Overseas Voting FAQs

Yes.  If you were born in the United States then you are a U.S. citizen and eligible to vote in U.S. federal elections.

Maybe. Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia specifically allow U.S. citizens who have never resided in the United States to register where a parent would be eligible to vote. Direct your questions about eligibility to your local election officials.

Registration requirements vary from state to state. Most states require you to complete an absentee ballot application to start the absentee voting process.  The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) encourages the use of the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to start the absentee voting process as it is standardized for use across all states and territories and will extend your eligibility to receive a ballot for all federal elections in which you are eligible, based on state-specific guidelines. The FPCA acts as both a registration and absentee ballot request form.

No. You can bring your FPCA or absentee ballot to the U.S. Consulate in Lagos or the U.S. Embassy in Abuja to send back to the United States.

You are required to put postage on the envelope that you use to send your ballot or FPCA back to the United States.  The American Citizen Services sections do not sell stamps.  However, a postage-paid envelope is available on the FVAP website.

Your legal state of residence is your address in the state in which you were last domiciled, immediately prior to leaving the United States.  This residence may remain valid even if: you no longer own property or have other ties to that state; your intent to return to that state is uncertain; or your previous address is no longer a recognized residential address.

No.  U.S. elections are run at the state level and citizens must communicate directly with their state election official to register, request a ballot and vote. Voting assistance is available at most embassies and consulates to help in the completion of necessary forms. Be sure to account for submission and mail delivery time to ensure your forms are received by the state deadline.

Voting in an election for federal offices often may not be used as the sole basis of determining residency for the purpose of imposing state and local taxes. When claiming a new legal residence or domicile, legal counsel should be consulted because there may be other factors to consider, such as tax implications.

To find out more information on available methods of participation in a caucus, we encourage you to contact the national political party headquarters such as the Republican National Committee or Democratic National Committee.