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I met my boyfriend online last April and we have been in a long distance relationship for over a year with texting and video calling every single day, I adore this man and all we want is to meet each other.

We are both South African citizens but he is in the military in the UK and still has four years to go. I am working in the Netherlands for a year. I have leave in August for three weeks and finally have the opportunity to go meet him, I want to visit him for two weeks and I'll be staying at his grandparents house in the UK. My host family is sponsoring the whole trip.

I know there is a part that you have to show that you have met each other before and proof of the relationship. We make the best out of what we have, we have a thousand miles between us but our relationship is as real as any other.

Everybody is telling not to mention him and just go as a tourist, but I don't want to lie. I just want to meet him and hug him in person. I won't overstay cause I have a year contract with my host family in the Netherlands. Should I mention him or not?

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    Telling the truth is always best. If you’re going to be staying in his grandparent’s house during your visit you will have to explain the connection anyway. I suggest you read the relevant sections of this official guidance assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/… and review the questions here travel.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4347/…, then edit your question if you need further help on a specific topic. – Traveller Jun 15 at 8:13
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    By 'last April' I assume you mean April 2021. Are you sure your boyfriend is who he says he is? Has he ever asked you to send him money? Has he suggested travelling somewhere to meet you, rather than you going to meet him? Even if he is stationed in the north of Scotland, he is still not a 1,000 miles away from the Netherlands. Sorry to put a damper on this, but there are some unscrupulous people out there. – Richard Beasley Jun 15 at 15:28
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    @RichardBeasley “in a relationship for over a year” would indicate no, it was April 2020. It’s common that one would say “I went on holiday in April” - meaning the most recent April, vs “I went on holiday last April” meaning the April before the most recent! – Tim Jun 15 at 17:19
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    Sounds disturbingly like a dangerous scam... ?!? Sorry to be negative, but, ... – paul garrett Jun 15 at 22:39
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    @paulgarrett it also sounds like an entirely normal long distance relationship. If it is a scam, it’s a remarkable long con! While it’s sensible to warn people that things could be a scam, we probably shouldn’t just start jumping to conclusions! – Tim Jun 16 at 16:25
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Yes, say that he is the reason for your visit.

Saying that you have a boyfriend in the UK will cause immigration to examine your application in case you are going to go underground and stay with him in the UK. However they will not always assume you will do it - it depends on other factors. You have some good factors in your favour:

  1. You have a job to return to in the Netherlands, and somewhere to live;
  2. Living conditions in the UK are not much different from the Netherlands, so you have little economic incentive to flee to the UK.
  3. Your boyfriend is not permanently in the UK, and is in a job where harbouring a fugitive immigrant will cause problems for him.

On the other hand the negatives are:

  1. you have never met him in person, which makes your relationship less believable. If possible include lots of details about your relationship to show that it is genuine.
  2. Your host family is sponsoring the trip. Why are they doing that? It's not a normal thing for an employer to do.

So there is a very reasonable chance that your visit will be approved, even if you tell them about your boyfriend.

On the other hand, if you don't tell them about him, and they find out, then you are likely to be facing a long term ban from the UK, meaning you will not get to visit him until his time in the UK is over.

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    The other (possibly very strong) negative is that the OP says that their ‘host family’ is sponsoring the whole trip. Not being able to demonstrate that the OP can afford the trip from their own means is going to be a red flag, IMHO – Traveller Jun 15 at 15:49
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    Some people fake relationships to get into a country. – DJClayworth Jun 15 at 15:59
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    @mjt The applicant needs to satisfy Immigration rule V4.2(e) (e) must have sufficient funds to cover all reasonable costs in relation to their visit without working or accessing public funds. Having a credible financial sponsor is allowed but it does not alleviate the applicant's burden of meeting the rules and so tends to weaken the case for approval. travel.stackexchange.com/questions/92121/… With no/little personal resources to fall back on, a breakup during the visit could be financially problematic – Traveller Jun 15 at 17:24
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    @mjt "(Young) woman travelling to a foreign country to meet her internet boyfriend for the first time" could be the beginning of an "exploitation of a vulnerable person"-story. So its not necessarily the idea that the applicant herself tries to mislead the visa official about the nature of the relationship, she might be the duped one, too. – Arno Jun 15 at 20:33
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    @Arno - That was precisely my thought. Her description of the visit (never met him, overseas national, staying with his 'family', etc) raises about nine different sex-trafficking flags. – Valorum Jun 15 at 21:20

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