The Election Commission of India has announced the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. They are scheduled to start from April 19 and conclude on June 1, and it is possible for Indian expats in UAE to register as a voter.

While non-resident Indians (NRIS) can register as a voter online as well as offline, they have to be physically present in their respective constituency to vote.

Up until 2010, NRIs were not allowed to exercise their right to vote during the elections. An amendment to the Representation of People (Amendment) Act, 2010 granted voting rights to the NRIs.

Recently, the Press Information Bureau shared a message on X “calling all NRI voters to cast their vote” this year.

For an NRI to get voting rights, they must:

  • Possess a valid Indian passport.
  • Be 18 years of age as on January 1 in the year electoral roll is published in their constituency in India

How to register as an overseas voter:

Online registration

  • Visit the Election Commission of India or voter portal service website.
  • Select your state or union territory and go to the state election commission section.
  • Choose Form 6A and download.
  • You can also get Form 6A from the Indian Mission in the country of your residence.
  • Scan the filled form and affix a passport size coloured photograph on it.
  • Scan self-attested photocopies of the passport pages having your photograph, your house address in India and other details. Also, scan the page with the valid visa endorsement.
  • Create a login on the ECI website and upload the scanned form.
  • In case you want to apply post, you need to send a signed copy of Form 6A and self-attested copies of the requisite documents to the address of the electoral district officer in India. The address can be found on the ECI website.

What happens after submission of Form 6A

  • The application will be scrutinised.
  • For verification, the electoral registration officer will send a booth level officer of the polling area for field verification. The latter will visit your home address in India, as mentioned in the passport, for the purpose of enquiry.
  • In case you have no relatives to give a declaration for verification of your documents, or if the officer is not satisfied with the verification, the documents will be sent for verification to the Indian Mission in the country where you reside.
  • The final decision of the electoral registration officer will reach you by post on the address in the foreign country specified in Form 6A, and also by SMS if you have given a mobile number in the form.
  • As an NRI, you will find your name in a separate section for “Overseas Electors” on the ECI website.” This is the last section on the roll of that particular part/polling station area of the constituency that corresponds to your home address as in your passport.

NRIs are not issued an Electors Photo Identity card (EPIC) and are required to vote in person at the respective polling station upon producing their original passport.

Offline registration

If you wish to apply for an NRI Voter ID offline, you need to visit the constituency in which your residence falls. This is how you can register as a voter:

  • Visit the electoral registration office
  • Fill out Form 6A
  • Submit the requisite documents: including a recent passport-size coloured photograph, self-attested photocopies of relevant passport pages, address in India, and visa endorsement
  • You will need to show your passport for verification
  • Submit your application

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