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Overseas voters

If you are a UK citizen living abroad, you can apply to be an overseas voter. Find out more about if you are eligible and how to register.

On this page, you can find out:

  • Who can register as an overseas voter
  • How to register to vote as an overseas voter
  • How to vote as an overseas voter

Which elections and referendums can I vote in?

If you are registered as an overseas voter, you can vote in the following elections in the UK:

European Parliament elections are currently scheduled to take place in the UK on 23 May.
To be able to vote in these elections, you must be registered to vote by midnight on Tuesday 7 May 2019.


Who can register as an overseas voter?

If you are a UK citizen living abroad, you can apply to be an overseas voter.

You must have been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years and be eligible to vote in UK Parliamentary general elections.

If you were too young to register when you left the UK, you can still register as an overseas voter. You can do this if your parent or guardian was registered to vote in the UK, as long as you left the UK no more than 15 years ago.


How can I register to vote?

You can register to vote online in the same way as all other voters in the United Kingdom. Register online any time at gov.uk/register-to-vote.

Anyone registering as an overseas elector in Northern Ireland cannot register online. However, you can complete a paper application form and return it to the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland.

Find your UK local authority details

Enter the  postcode for the UK address at which you are registered.

You will be provided with contact details for your local authority.

They will be able to help with any questions about your registration status.


How can I vote?

If you are an overseas voter registered in England, Scotland or Wales, you can choose your method of voting depending on your personal circumstances.

If you are an overseas voter registered in Northern Ireland, you will need to appoint someone to vote on your behalf as postal votes cannot be sent outside the UK. Alternatively you can vote in person if you will be at home on polling day. For more information visit the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland.

Voting by post

If you are registered as an overseas voter, you can apply to vote by post. You need to make sure you have time to receive and return your ballot papers by polling day. If you don't think you can return them in time, you may want to consider voting by proxy.

To check when postal votes are being sent out contact the local authority of the address you are registered to.

Overseas voters registered in Northern Ireland cannot vote by poster as postal votes cannot be sent outside the UK.

Find out more about voting by post

Voting by proxy

If you are registered as an overseas voter, you can apply to vote by proxy. This means you can appoint someone to vote on your behalf. Both you and the person you appoint as your proxy must be registered under the new system.

Find out more about voting by proxy

Voting in person

If you happen to be in the UK on election day, you can always vote in person at the polling station allocated to the address in the UK for which you qualified to be registered as an overseas elector.

However, if you have appointed a proxy you can only do this if your proxy has not already voted on your behalf. If you have a postal vote, you cannot be issued with a ballot paper in the polling station but you can hand in your completed postal ballot at the polling station.