How can I convert an overseas passport to an emergency spousal VISA if I am a US citizen and I need to move to the UK?

I have a question for the community. I have a family member who lives in the United States, and her husband lives in the UK. While they were waiting for immigration to go through, her husband in the UK was diagnosed with a terminal illness. She got an emergency passport to fly to the UK, but has now decided that she needs to stay with him there. In order to get an emergency passport, she had to show that she was flying back in two weeks, which obviously isn't going to happen. My question is this: how can she apply for an emergency spousal VISA so she can have a say in his treatment and care, and if not very quickly, how long can she stay on an emergency passport in the UK? I don't have a clue about international travel so any useful suggestions would be appreciated.

11 Answers

  • Foofa
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    Not sure what an "emergency passport" is, unless she just applied for it and paid for expedited processing. But she won't be able to stay in the UK indefinitely. The only way around this might be for her husband to contact his MP and try to turn this into a bleeding heart story wherein some leeway might be granted. But that would be a total long shot. Sadly people are diagnosed with terminal illnesses every day and it doesn't really rise to the level of an international crisis. 

  • 9 months ago

    You can't.

    She needs to return home, apply for a visa, and return. For a spouse visa, her spouse would need to be working and in a position to sponsor her visa.

  • 9 months ago

    The United States does not issue emergency passports. From within the US, it's possible to obtain a regular passport via a Passport Agency in 3 hours or less, if the applicant can show a need for it. Outside, the US Embassy or Consulate can issue a temporary passport, valid up to a year, allowing the US citizen to return to the United States.

    As far as staying in the UK,  that's not an option. In fact, if the husband is terminally ill, it's unlikely that the spousal visa will be approved as the husband is the sole sponsor for her immigration. Bed ridden, he will no longer be able to fulfill his role as a sponsor, nor would there be any need for a foreign national to establish residency in the Kingdom.

    The UK is not like the US. The Home Office knows she's there and if she overstays, she'll be deported and get a lifetime bar from ever setting foot on UK soil again. Not a good idea, really.

    Source(s): An immigrant from Europe, I live on the American Riviera and work as an attorney in Santa Barbara, California.
  • 9 months ago

    She likely has no choice now but to return to US within the two week limit which was imposed on her. She needed to get a proper passport (no such thing as temporary passport for US citizens applying within the US), so the problem appears not to be her passport but her permission to remain in UK. There likely is nothing she can do right now to stay in UK if UK immigration only gave her 2 weeks. She would have to return home first, then return later as a tourist for up to 180 days. Problem is her husband is UK citizen (?), so it would be assumed she intends to remain in UK. 

    IF she is not a US citizen, not traveling on US passport, but had to obtain an emergency travel document from her country of citizenship due to lack of a valid passport from her country, it's imperative she return to her country of citizenship (or US if she is a legal permanent resident with currently valid green card) - get out of UK before her permission expires or she can be permanently barred from UK. She will have to obtain a proper passport from her country of citizenship before she might be able to return to UK to visit her husband. 

    US citizens can obtain information (& whatever assistance might be possible) from US Citizen Services section at the nearest US consulate. She should contact them immediately to see if there are any possibilities not generally available in visa info.

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  • Maxi
    Lv 7
    9 months ago


    A passport is a document that identifies a person and enables someone to travel, a visa is a document that gives potential permission to enter a one in no country in the world can 'convert' a passport into a visa.

    If UK immigration allowed 2 weeks stay and the person doesn't return home in that two weeks they are an overstayer and illegal and in the UK that is not a situation they need to get into.

    There is no provision in the Immigration Rules for issuing entry clearance on the basis of an applicant coming to the UK to care for a sick family member or friend. A person who wishes to enter the UK to provide short-term care or make alternative arrangements for the long term care of a friend/relative may do so under the Rules relating to general visitors.

    Where the Entry Clearance officer feels that an applicant seeking entry to care for a relative does not qualify as a visitor, but there are compelling and compassionate circumstances, the case can be referred to, Referred Cases Unit, UK Border Agency International Group to be considered outside the Immigration Rules.

  • Tavy
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    There are NO emergency spousal visas in the UK. She should come in on a normal tourist visa and say nothing about his illness. Immigration will assume she could be here for years. She will have NO say about his treatment as they are not married, his family will decide not her /you.


  • Anonymous
    9 months ago

    this is question about YOU or a 'family member'??  Your post contradicts itself

  • 9 months ago

    That can't happen.  

    The USA does not issue "emergency passports" to citizens inside the USA.  What she got was a regular passport valid for 10 years, just issued in a hurry. She had to show she was > departing from the USA < within two weeks to get a passport issued same-day - not returning within two weeks. 

    She can stay in the UK on tourist status for months. She should travel to the UK and talk to an immigration attorney while she is there.  When she enters the UK she needs to say NOTHING about planning to stay permanently. She also needs a round trip airline ticket showing a return flight within 90 days.  US citizens can stay in the UK for up to six months without a visa but telling the Immigration Officer she plans to stay for that long is a giant red flag. She can't afford to get denied entry. 

    She needs to get trip medical insurance for the duration of her time in the USA as indicated by the date for her return flight to the USA. 

  • 9 months ago

    YOU cannot.

    Passport is a passport. VISA is something added to the passport or a separate document.

    She got an emergency passport to fly to the UK, GOOD FOR HER that is what emergency Passport issuing is for.

    UK IMMIGRATION decides if she can stay . SHE ASKS UK Immigration.

    They can say NO or YES . Just the way it is.

     My question is this: how can she apply for an emergency spousal VISA .

    Suggest your friend contact the US Embassy for some assistance in dealing with UK Immigration.

    As a general rule the maximum stay is six months.

     emergency spousal VISA . NO SUCH VISA

    SHE ASKS. They decide not her.

  • 9 months ago

    she needs to talk to immigration about it

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