Register to vote

3. Voting from overseas

If you're registered and eligible to vote in UK Parliamentary elections, you can retain your right to vote in future UK elections even if you're living abroad.

Under new legislation there is no time limit on your right to vote while living overseas if you are a British citizen. Your registration as an overseas voter will last for 3 years before it needs to be renewed.

If you move back to the UK as a full time resident, you can register to vote at your permanent address as an ordinary elector. You'll have full voting rights for all elections eligible to you.

If you were too young to register when you left the UK, you can still register to vote if you were previously a resident in the UK.

If you're in the UK on Election Day, you can vote at a polling station. If you’re abroad you can still vote using the following options:

  • You can apply to vote by post, remember that ballot papers are only sent out 7 to 10 days before the election. You'll need to consider whether you'll have time to return your ballot papers by close of poll.
  • You can apply to vote by proxy, where someone else votes on your behalf.

Please note: You will not automatically get a postal vote if you’re voting from overseas, you must apply for it separately. For more information, see the vote by post section on this page.