Residence Permit
May 13, 2024
Reading Time: 6 min

How to obtain Hungary residence for digital nomads

The White Card, also known as the Digital Nomad Visa, allows remote workers who earn at least €3,000 per month to live in Hungary for a year. You can renew your White Card only once, for an additional year, allowing you to live in Hungary for a total of two years.

This article explains how to get a White Card and its associated costs.

How to obtain Hungary Digital Nomad Visa in 2024
How to obtain Hungary residence for digital nomads

What is the Hungary Digital Nomad Visa?

The Hungary Digital Nomad Visa is a residence permit designed for freelancers, entrepreneurs, or remote workers. This status is also known as a White Card and Nomad Residence Permit.

The White Card allows you to live in Hungary and enter EU countries without a visa. However, it does not grant the right to work in Hungarian companies or to receive free medical care in Hungarian hospitals.

The Hungarian Digital Nomad Visa is issued for one year with the possibility of an extension for another year. The maximum period of stay in Hungary with a Hungary Digital Nomad Visa is two years. After holding a White Card, you cannot obtain a permanent residence permit in Hungary; the years of living there on a digital nomad visa are not counted towards permanent residency.

You can obtain a 10-year residence permit in Hungary by investment. The minimum investment amount is €250,000. This status can also be extended to members of the investor's family, including spouses and minor children.

5 benefits of a Hungary White Card

1. Visa-free entry into Schengen countries. With the White Card, you can travel freely throughout Europe. A digital nomad can spend up to 90 days out of 180 in Schengen countries. Digital nomads can travel on weekends to neighbouring countries, such as Austria, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, and Slovakia.

2. Low cost of living. Living in Hungary is cheaper than in France, Norway or Denmark. In Hungary, a family of four typically spends about €3,000 per month, excluding rent, while an individual spends approximately €650.

3. Low taxes. The income tax rate in Hungary is 15%, which is lower than in many other European countries. For comparison, the income tax rate in France is 19%, and in Italy, it is 23%. A digital nomad can become a tax resident in Hungary if they live in the country for more than 183 days a year or have their place of residence registered only in Hungary.

4. Safety. According to the Global Peace Index, Hungary is among the twenty most peaceful countries in the world. Walking late at night in Budapest is safe, and encounters with pickpockets are rare.

5. Cultural and natural diversity. Hungary is home to many mountains, lakes, and rivers, offering scenic hiking routes. Notable national parks include Kiskunság and Hortobágy. Additionally, Hungary boasts numerous attractions such as the iconic Houses of Parliament and well-preserved ancient fortresses like Boldogkő, Tata, and Visegrád Castle.

How to get Hungary nomad residence in 2024
Visegrád Castle is a unique Hungarian structure. Today, the tower hosts a five-story museum that introduces the history of Visegrád to its visitors

Who can get a Hungary residence for digital nomads? 

Foreigners employed in any country outside the EU can receive a Hungarian White Card. They must confirm a monthly income of at least €3,000 by providing a bank statement for the last six months and proof of employment in a foreign company by providing the employment contract.

The applicant's family members are not eligible to receive a residence permit through family reunification.

White Card holders will not be able to use free healthcare in Hungary, as it is available only to those employed in Hungary.

Required documents to get a Hungarian Nomad Residence

Typically, documents for a White Card are submitted to the Hungarian consulate or embassy in the country of residence.

The standard package of documents to apply for Hungary Digital Nomad Visa includes the following:

  1. The application, completed in English, either electronically or on paper.
  2. Two photos measuring 3.5 × 4.5 cm.
  3. A foreign passport valid for at least one year.
  4. An account statement showing at least €10,000. 
  5. An employment contract confirming remote work in a foreign company. This document must indicate the position, responsibilities of the employee, and the scope of the company.
  6. An account statement for the last six months or a valid employment contract demonstrating an income of €3,000 or more per month.
  7. An extract from the tax office or a registration certificate confirming the existence of the employing company.
  8. A sale agreement or a rental agreement for 12 months, confirming that the applicant has a place to live in Hungary for the period of the residence permit.
  9. Health insurance covering expenses in the amount of €30,000.

All documents must be translated into English or Hungarian and certified by a notary.

Cost of a Hungary White Card

No investment is required to obtain a Hungary Digital Nomad Visa.

