British citizens living outside the UK are entitled to vote in UK Parliamentary and European Parliament elections once they have registered.
You can register to vote from overseas :
- if you are a British citizen and have been on a UK electoral register at any time within the past 15 years
- from your parents’ or guardians’ address if you left the UK before you were 18 years of age or if you left the country no more than 15 years ago
You cannot register if you have never been registered to vote in the UK.
If you are a British citizen living overseas (but are not serving in the armed forces) you can register to vote online.
You can register to vote from overseas at any time - do not wait until an election is announced.
You will need to provide:
- your full name and overseas address
- the UK address where you last registered
- the date you left the UK
- your National Insurance number
Your registration will last for 12 months and must be renewed every year but can be cancelled by you at any time. We will send you a reminder two to three months before your registration runs out.
Those registered to vote from overseas are eligible to vote in elections to the UK and European Parliaments but not UK local government elections. As any UK referendum requires special legislation to be passed, this legislation would also determine who can vote in such a referendum.
If you decide to vote by post, your ballot paper will be sent to you about a week before the election. Therefore, you may want to think about whether there is sufficient time for you to return your ballot paper to us before the close of poll. You may want to appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf instead.
You can appoint someone in the UK to vote for you. This is called a proxy vote and you need to apply to vote by proxy.
If you are in the UK on election day you can vote in person at the polling station where you are registered to vote. It is not possible to vote at your local embassy or consulate.