Your nationality determines which elections in the UK you can register to vote in.
If you move to live abroad, you can keep your right to vote at UK Parliamentary elections and European Parliamentary elections for 15 years. You will be entitled to register at your last UK registration address. If you were too young to register when you moved, you can use the last UK registration address of your parents or guardians.
You can vote by post or proxy. Because of the short time period available to post papers backwards and forwards, the best way to vote is to appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf. Only vote by post if you are satisfied your ballot paper will get back in time.
Citizens of the European Union
If you are a citizen of another European Union state, then you are entitled to register in the United Kingdom. If you are registered, you will be allowed to vote in all local elections and, subject to our receiving a further application from you, you will also be entitled to vote in elections for the European Parliament.
We write to all European Union citizens who are registered with us in advance of the elections for the European Parliament so that you can register to vote in those elections as well.
The same reciprocal arrangements are in place for British citizens who are living in another European Union state.
If you are a qualifying British, Republic of Ireland or Commonwealth citizens, you are eligible to vote in UK Parliamentary elections, European Parliamentary elections and Local Government elections.
A Commonwealth citizen qualifies for registration purposes if:
- they do not need leave to enter or remain in the UK
- they have been granted leave, if leave is required. This leave can be indefinite, time limited or conditional.
Antigua and Barbuda; Kenya; St Vincent; Australia; Kiribati; The Grenadines; The Bahamas; Lesotho; Samoa; Bangladesh; Malawi; Seychelles; Barbados; Malaysia; Sierra Leone; Belize; Maldives; Singapore; Botswana; Malta*; Solomon Islands; Brunei Darussalam; Mauritius; South Africa; Cameroon; Mozambique; Sri Lanka; Canada; Namibia; Swaziland; Cyprus*; Nauru; Tonga; Dominica; New Zealand; Trinidad and Tobago; Fiji Islands; Nigeria; Tuvalu; The Gambia; Pakistan; Uganda; Ghana; Papua New Guinea; United Kingdom; Grenada; Rwanda; United Republic of Tanzania; Guyana; St Kitts and Nevis; Vanuatu; India; St Lucia; Zambia; Jamaica; Zimbabwe
If you are a citizen of a Commonwealth country that has been suspended from the Commonwealth, you still retain your voting rights. Your rights are only affected if your country was also deleted from the list of Commonwealth countries in the British Nationality Act 1981 through an Act of the UK Parliament.
British Overseas Territories
British Nationals (Overseas) citizens, British Overseas citizens and British Dependent Territories citizens are all Commonwealth citizens and you are entitled to register as electors for all elections, provided you also fulfil the age and residence requirements. You cannot, however, register as an overseas elector.
British Overseas Territories are:
Anguilla; Montserrat; Bermuda; Pitcairn Island; British Antarctic Territory; St Helena; British Indian Ocean Territory; St Helena dependencies (Ascension Island, Tristan da Cunha); British Virgin Islands; South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; Cayman Islands; Sovereign base areas on Cyprus; Falkland Islands; Turks and Caicos Islands; Gibraltar; Hong Kong*
*Although Hong Kong is no longer a British Overseas Territory certain citizens can still vote in the UK.
European Union Member States
Austria; Germany; Portugal; Belgium; Greece; Republic of Ireland*; Bulgaria; Hungary; Romania; Croatia; Italy; Slovakia; Cyprus*; Latvia; Slovenia; Czech Republic; Lithuania; Spain; Denmark; Luxembourg; Sweden; Estonia; Malta*; United Kingdom*; Finland; The Netherlands; France; Poland
*Citizens of the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Cyprus, Malta are eligible to be registered to vote in respect of all elections held in the UK.