am currently in the process of applying to medical school, so we're waiting to see where I end up before beginning the process. In addition, I know that the K1 visa is seen as "inferior" to the CR1 visa, especially in terms of getting work authorization, but as my partner and I are LGBTQ, and LGBTQ marriages are not permitted in China, it appears that the K1 visa is the only viable visa (in terms of marriage).

Looking at the timeline, it appears that it takes about 10+ months for the K1 visa to be approved, and after he enters the USA, we have 90 days to get married. After marriage, then we can start the adjustment of status application (which can take another 10+ months) as well as apply for the work permit or EAD during this time. After it has been approved, then he can begin to work.

In terms of applying for the K1 visa and the Adjustment of Status, we are both slightly worried about the financial requirement. I am currently working a pretty low wage job (11/hr) and once I am in school, I won't really be making any money (and I will probably have to take out student loans), and he is currently working in China (~50k USD/year). However, when he arrives, he won't have any source of income seeing as he can't work with the EAD. We have savings and family members who would be willing to help contribute financially as well during this time. With all that being said, is this going to be an issue in terms of applying for the K1 and adjustment of status? Of these points, my main concern is a lack of income on my end (for at least until I finish school), so my ability to 'sponsor' my partner could appear lackluster.

In addition, I had some questions regarding what he is allowed to do as we wait for the adjustment of status to be approved? Is he okay to take ESL classes and/or other technical training for a career? Also, does anyone have any experience with finding employment with an international degree? He has a Masters Degree in Land Resources Management (土地资源管理) and has experiences working in a financial/investment department for governmental real estate while in China, but is unsure as to how his skills will transfer here.

Thank you for the time and help. I really appreciate it!

submitted by /u/WhimsicalFeeling
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