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 you'll have 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 some other details. You must also provide:
- the last address where you were registered to vote in the UK
- that last year (date) you were registered to vote in the UK
These details will be checked as part of your registration - the Electoral Registration Officer must be able to find you in the archive register of electors to validate your application.
- if you're unsure of these details unfortunately we cannot check for you
- it's your responsibility to provide exact details as part of our application
- name searches are not possible if an address is not provided or the year is incorrect
- providing incomplete or inaccurate information 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', 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
Vote by post from overseas
Registered overseas electors can apply to vote by post but must consider whether there is enough time to apply for, receive and return your postal vote.
Absent votes need to be renewed annually along with the overseas registration.
Vote by proxy from overseas
Registered overseas electors can apply to vote by proxy.
This means appointing 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 poll card.