EDIT: Just so there's no confusion, I am a US citizen.
Sorry for the long paragraph ahead:
My fiance came to the US on ESTA back in September. We were really stupid when it came to immigration laws and visas (and in this case, visa waivers/ESTA) and misunderstood how much time he had in the US under ESTA. Our mistake, I know. We're idiots. Moving on, we also got into some legal trouble in November 2017. It caught up to us this year in February. I won't waste time defending our actions, but I will say it was a weak moment right after we found out how much my MS infusions would cost us monthly. I'm thanking the lords every day because my fiance did not get ANY charges related to the criminal matter, but it DID cause Border Patrol to pick him up and start the deportation process.
I know that since my fiance came on ESTA, he doesn't have any rights. We hired an immigration lawyer, although he's not... Well, I've been researching this for probably 48+ hours throughout the last few weeks. I'm extremely confident in the process, but there are still a few things I'm unsure of. Hopefully you guys can help, because I already know our lawyer is not worth the money we're paying him. Oh well. Basically, we're waiting for my fiance to get deported back to Slovakia. He overstayed on his ESTA by 67 days, obviously meaning he can never use ESTA again. Because he's being deported via a decision made by an immigration judge, he has the 10-year-ban on him.
When he gets back to Slovakia, we plan to start the process to get him back immediately. We already confirmed that, as an engaged couple with A LOT of proof of our relationship, we can file for the K-1 Visa and then the I-212 and I-601 waivers (if the I-601 is necessary, our lawyer isn't sure yet). We have enough documentation to prove extreme hardship easily - I have Multiple Sclerosis and depended on my fiance to help me live my day to day life, along with financial support. I also suffer from Degerantive Disc Disease and can't perform basic actions like lifting heavy things, etc. We have the doctor reports and certified documents to prove all of that, as well as MRIs and psychological evaluations for depression/anxiety. Despite being very confident in proving extreme hardship, unintentional overstay, and getting approved on the waivers, I am still hoping for the best yet preparing for the worst.
My question is this: do we file the I-212 and I-601 together, and if we do, when do we file them together? I'm getting the impression that we file for the K-1 Visa first, wait for the interview where he will be denied and told he can appeal via the I-212/I-601 waiver and then file those ASAP. But I've also read that you file the I-212 with the K-1 Visa and then wait for the interview where they'll deny him and he appeals with the I-601. Also, last question, what time-frame do you think we're looking at? We figured anywhere from 8 months to 1.5 years, maybe even longer depending. I'm hoping that because Slovakia is a country where not too many people are trying to get to the US, maybe it won't take as long.
In the meantime, I know he is SOL when it comes to visiting on the visitor visa in the meantime because of his deportation and overstay, but are there any other options? And if not, when my legal situation is taken care of (which probably won't be for 1-1.5 years anyway), would it mess anything up in the K-1/waiver process to visit him?
Thank you so much for reading, sorry again for the long post.