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.

You can only vote from overseas for a period of 15 years from the last time you appeared on the Electoral Register. So once you’ve lived abroad for more than 15 years you won’t be able to vote anymore.

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. This is as long as your parent or guardian was registered to vote 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 seven to ten 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'll 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.