Voting from abroad

How you vote when you’re abroad depends on:

  • whether you’ll be abroad temporarily or living abroad
  • where you want to vote

If you’ll be abroad temporarily

You can vote by post or proxy if you’ll be abroad temporarily on election day, for example on holiday or a work trip.

Voting in England, Scotland or Wales

You can arrange:

If you’re abroad on election day you need to make arrangements in advance. Apply to vote by proxy if the election is less than 2 weeks away and you have not made arrangements yet.

Your postal ballot will be sent to the address you’ve chosen no earlier than 16 days before the election. You need to return your ballot before 10pm on polling day.

Voting in Northern Ireland

There’s a different process to apply to vote by post or proxy if you live in Northern Ireland and will be abroad temporarily on election day.

If you will not have time to receive and return your postal ballot in Northern Ireland before going abroad you’ll need to vote by proxy. You cannot apply to have your postal vote sent outside the UK.

If you’re moving or living abroad

You can only vote in UK Parliament elections. You may be able to vote in referendums. Each referendum has different rules on who can vote in it.

You need to register as an overseas voter.

You can vote by post or proxy, if you’re eligible. You’ll be asked to make this choice when you register.

You’ll then need to apply by filling in and posting one of the following:

You can also ask for the form to be emailed or posted to you when you register online.

If you’re registered in Northern Ireland, you cannot vote by post from abroad.

Get help voting

You can contact your Electoral Register Office to find out when postal votes might be sent. This could help you decide whether to vote by proxy or by post.