Skip to main content

FAQs

On this page:

  • People from Commonwealth countries can vote in the UK, as long as you meet a few basic requirements.

    You are a qualifying Commonwealth citizen if you have:

    • Leave to enter or remain in the UK: Any type of leave to enter or remain is acceptable. These could include an ancestry visa, a youth mobility scheme, a spousal visa or something else. You can find more detail on the Electoral Commission website.

    • Someone who does not require such leave: Many Commonwealth Citizens have right of abode in the UK. See the gov.uk website for more information about Commonwealth Citizens and Right of Abode.

    Citizens of Commonwealth countries that have been suspended from the Commonwealth, such as Zimbabwe, retain their voting rights in the UK.

    Commonwealth citizens must also meet the same residency and age requirements as other eligible voters.

    If you are not sure whether you have leave to remain in the UK, you may be able to find that on:

  • Your eligibility to vote is based on whichever nationality gives you the most voting rights.

    If you are a citizen of more than one country, use our tool to check and see which voting rights are attached to each.

    When you register to vote, you may be asked to list all your nationalities. You may also need to include passport or other identification information for each to verify your identity and nationality.

  • Students are eligible to register at both a family address, and a term-time address.

    It’s a good idea to register in both places to make sure you’re ready and eligible to vote at the next election, whether you’re at school or at home on election day.

    As a student, you can vote in the two areas you are registered in for local elections, even if they are happening on the same day.

    Just remember that you can only vote in one location at the General Election, not both.

  • Refugee status alone does not make you eligible to vote.

    You are eligible:

  • Only residents of Hong Kong who hold a British Overseas Territories, British Nationals (Overseas) or British Overseas passport can vote in all elections in the UK.

    Any previous resident of Hong Kong who only has a Chinese Special Administrative Region passport is Chinese and may not register as a qualifying Commonwealth citizen. They may however be eligible to register as a qualifying resident in Wales and Scotland.