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Registration and Voting Processes for Canadians Who Live Abroad

Canadian citizens who live abroad may apply to be on the International Register of Electors, which will allow them to vote by mail-in special ballot in federal general elections, by-elections and referendums.

What is the International Register of Electors?

The International Register of Electors is a database of Canadian electors living abroad who have applied to vote by special ballot.

When a general election, by-election or referendum is called, Elections Canada automatically sends a special ballot voting kit to all eligible electors on the International Register of Electors.

To be on the International Register of Electors, an elector must complete and submit an application.

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What are the benefits of being on the International Register of Electors?

By being on the International Register of Electors, electors residing outside Canada have the following benefits:

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What eligibility criteria must be met to be on the International Register of Electors?

To be on the International Register of Electors, you must:

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What type of ID do I need to apply?

You must provide a copy of one of the following pieces of ID with your application:

You do not have to provide proof of address.

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Is it true that electors can only be on the International Register of Electors if they have been away from Canada for less than five years?

No.

On January 11, 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a Canadian elector living abroad who has previously resided in Canada is entitled to vote by special ballot in federal elections, regardless of how long they have been living abroad.

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How do I apply to have my name added to the International Register of Electors?

We recommend that electors apply online.

You can also:

Please read the instructions carefully and provide all required proof of ID to avoid delays in the processing of your application.

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How does Elections Canada determine my riding?

On your application, you must indicate your last address before leaving Canada, which determines the electoral district for which your vote will be counted.

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I submitted my application. What now?

We will process your application. If any additional information is required, or if there is an issue, we will contact you using the coordinates you provided.

Once your name is on the International Register of Electors, we will send a confirmation letter to the mailing address on your application.

The next time a general election, or by-election in your riding, is called, a special ballot voting kit will automatically be sent to you.

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How do I update my information on the International Register of Electors?

Once you are on the International Register of Electors, you must notify us if you move to a new address abroad or return to Canada to live.

If you would like to update or confirm your information, please contact us by email or phone at:

svrenq@elections.ca
613-949-7502 (collect calls are accepted)

Toll-free in Canada and the US: 1-866-222-2565
Toll-free in Mexico: 001-800-514-6868
Toll-free in Canada and the US for TTY: 1-800-361-8935 

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