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Voting by Mail While Inside or Outside Canada

Register to Vote by Special Ballot (Vote by Mail)

Eligible Canadian electors may apply to vote by special ballot. With a special ballot, you can vote by mail from anywhere in the world.

If you live in Canada, you must wait until an election is called before you can apply to vote by special ballot.

If you live abroad and you meet certain criteria, you may apply at any time to be added to the International Register of Electors. When an election is called, Elections Canada mails a special ballot voting kit to all eligible electors in the International Register.

To apply to be added to the International Register and vote by special ballot, please answer a few questions. Based on your answers, we will provide information and an application form. Complete this form and submit it (with supporting documents) by fax, mail or courier.

New ─ As a result of a recent court decision on the ”five-year rule” in the Canada Elections Act, we have updated the application form for Canadians residing abroad. Now, any Canadian citizen aged 18 or older who resides abroad may apply to be added to the International Register of Electors and to vote by mail-in special ballot in federal general elections, by-elections and referendums, provided they have at some point resided in Canada.


Get a special ballot application form for Canadians who live abroad

The application form is best viewed with the latest version of Adobe Reader.

For background information, see: