British citizens living overseas are entitled to vote in the UK for a period of 15 years after they were last on a UK electoral register. If you have never been registered as an elector in the UK, you will not be eligible to register as an overseas elector. However, if you left the UK before you were 18 years of age you can register at your parents' or guardians' address, provided that you left the country no more than 15 years ago.

How do I apply to be registered?

If you would like to register at your overseas residence, you may apply by registering online at http://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. On receipt of an application, an acknowledgement will be sent to you. An application only lasts for 12 months, and we will write to you after nine months of your registration for your annual renewal.

How can I vote?

Overseas electors may either appoint a person to vote on their behalf at the polling station (a proxy) or vote themselves by post. If you wish to vote by post you should bear in mind the length of time taken for post to travel in either direction, because the ballot paper is issued one to two weeks before polling day. If you are registered as an overseas elector you will only be eligible to vote in Parliamentary elections and European Parliamentary elections. You will not be able to vote in local elections.

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