Last updated:

16th February 2024

Overseas electors

Register as an overseas elector (UK citizen living abroad)

If you are a British citizen living abroad, you can apply to be an overseas elector.

British citizens can register as overseas electors if they are now living abroad, as long as they were:

  • Previously registered to vote in the UK, either before they left the UK or as an overseas elector
  • Previously resident in the UK, but not registered or were too young to register when they left the UK
  • Last registered on the basis of a declaration of local connection or as a service voter

Overseas British citizens must apply to register to vote using the address where they were last registered to vote in the UK. Or, if they were never registered, the last address at which they were resident in the UK.

Overseas electors will need to provide a renewal declaration every 3 years once registered.

Elections in which overseas electors can vote

Overseas electors are only eligible to vote in UK Parliamentary Elections and National Referenda.

The next UK Parliamentary Election must take place by the 28 January 2025 however the date has not yet been announced.

To find out more about overseas elector registration visit The Electoral Commission website.

Register to vote online

To register to vote, visit the website.

Important information for overseas electors

Overseas electors must apply to vote by post, or apply to vote by proxy (someone to vote on their behalf) unless they intend to return to the UK to vote in person.

Proxy Vote - Please consider this option due to tight statutory timescales

To vote by proxy, you nominate someone in the UK who you trust to cast a vote on your behalf. If you apply to vote by proxy, your proxy must be a registered UK elector and eligible to vote in UK general elections. Your proxy would be eligible to vote on your behalf at the polling station connected to your UK claim address.

If your proxy cannot attend your polling station, they can apply to vote by postal proxy. Voting by Postal Proxy means they will receive a postal pack to vote on your behalf.

Please note, you will need your National Insurance number to apply. You must seek permission from your nominated proxy before you apply.

Postal vote

If you apply to vote by post, we will do everything we can to ensure that your vote reaches you in time. This includes prioritising the dispatch of overseas postal packs.

Postal vote packs cannot be sent until the details of the candidates are known. There is a strict legal timescale between the close of candidate nominations and the date of the election. Some overseas electors may not be able to return their completed packs by the deadline. The deadline is at the close of poll, which is 10pm on election day.

The legislative process does not allow us to email postal vote packs. There is no online voting facility for UK elections.

To make sure your vote counts, please consider applying for a proxy instead

If you still wish to vote by post, the application can be made on the website.

You will need to give your National Insurance Number when you apply. You will also need to upload a photo of your handwritten signature in black ink on plain white paper.

Elections registration and absent voting deadlines

There is no confirmed date for the next general election. Please note the statutory deadlines for an election:

  1. Deadline to register to vote is 12 working days before an election
  2. Deadline for postal and postal proxy vote applications is 11 working days before an election
  3. Deadline for proxy vote applications is 6 days before an election

You can find more information on overseas registration on the website.

No longer live abroad?

If registered as an overseas elector, and you no longer live abroad, you can register as an ordinary UK elector

Elections for local councillors and the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner will take place on Thursday, 2 May 2024. You may be eligible to vote if you have returned to the UK to live.

If you are no longer an overseas elector, please email  and we will remove your details.

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