Residence Permit
March 8, 2024
Reading Time: 17 min

15 ways to obtain temporary residence in Hungary

Residence in Hungary is available to a wide range of individuals, including foreign entrepreneurs, professionals, financially independent persons, relatives of Hungarian residents and citizens, students, researchers, volunteers, diplomats, and patients receiving treatment in local clinics.

In November 2023, the Hungarian Government introduced a new program that allows investors to secure a residence permit valid for 10 years, provided they meet a minimum investment threshold of €250,000.

We will guide you through the nuances of each pathway to obtaining residency in Hungary.

Residence permit in Hungary by investment, employment, marriage, family reunification
15 ways to obtain temporary residence in Hungary

Who can get a Hungary temporary residence permit

A Hungarian residence permit is accessible to third-country nationals and foreign relatives of Hungarian citizens. Since November 2023, wealthy individuals from around the globe may obtain residence permits by participating in the Hungary Golden Visa program.

The Act II on the Admission and Right of Residence of Third-Country Nationals governs the admission of foreigners into Hungary. According to this legislation, individuals may obtain a temporary residence permit in Hungary for various reasons.

Grounds for obtaining a Hungary temporary residence permit:

  1. Family reunification;
  2. Gainful employment;
  3. Highly qualified employment;
  4. Seasonal employment;
  5. Intra-corporate transfer;
  6. Studies;
  7. Research;
  8. Job-searching or entrepreneurship;
  9. Traineeship;
  10. Official duty;
  11. Medical treatment;
  12. Visits;
  13. Voluntary service activities;
  14. Working holidays in Hungary;
  15. Investment in the country’s economy.

The validity period of a Hungarian residence permit varies according to the purpose of the stay in Hungary. For instance, a permit issued to job-seekers after completing their studies is valid for 9 months; for internships, the period is 6 months. Students can receive a residence permit for the entire duration of their studies, while investors may be granted a permit valid for up to 10 years.

Option #1

The Golden Visa program in Hungary as a path to residency

The Hungary Golden Visa offers a streamlined path to obtaining a residence permit, valid for 10 years. In 2024, applicants have three main investment options:

  1. Purchase of real estate fund units with a minimum investment of €250,000. Real estate funds that issue investment certificates must be registered with the Hungarian National Bank.
  2. Buying property valued at a minimum of €500,000. To do that, applicants obtain permission at the Land Registry with the help of a lawyer. The investor will also pay property taxes and fees.
  3. Charitable donation of €1,000,000 to an institute of higher learning. Public interest trust foundations performing public tasks must maintain the educational organisation.

The applicant must fulfil the investment conditions within 93 calendar days after their first entry to Hungary with the Guest Investor Visa.

Requirements for applicants. To initiate the process of obtaining a residence permit by investment in Hungary, investors first need to acquire the Guest Investor Visa. This visa authorises them to apply for the residence permit, provided they meet the following criteria:

  1. Submit a written confirmation of their intention to meet the investment requirements.
  2. Possess medical insurance or adequate funds to cover potential medical expenses.
  3. Demonstrate sufficient financial resources for travel and living expenses in Hungary for the intended stay duration.
  4. Verify that the investment capital originates from a legitimate source of income and meets the investment amount required.
  5. Ensure they are not subject to deportation orders, and their stay does not pose a threat to Hungary’s national policy, social security, national security, or public healthcare systems.
  6. Be a non-EU and non-EEA citizen.

The investor may also include a spouse and children under 18 years old in their application.

The period of validity of a residence permit and extension. The main applicant, along with their family members, is eligible to receive a Hungarian residence permit valid for 10 years. This permit can subsequently be extended for an additional 10-year period.

Hungarian Golden Visa: a step-by-step procedure and expenses

The process of application for a residence permit in Hungary is expected to take up to 6 months. The main applicant’s expenses depend on a chosen investment option.

1 day
Preliminary Due Diligence
Preliminary Due Diligence

Immigrant Invest conducts a preliminary check on international databases to identify possible proposals and prepare explanations for the migration service. The procedure minimises the risks of refusal to 1%. 

Preliminary Due Diligence is absolutely confidential and doesn’t require many documents — only a copy of the main applicant’s passport is enough.

2 weeks
Document preparation
Document preparation

Immigrant Invest lawyers provide a list of documents required to obtain a Guest Investor Visa. They also fill out application and government forms and translate and notarise the copies.

Translation and notarisation costs depend on the number of applicants and equal around €1,000.

Up to 3 months
Guest Investor Visa application
Guest Investor Visa application

The Immigrant Invest lawyer helps the investor submit the documents for a Guest Investor Visa to the Hungarian Consulate.

The program is yet to be launched, so the exact processing time is still uncertain. However, residency visas are usually processed within 90 days.

The Guest Investor Visa is valid for 2 years. Within this period, the investor has to visit Hungary and apply for a residence permit.

Up to 93 days
Travelling to Hungary and fulfilling the investment condition
Travelling to Hungary and fulfilling the investment condition

On arriving in Hungary, investors have 93 calendar days to apply for a residence permit. Before applying, they choose a project and invest a required amount in it.

