A private television channel reported that her departure was imminent. Zia met her son Tareque Rahman, who is being held on corruption charges, at Dhaka central jail.
The attempt to exile the two women, known as the "battling begums" for their longstanding mutual animosity, is part of the government's campaign to clean up Bangladeshi politics before holding fresh elections before the end of 2008.
Zia, who has been under virtual house arrest since April 10, is reported to have agreed to go abroad in return for leniency for her two sons. Her younger son Arafat Rahaman was briefly arrested on corruption allegations last week.
Scores of prominent figures including former ministers - with links to both parties - have also been detained.
|Zia, a former prime minister, has been under|
virtual house arrest since April 10 [AFP]
Both Zia and Hasina stand accused of misrule that led to a political crisis earlier this year.
The crisis followed a political impasse that climaxed in January amid spiralling violence, in which the Hasina's Awami League accused the Bangladesh National Party (BNP) led by Zia of seeking to rig elections.
As a result, Iajuddin Ahmed, then-president of an interim government tasked with holding fair elections resigned, imposed emergency rule and cancelled the polls.
The new interim government took over power and has won popular support for its anti-corruption campaign.
Zia and Hasina have ruled the country alternately since democracy was reinstated in 1991.
The two represent rival political dynasties that have dominated the political landscape since the country won independence in 1971.
Zia is the widow of Ziaur Rahman, a former president, who was assassinated in an attempted military coup in 1981.
Hasina is the daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the nation's independence leader and first premier and president. He was murdered along with most of his family in a military coup in 1975.