I am a UK citizen and I visited the US on a J1 visa for 3 summers as a camp counsellor 2014, 2015, 2016. I met my US citizen boyfriend whilst working there, and we have been dating since that summer of 2016. I then got another J1 visa to be an au pair from March 2017, where I did 18 months au pairing in my boyfriend's city. I wanted to study in the US at a school in the same city that had a really great nursing program and also wanted to be close to my boyfriend, but we were not ready to get married so the student visa was a great option as I could study and would give us time together. I applied for change of status from J1 (au pair) to F1 (student) and was approved and I started nursing school in the fall of 2018. My boyfriend and I then left the US over Christmas 2018 to visit my family and I went to the embassy to get my F1 visa stamp, however was refused under 214(b), lack of home ties. I couldn't believe it as I had already started school and had been working really hard to keep my good grades. So I applied again a couple of weeks later and brought with me as much documentation as I could showing ties to the UK but the consular officer didn't even want to see it and denied me again. I was not asked about my boyfriend during these interviews nor did I mention him.
So fast forward to now, my boyfriend and I are depressed without each other and have decided to start the K1 visa process. I will still be wanting to go to school eventually once I have my green card but right now it is more important to us for me to be over there with him. We have lots and lots of evidence of our relationship, vacations, family photos, emails, cards, etc, however we are worried that my prior F1 denials will be an issue seeing as we were dating when I applied for the F1, even though we were not engaged at that point and have only decided so since the F1 denial.
Should we wait a little time to apply for the K1? How long? I have read people who applied as little as 8 weeks after and have had success but paired with my approved J1 visas I just wanted to know if anyone had been in a similar situation and had success.
I just saw him over Christmas but have not seen him since my second denial a couple of weeks ago, should we meet again before applying for the K1 to show that we genuinely thought about it and that he 'proposed' in person? Or does it not matter?
Can I still say that I want to study when I'm over there with him? I don't have a degree from the UK and if they ask me where I plan to work in the US is it ok if I say that I plan to study?
Thankyou for any advice! We are newbies to this and appreciate all the help we can get!