Can Immigrants Vote?

Immigrant Voting Eligibility

Man voting
Blend Images/Hill Street Studios/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Question: Can I vote as an immigrant?


Whether you can vote​ or not depends upon your immigration status. If you are a naturalized U.S. citizen, you have the same voting privileges as a natural-born citizen and you may vote in any election as long as you meet the other qualifications, which generally include:

  • Must be a United States citizen
  • Must have lived in the state for a period of time (usually 30 days)
  • Must be at least 18 years old on or before election day
  • Must not have been convicted of a disqualifying felony (or have rights restored)
  • Must not have been legally declared "mentally incompetent" by a court

If you are a permanent resident, you may not vote in elections limited to U.S. citizens, such as the presidential election. You may be able to vote in local and state elections that do not require U.S. citizenship. Be sure to check the requirements carefully before registering to vote as there are serious penalties for registering or voting in an election where you do not meet the citizenship requirements.