Overseas electors

If you've been registered to vote on the Electoral Register in the UK within the last 15 years, and you're now living abroad as a full time resident, you're entitled to register as an 'overseas elector'.

If you've lived abroad for more than 15 years, you cannot vote in UK elections.

If you move back to the UK as a full-time resident, you can register to vote using your permanent address and be granted full voting rights.

Registering as an overseas elector

To register as an overseas elector, you'll need to provide your name, date of birth and National Insurance number, along with:

  • the last address you were registered to vote in the UK
  • the last year (date) you were registered to vote in the UK

We will check these details as part of your registration. Our Electoral Registration Officer must be able to find you in the Register of Electors archive in order to validate your application.

Please note:

  • if you're unsure of these details, unfortunately we cannot check them for you
  • if you do not provide an address or the year is incorrect, it will not be possible to do name searches on your behalf
  • if you provide incomplete or inaccurate information, this will slow down your application or make it invalid

Overseas elector declaration

Once registered as an overseas elector, you'll receive an 'overseas elector declaration', which will mean you can then vote in:

  • UK parliamentary elections
  • EU parliamentary elections and referendums for the area covered by your old address

Your declaration is valid for one year and must be renewed each year to remain valid; we'll contact you to give you the opportunity to renew before your current declaration expires.

Voting as an overseas elector

Once you're registered to vote as an overseas elector, you can apply to vote by post or vote by proxy, but not both.

Vote by post from overseas

If you are a registered overseas elector, you can apply to vote by post but you must consider whether you have enough time to apply for, receive and return your postal vote.

Please note: If you wish to continue to vote by post, you will need to renew your postal vote annually along with your overseas registration.

Vote by proxy from overseas

If you are a registered overseas elector, you can apply to vote by proxy. This means you can appoint another person (a 'proxy') to vote on your behalf. A proxy can vote by post (if previously arranged) or attend your normal polling station to vote in person, using a special polling card.

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