Elections Act 2022

British overseas electors - votes for life

Register as an Overseas Voter (UK citizen living abroad)

If you are a British Citizen living overseas who has previously lived in the UK or been registered to vote in the UK, you can register to vote in UK Parliamentary elections and national referendums (if the referendum franchise includes overseas voters). 

You will be registered at the constituency where you were last registered to vote, or where you lived if you were not registered before.

On 16 January 2024  the 15 year limit on voting rights for British citizens living overseas ended – there is no longer a time limit. You can now register online


British citizens, including eligible Irish citizens and citizens of Crown Dependencies, may register as overseas voters if they are now living abroad, providing you:

  • Were previously registered in the UK (either before you left the UK or as an overseas voters
  • Were previously resident in the UK  


You need to register using the latest address that you were last registered to vote at in the UK. If you have never been registered you will need to provide details of your previous residency. Please ensure you select the correct option when registering.

We must be satisfied that you were registered or lived in the area previously and can verify your identity. We can check previous electoral registers, other local records and evidence provided by you.

Renewing your overseas voter registration  

Your overseas declaration is now valid for three years (previously 12 months).

Your registration will need to be renewed before  1 November in the third year after you registered as an overseas voter, unless you have successfully renewed it in the meantime.

For example, if your declaration takes effect on 1 March 2024, it will expire on 1 November 2026. We will contact you ahead or your renewal date.


You will need to vote in your allocated polling station in your constituency in the UK unless you have postal or proxy arrangements in place.

You  must  apply separately to vote by post (Postal Vote) or to apply for someone to vote on their behalf (Proxy Vote).

The statutory timetable for running elections means it is not possible to send postal ballot papers to overseas voters until two weeks before polling day. Overseas voters MUST be sure their marked postal ballot paper and completed postal vote statement will reach us before 10pm on polling day, or it will not be counted.

If you doubt that your Postal Ballot Paper can be returned to us by polling day, then you should consider applying for someone to vote on your behalf (Proxy Vote).

Further Information and enquiries

To find out more about overseas voter registration visit: Electoral Commission - Register as an Overseas voters.