British citizens living outside the UK can vote in European and British national and local elections as long as they have not been out of the UK for more than 15 years. For those who have lived out of the UK for more than 15 years, they can vote in the European countries where they live.
When does the 15-year period begin for UK voters living abroad?
When you (re)register to vote you will be asked to disclose the date that you left the UK – this date will be used to calculate whether you have been away for 15 years or more. This is the last day on which you were registered on the Electoral Register in the UK. If you are not sure what date that was, you will need to contact the Electoral Registration Office in the constituency in which you were last registered (search for the Electoral Registration Office contact info here).
What if I left the UK more than 15 years ago?
British citizens who have lived abroad for more than 15 years are currently unable to vote in the UK. British in Europe and the3million are campaigning for all UK residents and UK citizens to have a lifetime vote and you can sign the petition for the Let us Vote campaign here.
What if I left the UK before I was 18?
If you are a British citizen and were too young to register when you left the UK, but are now 18 or over, you can still register to vote. You can do this with the UK local council or authority where your parent or guardian was last registered to vote as long as you left the UK less than 15 years ago. This is the case even if you were born overseas but later lived in the UK as a child. To find out where to submit your application to vote, enter your parent or guardian’s old postcode here, and then follow the instructions about How to Vote.