Overseas electors

If you are a British citizen and previously lived in the UK, you can register to vote as an overseas elector.

From 16 January 2024, the 15-year limit of being registered to vote at an address has now been removed.  Prior to 16 January 2024, if you applied to be an overseas elector, you could only be on a register from 2009 onwards.

A number of changes to voting from overseas now apply: 

  • You can register to vote if you previously lived in the UK but were not registered to vote. 
  • You can register to vote as an overseas elector no matter how long ago you left the UK or were last registered to vote in the UK.
  • Your overseas declaration is now valid for three years, lasting until 1 November in the third year after it takes effect (for example, if your declaration takes effect on 1 March 2024, it will expire on 1 November 2026).
  • You can now register online (not available in Northern Ireland). 

If you are an overseas voter who registered to vote before 16 January 2024, you will need to renew your  registration when your declaration expires.  If you applied for a proxy vote before 31 October 2023, this will expire on 31 January 2024 and you will need to reapply for a proxy vote. 

If you have a long-term postal vote that you applied for before 31 October 2023, this will now expire on 31 January 2026. The electoral services team at your local council will contact you before your postal vote expires.

Elections in which overseas voters can vote

As an overseas voter you are only eligible to vote in UK Parliamentary Elections and Referendums (if the referendum franchise includes overseas voters).

To find out about Registering as an Overseas voters go to the Electoral Commission website.

Register to vote online

Additional important information for overseas voters

Overseas voters must remember to apply separately to vote by post (Postal Vote) or to apply for someone to vote on their behalf (Vote by Proxy), unless they intend to return home to vote in person.

Postal ballot papers are usually sent to overseas voters two to three weeks before polling day. Overseas voters MUST be sure their marked postal ballot paper (voting slip) will reach us before 10pm on polling day, or it will not be counted.

If there is any 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).

Crown servants

People employed by the government or by the British Council to work overseas for considerable periods can apply to register as Crown Servants. For more information see registering voters who are Crown servants and British Council employees overseas.

Further information and enquiries

For further information and enquiries email ballotbox@slough.gov.uk to contact the Electoral Services Team.