Military Relocation and Voting in the Armed Forces

Military relocation tips

If you’re in the forces you may yourself moving regularly throughout your career. Military relocation means packing up and setting up home in a new location, time after time. Army moves may not always be easy, but there is plenty of support available to help make the process as straightforward and stress-free as possible.

Here at Towergate, we work closely with military personnel to understand the reality of life in service and army moves. With their help, we’ve put together some practical advice to help you navigate some of the issues around relocation and becoming an overseas voter.

We can’t stress enough that it’s important to take time to do your own research. When it comes to military relocation, it’s the small details that can make all the difference. The more you know about your destination, the better prepared you’ll be when it comes to arriving and getting settled (without hiccups!).

Every military move is different, but there are some tried and tested ways to help things run smoothly. We’ve put together some key tips below…

Make a furniture checklist

It’s important to be clear on what you’re taking with you. Since it’s likely you’ll be relocating fairly frequently, take time to create an inventory of the key items you’ll be taking. This will help you to keep track of everything when it turns up at your new home, and to know what you need to buy when you arrive.

Choose your hand luggage with care

The items you carry with you during your army move are the most important. It’s crucial that you have vital documents on your person throughout your move, as you never know when you may need to produce them. Make sure you have items such as your driving license, passport, medication, and anything that can’t be replaced with you at all times during your relocation.

Expect a wait for your belongings

We’d love to say that your other belongings will be with you right on time, but life is life and army movers can take some time. Depending on your destination, it could be months before you’re reunited with your car, sofa or kitchenware. Sit down, work out what you can’t live without, and make plans to buy it as soon as you arrive.

Secure a point of contact at your destination

It’s a good idea to secure yourself a contact at your new location. Finding a sponsor or contacting someone who has already made the same military move will mean having someone to answer any questions that arise throughout the process.

If you have a family, military relocation can be an adventure you experience together. There are specialised schemes and incentives to make army moves less of a challenge for families, so make sure you find out what’s available and take advantage.

How to register to vote in the armed forces

One of the biggest concerns military personnel experience when relocating is maintaining their votes. Heading overseas doesn’t mean losing your ability to vote, it’s just a question of planning how you’ll be voting while in the military. You can still register to vote in the armed forces, or if you are the spouse or civil partner of somebody serving in the armed forces.

Registering as a service voter means you can be registered to vote at one fixed address, regardless of whether you need to move around and relocate. If you’re already based abroad or are expecting to be posted out of the country within 12 months, this is a popular way to register. Service voter registration will last for five years and can be cancelled at any time as needed.

Military voting while deployed overseas

Casting your vote from overseas can be a challenge, but many opt to use a proxy. If you’re going to be located overseas during a voting period, you can choose to select a proxy to vote on your behalf.

As an overseas voter, you can still submit a postal vote, but using a proxy means you’re not dependent on prompt post to meet the closing deadline from your location. Postal votes can only be dispatched around one week before election day, so getting your vote back to the UK in time can be tight.

As an overseas voter in the armed forces, not knowing whether your vote will be counted in time may be frustrating. If you select someone you trust to be your proxy, they will be able to vote on your behalf at a polling station or by post.

Military relocation to Cyprus

The finer details of your army move will depend greatly on where you’re posted. We’ve taken the example of military relocation to Cyprus to help us give you some more general advice before your army move overseas.

Unaccompanied baggage

Once you receive your posting authority, it’s a good idea to contact your unit quartermaster department or PD clerk about the shipment of your unaccompanied baggage. They will explain your allowance and entitlements.

You will need to complete F/Mov/713A to collect your unaccompanied baggage, as well as a customs form to enable you to import your personal goods into Cyprus. Don’t be alarmed by this form, you should only list major electrical goods and furniture you’ll be sending, as that your cubic capacity limits what you can bring.

You can store any furniture and other articles which you do not wish to bring in the UK at public expense. A removal service does operate in Cyprus, although the capacity is greatly reduced compared to that for a move within Europe. You may have been advised that it takes six weeks from time of collection to time of delivery, but many find that eight weeks is a more sensible timescale.

You don’t need to give a quarter address in Cyprus before your items are shipped. All unaccompanied baggage received at the Port Unit in Limassol will be stored until your arrival. Please refer to the baggage scales (entitlements) at Annex F.

Ensure your movements clerk submits the appropriate F Mov forms to DPRC London.
Continuity post personnel (HQ UNFICYP only) have an alternative travel option (see below).


You will need to complete an F/Mov/713 form and return it to your unit families office. M&S shipping will contract a civilian storage firm to collect and store the rest of your personal belongings and household contents.

What to take

  • Summer and winter clothes
  • A duvet – as night times can be chilly
  • Tumble dryer - very few married quarters have central heating
  • White goods such as washing machine - rental prices can be high
  • Computer and phone – these are not issued in quarters and easy to connect
  • TV and stand
  • Lamps – these are not provided in MQs
  • Plugs and extension leads – same as UK
  • Original education and qualification certificates – needed if you wish to find work
  • Original birth and marriage certificates
  • Toiletries and sun creams – although available on the island, they are far more expensive than in the UK. Boots can ship from UK to Cyprus.

What to leave

  • Ironing board – included in MQ
  • Gardening tools - issued
  • Hoover – issued
  • Curtains – issued
  • Lawnmower - household lawnmowers are not very effective as the ground is often full of small stones. You can hire a gardener.
  • Lampshades - All MQs have fitted glass light covers.
  • Tinned food and dry goods - all readily available, several large supermarkets on the island.

There are some helpful Facebook groups dedicated to sharing info on life in Cyprus, such as BFC Episkopi Community Support and the mother and toddler group, Episkopi Jelly Tots. If you’re relocating as a family, these can be a great way for spouses to find out more about the area. Buying and selling pages on Facebook are also handy for getting hold of used items that you can’t bring from the UK, such as air conditioning units. Episkopi Info is another useful site for those new to the area.

Military insurance with Towergate

As a specialist insurer, combined with our flexible and helpful approach to customer service, we understand what military personal want from their insurance. Visit our military insurance page for more details.

Finding employment in Cyprus for military dependents

The staff in the Civilian Pay and Personnel (CPP) are responsible for the recruitment of all civilian UK dependents (UKD).

Opportunities for UKD positions are limited, although other agencies such as CESSACSSAFA and HIVEs all recruit across the island. It’s worth noting that they work outside command secretariat policy and take responsibility for employing civilian staff under differing terms and conditions as well as advertising their own vacancies.

How do I register?

When you arrive in Cyprus, to apply for a UKD position within BFC/SBAA, you will need to register with the CPP team by completing the forms below:

  • CPP Form 085 – CPP UKD employment registration form
  • Health declaration form
  • security clearance forms (to be completed on arrival to the level of clearance needed)

All forms are available from:

Recruitment Office
Room 122
C Block

Once CPP has processed your registration forms and all enquires are complete, you are placed on the UKD register and you are eligible to apply for UKD vacancies as advertised.

Vacancy notices

Vacancy notices detailing post grade, formal entry requirements, description of post and closing dates are published on Cyprus Government Web, (there is an "English" button on the top right to translate this page) through British Forces Broadcasting Services, schools, families offices and notice boards in and around the Hives.

Application form

To apply for a role, you will need to complete 083 CPP UKD application form available from:

Recruitment Office
Room 122
C Block

Only one job vacancy can be applied for on each application form. This form must be submitted to the CPP recruitment office:

C Block
HQ BFC Episkopi

Fax: 00 357 2596 3058