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Living or working overseas

Members of HM Forces

If you are serving overseas as a Member of the Armed Forces (or are their spouse or civil partner), please see our Service voter registration page.

If you are a British citizen living outside the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland) and you have been on a UK electoral register at any time within the past 15 years, you can register as an overseas elector. 

If you left the UK before you were 18 years of age, you can register at your parents’ or guardians’ address, if you left the country no more than 15 years ago.

An overseas elector registration lasts 12 months. You must renew your overseas registration each year and we will remind you to do so before the renewal date.

This will let you vote at UK Parliamentary and European Parliamentary elections in the UK, but you won’t be able to vote at local elections.

If you are a Peer of the Realm you can only vote at European parliamentary elections.

Please visit the your vote matters website for more information on how to register as an overseas elector.

(If you are a Crown Servant or British Council employee or the husband or wife of one, please see below.)

Overseas electors can register to vote online.

If you prefer, you can download and complete an Overseas Elector application form. Please send your completed application form to Electoral Services at the address on this page.

We will reply confirming your registration and the date your registration will expire. A renewal reminder will be sent to you before your expiry date, subject to you informing us if you move address before the reminder is due.

By registering as an overseas elector you can vote in one of three ways: 

  • Vote by post if you want your ballot paper sent to you. Please be aware that your paper will be sent to you about 10 days before the election. You need to consider whether there is enough time to receive your ballot paper, mark your vote and return it before 10pm on polling day. Ballot papers that arrive after this time will not be counted. 
  • Vote by proxy if you want someone else to vote on your behalf. Your proxy must be aged 18 or over, a British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen and be living in the UK. Your proxy can either vote at the polling station for the area where you are registered, or they can apply to cast the proxy vote by post. (If the proxy can’t go to your polling station, they can apply to cast the proxy vote by post. We must receive their completed application form by 5pm, 11 working days before the poll if the postal proxy is to be approved for the election.)
  • Vote in person if you are in the UK on polling day. You can only vote at the polling station where you are registered to vote in the UK. You are not able to vote at your local embassy or consulate. You cannot vote in person if you, or your proxy, have applied to vote by post. If you have appointed a proxy, you can still vote in person, provided your proxy has not already voted.

Application forms to vote by post or by proxy can be downloaded from the your vote matters website.

Please contact us if you need help.

If you are working outside the UK as a Crown Servant or as an employee of the British Council, you can still register to vote.

You can also register if you are married to or are the civil partner of a Crown Servant or British Council employee and you are accompanying them during their employment abroad. 

If you are employed by the EU, UN or any other organisation not directly in service of the Crown you cannot register as a Crown Servant.

You can register online via the link at the top of this page.

If you prefer, you can download and complete a Crown Servant or British Council employee application form.

Changes to the Crown Servant registration forms

Crown Servants and British Council employees no longer have to make a declaration and send it via their employer.

Crown Servants and British Council employees are now required to provide a staff/payroll/other identifying number as part of their declaration when they apply to be included on the electoral register.

This means that Crown Servant and British Council employees will be able to register online via the link at the top of this page.