Overseas voting

Voting rights for British citizens living overseas have changed. 

Voters that have previously lived or been registered to vote in the UK now have the right to vote in UK parliamentary elections.

These voters will be registered at the constituency where they were last registered to vote, or where they lived if they were not registered to vote before.

Time limit

The 15 year limit on voting rights has been removed - there is no longer a time limit.


British citizens, including 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)
  • were previously resident in the UK


You need to register using the latest address that you were last registered to vote in the UK. If you were never registered to vote, then you need to use the last address you were resident at in the UK.


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

How often

You need to provide a renewal declaration every three years. Previously, it was every 12 months.

A renewal declaration confirms that the details held on the electoral register are accurate and update correspondence details if needed.


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.

So, if a British citizen living overseas applies to vote in March 2024, they will need to renew their application before 1 November 2026.


Anyone who is registered to vote in the UK can make donations to political parties and campaigners.

Extending voting rights to more British citizens living overseas will mean these new voters will also be allowed to donate to political parties and campaigners in the UK.

Last updated 05 January 2024