So a couple things stood out to me with this post.
“Anyway, if I hadn’t met him I wouldn’t be here anymore. And that’s sort of why I’d like to get that final commitment”
It seems that you are feeling insecure in the relationship because you are only here for him at this point. I think if you were in your home country you wouldn’t feel so pressured to make this work. This alone is not a good enough reason to marry him.
“I’ll turn 30 next year, and if I want to have kids, I wouldn’t just want to be wasting my time.” I get that you are feeling pressed for time, but this isn’t a good enough reason to have kids with this guy (sunk cost fallacy).
And the biggest red flag of all:
“But, he’s given me a number of different excuses why he can’t propose; he can’t afford to buy a ring (I’ve told him I’d be happy with a cheaper ring but he wants to buy an expensive ring that he can’t afford), marriage is just a piece of paper, a lot of marriages end up in divorce, he’s waiting for the right time”
Usually, when a guy wants to get married but isn’t ready yet, he will cite a reason why. Totally normal usually. Maybe it’s finances, maybe he needs to finsh school, whatever. But he has given you multiple unrelated and flimsy excuses why he will not propose, some of them which don’t make sense when combined together.
1) claims he can’t afford the ring HE thinks you should have and refuses to give you the readily affordable ring that you truly want want right now or within a reasonable timeframe. This is one of the most obvious stalling tactics. It’s a red flag because when you gave him a simple, easy solution to the barrier to getting engaged, he did not take the barrier down. If he got you a cheap ring right now as a placeholder like you want, that would mean there is no longer a barrier to getting engaged.
2) “Marriage is just a piece of paper” this doesn’t make sense for many reasons. First, if it was just a piece of paper, then why is he so against it?? Ever thought to ask him that? Also, this statement could possibly reflect that he doesn’t believe in marriage, so if he truly does not believe in the institution of marriage, it doesn’t make sense for him to even entertain the concept of getting you a ring. If he truly was against marriage, he would have just said that as the only reason you are not going to get engaged. It’s fine if he doesn’t want to get married, but he owes it to you to be honest.
3) “A lot of marriages end up in divorce” YAWN. This one is as old as it gets.
So OP, have you asked him why he gets in a car every day? Or an Uber or Lyft? Or a bus? Plane? Train? Because, don’t you know, lots of drivers and/or passengers end up in car accidents. Why does that not stop him from doing those things but with marriage it is somehow different? Is he really saying that he is comfortable with the risk of serious bodily injury and/or possible death and dismemberment every single day by getting into a vehicle, but yet the risk of divorcing you is too great to risk? Think about that.
4) “He’s waiting for the right time” Again, this does not make sense when combined with the above excuses. If marriage is just a piece of paper, but yet too risky for him to take on with the woman he claims to love, then why is he even entertaining the possibility of getting married? Why is he even getting into the specifics of what ring he thinks you deserve if he doesn’t want to get married?
It doesn’t add up.
The reason I think he is giving you these many excuses that don’t make sense is because deep down he doesn’t really want to marry you (or anyone possibly) but he doesn’t want to admit that because he knows if he was honest about it, you might leave him since you want marriage and kids. He is putting up arbitrary barriers about a ring you don’t even want that relate to finances to give you hope that it could happen “at the right time” for him. And blaming it on finances is a vague, open-ended, easy excuse to give because it could take as long as he wants it to to “have the money HE deems necessary to get you a ring.” Has he said how much he wants to spend on it? And if he truly saw marriage as just a piece of paper, he’d give it to you because it wouldn’t matter either way to him and he wants you to be happy.
And in your update when you discussed it, he STILL insisted on getting you a ring out of his financial reach. He still isn’t listening to what you want. That’s a bad sign.
This does not look good, OP. I’d strongly recommend considering moving home soon. You don’t want to waste too much time with him.