Running electoral registration - England

Can a Commonwealth citizen register to vote?

Can a Commonwealth citizen register to vote? 

Qualifying Commonwealth citizens are entitled to register as Parliamentary and as local government electors provided that on the relevant date they also fulfil the age and residence requirements for registration and are not subject to any other legal incapacity.1  

Citizens of Commonwealth countries other than the United Kingdom are not eligible to register as overseas electors.2  

Qualifying Commonwealth citizen3  

A person is a qualifying Commonwealth citizen if they do not require permission to enter or stay in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man or they do require permission to enter or stay in the UK but have been granted such permission, or are treated as having been granted such permission.

Any type of permission to enter or stay is acceptable, whether indefinite, time limited or conditional.

Commonwealth citizens temporarily in the UK and pending removal

The Home Office have advised that Commonwealth citizens who are temporarily in the UK pending removal, are not in the UK legally whilst arrangements for their removal are being made. As these citizens do not have permission to enter or stay they are not eligible to register to vote.


List of Commonwealth countries
Antigua and BarbudaJamaicaSaint Lucia
AustraliaKenyaSaint Vincent and the Grenadines
The BahamasKingdom of EswatiniSamoa
BarbadosLesothoSierra Leone
BotswanaMalaysiaSolomon Islands
Brunei DarussalamMaldivesSouth Africa
CameroonMalta*Sri Lanka
DominicaNamibiaTrinidad and Tobago
GabonNew ZealandUganda
The GambiaNigeriaUnited Kingdom
GhanaPakistanUnited Republic of Tanzania
GrenadaPapua New GuineaVanuatu
IndiaSaint Kitts and NevisZimbabwe

*Although also EU member states, citizens of Cyprus and Malta are eligible to be registered to vote in respect of all elections held in the UK.

Citizens of Commonwealth countries that have been suspended from the Commonwealth retain their voting rights. Their voting rights would only be affected if their country was also deleted from the list of Commonwealth countries in the British Nationality Act 1981 through an Act of the UK Parliament.

How do you process an application from a citizen of Cyprus?

For registration purposes, the whole of Cyprus is considered to be a Commonwealth country and you should not be concerned with the political situation of the island. If there is any doubt as to whether a person from Cyprus should be registered, they should be asked to provide confirmation that they are Cypriot, such as a Uniform Format Form (Opens in new window) with a UK visa, UK residence permit showing Cypriot nationality, or other appropriate evidence. Registration as a Cypriot national cannot be based solely on a Turkish passport.

Last updated: 5 July 2024