Costs for obtaining a residence permit include:

  • application fee — €110;
  • translation of documents into English or Hungarian — €50+;
  • rental of real estate for the entire duration of the residence permit — €800+ per month or €9,600+ per year;
  • deposit when renting real estate — equivalent to a monthly payment, €800+;
  • health insurance — €15+ per month;
  • flight to Hungary — €30+.

Total: to obtain a digital nomad visa, you need to spend at least €10,000.

Step-by-step process of obtaining a Hungary Digital Nomad Visa

The duration of obtaining the visa depends on the workload of migration centres; usually, the process takes between 3 to 6 months.

PT5M
Up to 1 month
Preparing documents
Preparing documents

The applicant collects a package of documents and has them translated into English or Hungarian and certified by a notary.

Up to 1 month
Submitting an application
Submitting an application

The applicant registers to submit documents at the Hungarian consulate at their place of residence. On the day of submission, they must bring all documents and photographs and submit biometric data.

1 month
Getting a visa to enter Hungary
Getting a visa to enter Hungary

After submitting the documents, the digital nomad receives a visa by mail, which allows them to enter Hungary to obtain a White Card. This visa grants a stay in Hungary for 30 days.

1—4 months
Receiving a White Card
Receiving a White Card

If the Hungary White Card application was submitted within Hungary, the residence permit card will be sent by mail to the registered address; if submitted abroad, the card must be collected from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Hungary Digital Nomad Visa renewal process

Digital nomads can extend their residence permit in Hungary for another year. They must submit documents for renewal at least 30 days before the card's expiration date.

Applicants may apply for an extension online, but it is still necessary to visit the immigration office to submit biometrics and new photographs.

The residence permit will be extended if the foreigner has stayed in Hungary for at least 90 days within the previous 180 days.

Reasons for denial of issuing a White Card and how to appeal

A residence permit may only be granted if the documents contain accurate information about the applicant and the employer. Common reasons for refusal include an expired passport or insufficient income.

If denied, an appeal can be filed within eight days after the applicant receives notice of the decision. The appeal is submitted to the Hungarian consulate in the country of residence. A fee of €160 must be paid.

Applicants must submit the appeal in person; otherwise, it will not be accepted. The appeal must clearly state the reason for filing. New information that was not previously provided cannot be introduced at this stage.

The White Card can be revoked after issuance if it is discovered that the digital nomad has been away from Hungary for more than 90 days or no longer meets the requirements, such as if their income falls below €3,000 per month. The residence permit will also be cancelled if the digital nomad secures employment with a local employer in Hungary or acquires a share in a Hungarian company.

How to obtain permanent residence and citizenship in Hungary

The White Card does not grant the right to apply for permanent residence in Hungary. To obtain permanent status, foreigners must reside in the country under other conditions, such as with an investment-based residence permit

Residing in Hungary can result in two types of permanent residence permit: either a national Hungarian permit or an EU long-term residence permit.

National permanent residence status is issued if the applicant meets all the following conditions:

  • has lived in Hungary with a residence permit for at least three years;
  • has not lived outside of Hungary for more than four consecutive months;
  • did not spend more than ten months in total outside Hungary over three years;
  • has demonstrated a vested interest in permanent resident status, for instance, by conducting business in Hungary.

An EU long-term residence permit can be obtained without the applicant needing to demonstrate a specific interest. It is issued if the applicant meets the following criteria:

  • has lived in Hungary with a residence permit for at least five years;
  • has not lived outside of Hungary for more than six consecutive months;
  • did not spend more than ten months in total outside Hungary over five years.

An application for Hungarian citizenship is submitted after 11 years of living in Hungary, with at least eight of those years spent as a permanent resident. During these years, the applicant must not leave the country for more than 45 days in any single year.

An applicant for citizenship must pass exams to determine their knowledge of the Hungarian language, culture, and history. The application will be approved if the resident has no legal issues, has a stable source of income, and permanently resides in Hungary.

Tax rates for digital nomads in Hungary

Under Hungarian law, digital nomads are required to declare income, including that received from outside the country. They are assigned an individual tax number and must submit tax returns. The filing deadline for returns can be found on the website of the Hungarian Tax Administration.

Digital nomads in Hungary are taxed on all income, including that from foreign sources, at a rate of 15%. They become tax residents if they spend at least 183 days per year in the country.

