An ailing 96-year-old British woman has won the right to stay in northern Tasmania with her only surviving relatives.

Gladys Jefferson was brought to Tasmania on a tourist visa about a year ago but her application for a permanent visa was recently knocked back.

The great-grandmother has now been granted a medical treatment visa, meaning she does not have to return to the Isle of Wight.

Her son-in-law Paul Grigg says it is a great relief after a stressful time.

“Particularly on my wife it has been; the uncertainty all the time of knowing what the outcome would be, that certainly has been stressful,” he said.

Mrs Jefferson was initially refused a visa because she would be a burden on the welfare system.

But Immigration Minister Chris Bowen later released a statement saying the Australian Government was not deporting or even considering deporting Mrs Jefferson.