Overseas voter changes
From 16 January 2024, the 15 year limit has been removed. Voters that have previously lived or been registered to vote in the UK now have the right to vote in UK parliament elections, regardless of how long they have lived outside the UK.
What are the eligibility rules
British citizens, which includes eligible Irish citizens and citizens of Crown Dependencies, may register as overseas voters if they are now living abroad, providing they:
- were previously registered to vote in the UK, either before they left the UK or as an overseas voter; or
- were previously resident in the UK
How do voters register
People living overseas can now register to vote online (external link) in the same way as any other voter (not available in Northern Ireland).
- Those who were previously registered will have to provide details about the address and time they were last registered
- Those who previously lived in the UK, but were not registered, will need to provide details about the address and time where they were last resident
How often do overseas voters need to register
Registration will need to be renewed before 1 November, three years after the voter registered as an overseas voter, unless the voter has successfully renewed their voter registration in the meantime (for example if your declaration takes effect on 1 March 2024, it will expire on 1 November 2026).
The Electoral Commission have produced an overseas voter changes FAQ sheet (external link) for the changes.
Postal / proxy application changes
From 31st October 2023, anyone applying for a postal or proxy vote, must include their National Insurance Number, so that they can be verified against the Department of Works & Pensions, the same as when you register to vote.
A new online portal to apply for a postal (external link) or a proxy vote (external link) will be available after this date, or you can request a paper form to be sent to you in the post by the Elections Team.