Taxpayers are not required to pay income tax twice on income received from a country with which Hungary has a double tax treaty.

Countries with a Double Tax Treaty with Hungary

AustraliaAustriaAzerbaijan
AlbaniaAndorraArmenia
BahrainBelarusBelgium
BulgariaBosnia and HerzegovinaBrazil
Great BritainVietnamGermany
Hong KongGreeceGeorgia
DenmarkEgyptIsrael
IndiaIndonesiaIran
IrelandIcelandSpain
ItalyKazakhstanCanada
Line upCyprusChina
KosovoKuwaitKyrgyzstan
LatviaLithuaniaLiechtenstein
LuxembourgMacedoniaMalaysia
MaltaMoroccoMexico
MoldovaMongoliaThe Netherlands
NorwayUAEOman
PakistanPolandPortugal
RussiaRomaniaSan Marino
Saudi ArabiaSerbiaSingapore
SlovakiaSloveniaThailand
TaiwanTunisiaTurkmenistan
TurkeyUzbekistanUkraine
UruguayPhilippinesFinland
FranceCroatiaMontenegro
Czech RepublicSwitzerlandSweden
EstoniaSouth AfricaSouth Korea
Japan

Key points about the Hungarian White Card

  1. Freelancers, entrepreneurs, and employees who work remotely are eligible for the White Card. The visa is valid for one year and can then be extended for another year.
  2. To receive a White Card, the applicant must have a confirmed income of at least €3,000 per month and work for a company outside the EU.
  3. Advantages of the White Card include the low cost of living in Hungary, the opportunity to travel around EU countries without a visa, and low taxes. Disadvantages include the inability to add relatives to the application or use free healthcare.
  4. The process of obtaining Hungary White Cards takes 3 to 6 months.
  5. A residence permit for a digital nomad does not grant the right to apply for permanent residence or Hungarian citizenship. For these, one must obtain a residence permit on other grounds, such as by investment.

Frequently asked questions

Does Hungary have a nomad visa?

Yes, Hungary offers a digital nomad visa, known as the White Card, which is a residence permit available to remote workers earning at least €3,000 per month.

The White Card allows remote workers to live in Hungary and enter EU countries without a visa. However, a digital nomad does not have the right to work in Hungarian companies or receive free medical treatment in Hungarian hospitals.

What are the benefits of a Hungarian White Card?
  1. Visa-free entry into Schengen countries
  2. Low cost of living. 
  3. Low taxes. 
  4. Safety. 
  5. Cultural and natural diversity.
Who can obtain a Hungarian White Card?

The Hungarian White Card is issued to foreigners who work remotely and earn at least €3,000 per month. Relatives cannot be included in the application.

What are the requirements for applying for the Hungary White Card?

An applicant for a White Card must confirm an income of at least 3,000 € per month. Typically, this is verified by providing a bank statement for the last six months or a valid employment contract.

Сan I work with a Hungary nomad residence?
How long must I live in Hungary to get permanent residence?

To obtain permanent residency in Hungary, you must live in the country for three years with a residence permit. The period lived under a White Card does not count towards this requirement. You must reside in Hungary with a different residence permit to obtain permanent status or citizenship.

How long is the Hungarian Digital Nomad Visa valid for?

The White Card is valid for one year with the possibility of extension for another year. The maximum stay in Hungary with a White Card is two years. After holding a White Card, you cannot obtain a permanent residence permit in Hungary: the years of living there on a digital nomad visa are not counted.

Do digital nomads pay taxes in Hungary?

Yes, digital nomads are required to declare income, including income received from outside the country. They receive individual tax numbers and submit tax returns. The filing date for returns can be found on the website of the Hungarian Tax Administration.

Can I work remotely in Hungary?

Yes, you can get a White Card to legally reside and work in Hungary while being employed by any foreign employer. The Hungary White Card serves as a residence permit for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and remote workers. This status is also referred to as a Nomad Residence Permit.

Remote work is increasingly common in Hungary, particularly in the technology, finance, and customer service sectors. Many companies provide opportunities for remote work, allowing employees to work from anywhere within Hungary or from abroad.

How much income tax do you pay in Hungary with a White Card?

Digital nomads are exempt from paying income tax in Hungary. However, if they spend at least 183 days a year in the country, they become Hungarian tax residents. In this case, income tax is levied at a rate of 15%.

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