3 days
Applying for a Hungary residence permit
Applying for a Hungary residence permit

Immigrant Invest lawyers help the investor apply for a residence permit in Hungary. The application is processed for several days; in case of approval, the investor makes an appointment with the migration service online.

Up to 3 weeks
Biometrics submission and getting a residence permit card
Biometrics submission and getting a residence permit card

An applicant has to visit the migration service at the time appointed in the electronic record. It’s necessary to bring a passport, a printed electronic record, and original documents. 

At the office, an applicant submits fingerprints and has their photo taken for a residence permit card.

The officials send the card to the investor’s residential address in Hungary within 21 days.

In 10 years
Extending a residence permit
Extending a residence permit

Hungary residency by investment is valid for 10 years. It can be extended for the same period.

Option #2

Hungarian residency for financially independent people

Hungary doesn’t officially provide any special program for obtaining temporary residence for financially independent people. People with sufficient income to live in Hungary get a residence permit for other purposes.

Requirements for income and savings. Foreigners with sustainable income from outside Hungary may apply for a temporary residence for other purposes. For instance, the source of their income may be employment in a foreign company, dividends, pensions or rental income from renting out property abroad. Savings in foreign banks are also suitable for application for this kind of residency.

The sum of the income or savings depends on the number of family members included in an application. One applicant requires around €10,000 of annual income or in savings.

Requirements for applicants. A financially independent person must have a clear criminal record and no visa refusals or dangerous diseases. An applicant's spouse and children are also eligible for a temporary residence permit in Hungary.

Residence permits in Hungary for other purposes don't allow their holders to work or run a business in Hungary. It is necessary to spend at least 183 days a year in Hungary to maintain the status of a resident.

Studying at a non-accredited institution of higher education or attending language courses can also be sufficient reasons for getting a temporary residence permit for other purposes. 

Additionally, if an individual holding a work-based residence permit becomes unemployed and fails to secure new employment within six months, they have the option to apply for a Hungarian residence permit for other purposes. In such cases, the primary reason for their stay in Hungary would be job seeking.

The period of validity of a residence permit and extension. Foreigners usually obtain this type of residence permit for 2 years. It may be prolonged for the same amount of years.

Option #3

Residence in Hungary for employment

There are certain categories of applicants eligible for a Hungarian residence permit for employment:

  • foreign employees;
  • owners or executive officers of a private commercial enterprise or other entities based in Hungary;
  • seasonal employees;
  • employees transferred from a foreign company to a subsidiary firm in the EU;
  • highly qualified employees or EU Blue Card holders.

Requirements for applicants depend on the type of employment.

Foreign employees have to provide a prior agreement of employment, a valid document about recruitment and a certificate that verifies appropriate skills for a particular job.

Seasonal workers must include a contract for seasonal employment or a prior agreement concluded with a view to entering into a contract for seasonal employment into an application.

An employee under intra-corporate transfer provides a working contract, a certificate that proves that the hosting company and a subsidiary organisation belong to the same group of companies, and a certificate proving the required experience for the transfer — at least three months of work in the main company.

A highly qualified employee provides a pre-employment agreement or a labour contract for a fixed four years on a job that requires higher educational qualifications and an official translation of a document that certifies higher educational qualifications.

The validity period of a residence permit and extension. A residence permit in Hungary for employment is given for the period of validity of a working contract with the possibility of renewal. If parties terminate the contract ahead of schedule, the employee has a month and a half to find another job before the temporary residence permit becomes invalid.

An EU Blue Card for highly qualified workers is issued for two years, within which the owner of an EU Blue Card may work only in a related work for which it was issued.

Option #4

Hungary residence permit for trainees

To get residency for an internship, an applicant has to provide the following:

  • a contract with a host organisation;
  • a diploma of a higher education or a certificate proving completion of special training at university;
  • a certificate proving language awareness enough for having an internship in Hungarian;
  • a written commitment by a host organisation to reimburse the costs of expulsion in case the trainee remains in the territory of Hungary past the period authorised.

Hungarian residency for traineeship is valid for 6 months or a period of internship if it lasts less than half a year. It's impossible to renew such a residence permit.

Option #5

Hungary residency for self-employed individuals and entrepreneurs

Hungary offers residency options for legally self-employed individuals and executive officers of for-profit organisations. Eligible applicants include:

  • entrepreneurs;
  • farmers;
  • CEOs or Executive Managers of a company.

Self-employed persons and individual entrepreneurs provide a registration number or a copy of a licence, business plans and service contracts to prove their legal status.

Owners or top managers of companies obtain this kind of temporary residence permit if there are at least three Hungarian citizens or residents among employees and they have been working in the organisation for at least six months. Another way to get the permit is to show a business plan and prove that the company's processes are impossible without the company owner's presence in Hungary.

The validity period for this type of residence permit is up to three years, and it may be extended once for three additional years.

Option #6

Hungary temporary residence permit for digital nomads — a White Card

A White Card is a special residence permit for digital nomads. Two categories of applicants are eligible for it: officially registered self-employed persons who work remotely for a non-Hungarian company, and foreign business owners who run their firm remotely. 

