Elections Canada

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Posted by: | Posted on: February 29, 2016

FAQ for Elections Canada of lesson to be learnt

I’m a Canadian living abroad. How do I vote?

If you live outside Canada, you can apply now to vote by mail if you:

  • are a Canadian citizen
  • will be 18 or older on election day
  • have lived in Canada at some point in your life
  • intend to move back to Canada to reside, and
  • have lived outside Canada for less than five consecutive years or are exempt from the five-year limit

If we accept your application, we will add your name to the International Register of Electors and send you a special ballot voting kit.

If you are not eligible to vote by mail, you can vote in person at an advance poll or on election day – learn more.


Who is exempt from the five-year limit on voting by Canadians living abroad?

You are exempt from the five-year limit if you are:

  • employed outside Canada in the federal public administration or the public service of a province,
  • employed outside Canada by an international organization of which Canada is a member and to which Canada contributes, or
  • living with an elector employed as described above, or with a member of the Canadian Forces posted outside Canada, or with a person employed outside Canada by the Canadian Forces as a teacher or as administrative support staff in a Canadian Forces school

How can I prove I am exempt from the five-year limit?

If you are exempt from the five-year limit based on where you or someone you live with is employed (see list above), you must provide proof of employment for yourself or for that elector.

For example, provide a copy, photo or scan of a current:

  • Canadian diplomatic passport
  • employee identification card, or
  • document on the organization’s letterhead, showing the employee’s name and employment status, signed by an authorized official of the organization

I live abroad and I am voting by special ballot. What is my Canadian address for voting purposes?

If you are voting by mail-in special ballot, your Canadian address for voting purposes is the address in Canada where your vote will count. You will vote for a candidate in the riding that contains this address.

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