My wife has just been informed that her mother is in critical condition while on a tour of England. She has been diagnosed with a brain tumour and looks like she will not make it. I am wondering if my wife would be able to get an emergency visa or temporary visa so she can fly to her before she passes away.

My wife lives in Australia (near Canberra) and she is an Australian citizen.

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    You've tagged australia in your question; is your wife an Australian citizen? If not, where is she a citizen of? Australian citizens don't require visas to visit the UK - she can get 90 days (IIRC) on entry.
    – Tim Malone
    Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 0:52
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    Sorry to hear about your situation, this sort of thing is already difficult enough even before you add international travel. To get better answers to your question, perhaps you could clarify: (1) Your wife's nationality, (2) your wife's current location (and country of residence if that's different). Use the "edit" button below your post to add this information. Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 0:53
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    @TimMalone it's six months, not 90 days.
    – phoog
    Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 5:10
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    @DJClayworth No need to mess around with the embassy, just buy a ticket and go to the airport.
    – phoog
    Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 5:11
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    This is a very difficult time for any family, my sympathies and prayers for your family. Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 7:04

2 Answers 2


As an Australian Citizen, your wife is generally able to visit the UK for up to six months without a visa as long as she does not plan to work or study while she's there. Visiting a critically ill relative would certainly qualify. Here's the travel advice from the Australian Government (see "entry and exit"). Unless she has some criminal or immigration history that might cause her to be denied entry, she should not need a visa (or entry clearance) and can proceed to finding airfare.

It's worth asking airlines if they offer a special fare for those traveling because of family medical emergencies. Many airlines no longer offer such a fare, or it may be more expensive than the standard fare offered online, but calling and asking before you book is a good idea. Airlines also may waive change fees in such situations, especially if you can supply proof from the hospital.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and wish your family all the best.


As an Australian citizen, your wife does not need any kind of visa (emergency, temporary, or otherwise) to visit the UK for up to 6 months at a time.

Be sure to talk to your airline about "compassionate fares" where you may be able to get a reduced rate on flights at short notice.

If you are at all concerned about the details of her travel, a local travel agent would be able to help. They handle this sort of thing on a regular basis.

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