I am from the Philippines and I applied for a visit visa to visit my boyfriend who is a British citizen. We have been corresponding for more than a year and I have provided all our means of communications through Messenger, sent cards and receipts of money via Western Union. But I was refused because we have not met yet, which I mentioned in my cover letter, although I have not stated why.

He has a fear of flying. Can he provide a medical certificate from his doctor regarding his problems about flying? Would that be enough to support my reapplication? Thanks!

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    You've been sending money via Western Union to a 'boyfriend' whom you've not met and who can't come to you. Forgive me for being skeptical, but this has all the hallmarks of a scam. Be careful before sending more money or spending more on visas or tickets. – user79658 Jul 29 '18 at 2:43
  • No. You misinterpreted me. What I meant is I have included that money transfers he sent to me. I never send any single cents to him. – Maria Jul 29 '18 at 5:31
  • My apologies, but nevertheless, a fear of flying is a convenient excuse for someone who doesn't want to get further involved. I doubt you could get a doctor to certify your boyfriend's condition, and even if you could it wouldn't address the reason for refusal. You have essentially two options: meet your bf somewhere else (difficult if he won't fly); or wait until your circumstances have changed enough that you don't need a sponsor and apply again. – user79658 Jul 29 '18 at 6:37
  • Right. I was thinking to apply again on my own but I will need to provide enough resources for my travel. I only got 50,000 pesos from my bank account when I applied for the visa and I have provided them a Bank Certificate for this. I am currently employed but my wage is not that good either. – Maria Jul 29 '18 at 9:13
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    @maria It's only worth applying again if your circumstances have changed significantly, and that won't happen in a few weeks. If you apply again now the ECO will wonder how you have acquired enough resources in a short period to travel without a sponsor. Either your previous application was questionable, or your new one is. Either way, you're likely to be rejected a second time. You will need to wait, and while doing so, take heed of RoboKaren's comments about human trafficking. – user79658 Jul 30 '18 at 14:40

The ECO may not have explicitly said it but there might have been concerns that you may be (unwittingly) part of human trafficking:

  1. You seem to be dependent on resources from your sponsor, especially to travel and live in this country

  2. You’ve never actually met your sponsor/boyfriend

So from the ECO’s perspective, it may be hard to distinguish you from a naive young person who has been promised either by love or money to come overseas, and who will be promptly put to “work” in less than pleasant conditions for their sponsor while their passport is taken away from them.

How can you counteract this suspicion? Mostly by having enough resources to live and travel on your own — and to have a long enough of an international travel record to back this up.

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As other already state well, from the immigration point of view, you are not and never will be in a relationship with someone you never met. That so is stated without any margin for doubts in the document you have shown us.

After having this precent permanently archived on your record, no other course of action like having sufficient funds for a tourist visa will work, as your history will work against them believing your true reasons. So be aware of other advices on the thread as insisting on that course of action, getting denied entry multiple times, and and on top of it being registered as someone lying might also earn you an entry ban for 5 to 10 years. (e.g. a tourist visa with sufficient genuine funds might have worked without any history/denial on your record, but that ship has already sailed)

I have a Philippine wife and often random people (or not so random) ask her for opinions and help about migrating/visiting.

We have seen already several cases when even having a marriage promise, not following the established bureaucratic steps, and with records of previous visits, that the bride has seen her right of entry/visa refused. We also know of a couple of cases were couples had to marry in the Phillipines to solve their situation.

I am afraid you might only be spending time and money coming on your own without precedents or verifiable ties.

The right course of action seems to be your boyfriend visiting you, with the help of a doctor and medication to overcome his fears. Or as per the comments, meeting in a neutral country where you can gain entry easily. However, I suspect, for building a case for proving a relationship, it would work out better he visiting you at home.

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    If he really doesn't want to fly, he could take the train to Paris (or somewhere else on the Continent) and the OP could apply for a Schengen visa to meet there. – Michael Seifert Jul 29 '18 at 12:36
  • Thought about that too. It would be better be out of Europe. Schengen rules are pretty much the same in Europe, I am in Portugal, and the rules are very similar here to the UK. It is a possibility, but it can lead easily to the same dilemma. – Rui F Ribeiro Jul 29 '18 at 16:33

I agree with two options described by @Cannon Fodder.

What would I do in such kind of situation?

1) I would reapply when my financial situation would change. I would try to save something from the salary, maybe to borrow of a certain amount of money from friends, to put it all on my bank account, and to wait for some times=. I would add a letter from my employer stating my salary and the bank statement to show that I have resources to support myself.

2) I would ask my BF to go to a doctor and to ask him for a reference concerning his fear. I am pretty sure the flight phobia could be certified if it is really a case. Then I would add this certificate to your application together with a letter from you describing the situation in detail.

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    Borrowing works against the OP. They may require bank statements of up to 2 years to prove where those funds came from, and that practice known as fund parking is one of the known reasons to get a Visa denied. I know someone where friends and the boss lent her around 10k euros temporarily to pad their bank account, and the visa was refused. – Rui F Ribeiro Jul 29 '18 at 12:00
  • They might or they might not. Chance rules the roost. I am not saying here that one needs to borrow 10k euros, put them all on the bank account immediately, make a bank letter/certificate, and take the money back. Of course, it should be done step-by-step, a small amount of money by a small amount of money. Many people from not-so-rich countries do so (I know such people) and get their visas. Of course, it is not the best solution... But, IMHO, there are no 'best solutions' in this case. – colombien Jul 29 '18 at 12:35
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    Suggesting what this stackexchange calls [fund parking] by borrowing money is incredibly bad advice — banned for 10 years type of bad advice. – RoboKaren Jul 29 '18 at 12:38
  • What sources of funds should be accepted by the ECO apart from my salary and small business? I understand you have to explain all the deposits made to your account. Do I have to provide evidences from where that funds came from? Life for example in my case, I am working in a Real Estate business. Say, I got a commission from a sale. Do I need a document for this? What document should I provide? – Maria Aug 1 '18 at 3:27
  • @Maria Provide the document you get from the real estate company paying you the commission. Providing your tax return might help. If you get paid in cash with no paperwork you’re on a highway to nowhere as far as a visa is concerned. – Traveller Aug 18 '18 at 5:12

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