British overseas voters

Apply to become an overseas voter

Following the removal of the 15-year limit, you can now register to vote as an overseas elector. 


You are eligible to do this if you are a

  • British citizen living overseas
  • eligible Irish citizen
  • citizen of a Crown Dependency

and you meet any of the below criteria

  • you lived in the UK in the past and were not registered, or were too young to register when you left the UK
  • you had a previous voting registration in the UK, either before you left or as an overseas voter
  • you were last registered on the basis of a declaration of local connection, as a merchant seaman or as a service voter
  • you are a person of no fixed abode when you left the UK and would have been eligible to make a declaration of local connection or who left the UK before 2001

As an overseas voter, you are only eligible to vote in

  • UK Parliamentary Elections
  • Referendums (if the referendum franchise includes overseas voters).

Changes to voting from overseas

  • You can now register to vote if you previously lived in the UK but were not registered to vote. 

We must be satisfied that

  1.  you were registered or lived in the area previously
  2.  we are able to verify your identity

We have a number of ways we can check your identity, including checking previous registers and other locally-held records. 

If this is not possible please be advised that you will be required to submit evidence or have your application attested.

  • You can register to vote as an overseas elector no matter how long ago you left the UK or were last registered to vote in the UK
  • Your overseas declaration is now valid for up to three years, lasting until 1 November in the third year after it takes effect
    • for example, if your declaration takes effect on 1 March 2024, it will expire on 1 November 2026

Renewal declaration

You will need to provide a renewal declaration every three years. 

You cannot do this online. The Electoral Services office will contact you before your declaration expires to renew. Please ensure we have an up to date email and correspondence address for you to make sure our invitation reaches you.

If you do not complete the invitation to renew, you will need to make a new full registration application.

How to register

You can register online on the GOV.UK website. 

Overseas British citizens must apply to register

  • using the address where you were last registered to vote in the UK or; 
  • if you have never been registered, the last address at which you were resident in the UK

If you were previously registered at more than one address, you must use the most recent address at which you were registered.

Once you have registered to vote, you can also apply online for

Proxy vote

To avoid any issues with the sending and returning of a postal vote before the close of poll at an election, we recommend you set up a proxy vote.

Further information on absent voting can be found on our website.

More information

Further information on the application process can be found on the Electoral Commission website.

If you have any queries, please email us.