World news story

Did you know you may be eligible to vote in the EU Referendum?

If you have been on the electoral roll in the UK within the last 15 years then you can register to vote in the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union.


The British Embassy in Guatemala would like to make expats aware that they may be eligible to have their say in the EU referendum – provided they register to vote in good time.

Interest among expats in the EU referendum is high, but awareness that you may be able to vote is low. We want as many expats as possible to be aware that they can have their say.

The British Embassy in Guatemala is backing a global campaign by the Electoral Commission to encourage Britons who live overseas to register to vote.

To register as an overseas voter, you must have been registered in a UK constituency within the last 15 years. You can apply to register to vote at

You can vote either by post; by proxy (you designate someone you trust to vote on your behalf in the UK); or in person at a polling station in your constituency, but of course if you live overseas you’re unlikely to be able to able to do this. It should be easier to vote by post for this referendum as the timetable for postal votes has been extended to allow postal votes to be sent out even earlier than usual, giving you a bit more time to receive, complete, and return your ballot pack to the UK.

All it takes is five minutes to register. And because overseas voters must allow enough time for their ballot paper to be posted from the UK, you should do it now rather than wait for the final deadline, at which point it may be too late to use a postal vote effectively.

Postal ballot papers will be despatched about a month ahead of the referendum - earlier than for the General Election last year - giving overseas voters more time to receive, complete, and return their ballot pack to the UK.

The Embassy is urging British nationals to pass on the register to vote message via this website, Facebook and Twitter and wide range of partners that work with the British Embassy.

If you are active on Twitter then do tell others that #YourVoteMatters and add the following URL so that they can register too.

Go to and make sure you can have your say.

Published 3 February 2016