Voting if you move or live abroad

You can register as an overseas voter for up to 15 years after leaving the UK, as long as:

  • you’re a British or eligible Irish citizen
  • you were registered to vote in the UK within the previous 15 years (or, in some cases, if you were too young to have registered when you left the UK)

If you want to vote in England, Scotland or Wales, register to vote in the normal way.

If you want to vote in Northern Ireland, you need to register with a paper form.

Renewing your registration

You have to renew your registration every year. You’ll get a reminder when it’s time to renew.

If you do not renew your registration, you’ll be removed from the register and must make a fresh application in order to vote again.

Voting if you’re registered 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 it to be emailed or posted to you when you register online.

If you want to vote by proxy in the General Election, apply by 5pm on 4 December.

If you want to vote by post, apply by 5pm on 26 November to get your postal voting pack at your overseas address. Your postal vote must then arrive at your Electoral Office in the UK by 10pm on 12 December.

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

Voting if you’re registered in Northern Ireland as an overseas voter

You can vote by proxy, if you’re eligible. You need to apply using a paper form.

If you want to vote by proxy in the General Election, apply by 5pm on 21 November.

You cannot vote by post.

Serving abroad in the armed forces

Register to vote using the armed forces registration service.

If you’re serving outside the UK, you can register as a ‘service’ voter. This means that you only have to renew your registration every 5 years. You’ll get a reminder when it’s time to renew.

Crown servants and British Council employees

Use the registration service for Crown servants and British Council employees if you’re based outside the UK working as a:

  • Crown servant (for example overseas civil service or diplomatic service)
  • British Council employee