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Voter registration drive for migrants in Northern Ireland

To promote integration and participation, Peace for Africa and Belfast Friendship Club are actively encouraging eligible migrants in Northern Ireland to register for voting. The NI Strategic Migration Partnership is also looking at ways to encourage migrant registration as part of European Local Democracy Week which is held in October.

The Law Centre has clarified the legal position with the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland.

All European nationals and Commonwealth nationals who have resided in Northern Ireland for three months prior to 15 October (ie who have been living here since 15 July) are eligible to vote. This applies regardless of a person's immigration status and therefore asylum seekers are eligible.

Citizens of Commonwealth countries that have been suspended from the Commonwealth (such as Zimbabwe) retain their voting rights.

A list of eligible countries is available here: http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/who_can_register_to_vote.aspx

The deadline for the current round of registration is 27 September 2013.
The registration form is available to download here:
http://www.eoni.org.uk/getmedia/60158470-428a-4377-8e33-c1440dec1e44/Final-Canvass-form-1-%2822-August%29

Those who register to vote are also entitled to apply for an electoral identity card. People can go to the Electoral Office with their original ID document and have their photograph taken free of charge (Electoral Office for NI, 2nd Floor, St Anne's House, 15 Church Street, Belfast BT1 1ER). See here for the list of ID:
http://www.eoni.org.uk/Electoral-Identity-Card/How-to-apply

The registration form is also available in Irish, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak and Ulster Scots: http://www.eoni.org.uk/Register-To-Vote/Forms-in-other-Languages

Note: UK and Irish nationals and other Commonwealth citizens can vote in all elections.  EU nationals who are not also citizens of Commonwealth countries can vote in Northern Ireland Assembly, European and local council elections but not in UK Parliament elections.

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