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Overseas voters

On this page, you can find out: 

  • Who can register as an overseas voter
  • How to register to vote as an overseas voter
  • How to vote as an overseas voter

If you are a UK citizen, you can register to vote in UK elections no matter where in the world you live!

Who can register as an overseas voter? 

If you are a British citizen living abroad, you can apply to be an overseas voter. You must have been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years and be eligible to vote in UK Parliamentary general elections and European Parliamentary elections.

If you were too young to register when you left the UK, you can still register as an overseas voter. You can do this if your parent or guardian was registered to vote in the UK, as long as you left the UK no more than 15 years ago.

Which elections and referendums can I vote in?

If you are registered as an overseas voter, you can vote in the following elections in the UK:

EU referendum

Registered overseas voters will be able to vote in the upcoming referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union.

The date of the referendum has not been announced yet but it is scheduled to happen before the end of 2017.

How can I vote?

You can choose your method of voting depending on your personal circumstances.

Last year the way we register to vote changed, and if you want to vote by post or by proxy you must be registered under the new system. To check if you’re correctly registered, contact the local authority of the address you are registered to. To find their contact details, enter the relevant postcode in the ‘Your local area’ box.

Voting by post

If you live abroad you can apply to vote by post.You need to make sure you have time to receive and return your ballot papers by polling day. If you don't think you can return them in time, you may want to consider voting by proxy. 

To check when postal votes are being sent out contact the local authority of the address you are registered to. You can find their contact details in the ‘Your local area’ box at the top of the page.

 
Voting by proxy

If you're abroad you can apply to vote by proxy. This means you can appoint someone to vote on your behalf. Both you and the person you appoint as your proxy must be registered under the new system.

Voting in person

If you happen to be in the UK on election day, you can always vote in person at a polling station.

However, if you have appointed a proxy you can only do this if your proxy has not already voted on your behalf. If you have a postal vote, you cannot be issued with a ballot paper in the polling station but you can hand in your completed postal ballot at the polling station.