The right of expatriates to vote in elections in their country of origin varies depending on the legislation of an expatriate’s country of origin. Some countries (such as France
) grant their expatriate citizens unlimited voting rights, identical to those of citizens living in their home country. Other countries allow expatriate citizens to vote only for a certain number of years after leaving the country, after which they are no longer eligible to vote (e.g. 15 years for the UK
and 25 years for Germany
). Other countries reserve the right vote solely to citizens living in that country, thereby stripping expatriate citizens of their voting rights once they leave their home country (such as Ireland
, with extremely limited exceptions).
Expatriates' voting rights in local elections sometimes vary within individual countries, usually those with federal systems, such as Switzerland
and the United States
. For example, Swiss expatriates originally hailing from certain cantons
may vote in elections at cantonal level, while those from other cantons may not. The issue has been raised by European Union
institutions, particularly in relation to citizens of one EU state resident in another. Read more...