The applicants must meet certain requirements:

  • not be subject to any legal disqualifications;
  • not pursue any gainful activity in Hungary, including holding a share in a Hungarian company;
  • demonstrate a minimum income of at least €2,000 per month over the last six months;
  • after obtaining a White Card, meet the general conditions for staying in Hungary for more than 90 days within any 180-day period.

Hungary temporary residence permit for digital nomads is granted for a year and can be extended once for the same period.

Option #7

Residence permit in Hungary for students

Requirements for applicants. A temporary residence permit is available to full-time students of Hungarian universities and preparatory program attendees.

An applicant has to show a good command of the Hungarian language to study and prove sufficient funds for tuition fees.

Students may work in Hungary without any additional work permits. However, the amount of time they can work per week is limited to 30 hours during study time. On holidays, students are allowed to work for 90 calendar days or 66 working days a year.

The validity period of a residence permit and extension. A Hungary residence permit for study is granted for 1 year or the whole period of study if it lasts for less than a year. 

It is possible to extend a student’s resident permit for a year or two. When applying for renewal, it is necessary to submit a certificate of academic performance along with other documents.

Student residence permit in Hungary: Szeged University
Szeged University is Hungary's leading university with a history dating back to 1581. The Nobel Laureate Albert Szent-Györgyi, who discovered Vitamin C, is among its alumni
Option #8

Hungarian residency for scientific research

Requirements for applicants. Scientists can obtain a residence permit if they have a doctor's degree or its equivalent and a signed contract with an accredited research organisation. 

The period of validity of a residence permit and extension. A residence permit in Hungary for research is granted for 1 to 5 years. If planned research is going to take less than a year, Hungarian residency is granted for a period defined in a contract with a research organisation.

It is possible to extend this type of temporary residence permit in Hungary but no longer than two years at once.

Option #9

Hungary residence permit for job-searching or entrepreneurship

Hungarian residency for job-searching or entrepreneurship is available to foreign residents with a temporary residence permit for study or scientific research who are completing their academic activity.

Hungary temporary residence permit for job seekers and entrepreneurial activity after studying or completing research is given for 9 months without a right of extension.

Option #10

Residence in Hungary by marriage or family reunification

Requirements for applicants. Relatives of Hungarian citizens, residents or immigrants with a refugee status are eligible for this type of residence permit in Hungary:

  • a spouse;
  • underage children;
  • guardians of a minor child.

A residence permit in Hungary for family reunification allows its holder to work.

The period of validity of a residence permit and extension. A standard residence permit for family reunification is granted for three years with a right of extension for the same amount of time.

The period of validity of a resident status increases to 4 years if an applicant is an EU blue card holder's relative. Family members of permanent residents with an EU blue card may obtain temporary residence for 5 years.

Option #11

Hungary temporary residence permit for the purpose of medical treatment

Requirements for applicants. Patients of Hungarian clinics and relatives who accompany them may obtain residence in Hungary for medical treatment. The patient has to submit an official statement or a contract with a medical organisation, and the patient’s relative submits documents proving family ties with the patient.

The period of validity of a residence permit and extension. Hungarian residency for medical treatment is granted for the period of treatment but not longer than 2 years. It is possible to extend this type of residence permit for 2 years at once as long as treatment is delayed.

Medical residence permit in Hungary for treatment at the Korány National Institute
The Korány National Institute of Tuberculosis and Pulmonology in Budapest specialises in respiratory diseases and oncological diseases of the respiratory system
Option #12

Residence permit in Hungary for official purposes

Requirements for applicants. There are several categories of foreigners eligible for this type of residency:

  • privileges or immunities holders under established diplomatic relations or international law and their family members;
  • participants of foreign states’ official delegations;
  • representatives of foreign government bodies and international organisations;
  • journalists;
  • those who wish to take part in international conventions, programs of international cooperation and support in the fields of education, science and culture;
  • employees of scientific, educational and cultural institutions operating in Hungary in accordance with international agreements.

The period of validity of a residence permit and extension. A residence permit in Hungary for official purposes is issued for the period of service or managing an event but for no longer than three years.

This type of residence permit may be extended for a necessary period but not more than three times during a year.

Option #13

Residence in Hungary for volunteers

Requirements for applicants. Volunteers may obtain residence in Hungary if they have an agreement with a relevant organisation. 

The period of validity of a residence permit and extension. Hungarian residency for voluntary service activities is issued for 1—2 years or the period defined in the contract concluded between a volunteer and an organisation.

It is impossible to extend residence permit in Hungary for voluntary service activities.

Option #14

National residence permit in Hungary

Requirements for applicants. This type of Hungarian residency is granted on the basis of an agreement between the countries: for January 2024, there is such an agreement between Hungary, Ukraine, and Serbia.

To receive a national permanent residence permit, an applicant’s purpose of staying in Hungary may be one of these activities:

  • preservation and maintenance of the Hungarian language;
  • preservation of Hungarian culture and national identity;
  • training and education within educational institutions or courses that are not accredited institutions of secondary or higher education;
  • strengthening family ties, other than family reunification. 

The first national temporary residence permit is free to obtain.

National Hungary visa and residence permit don’t allow their owner to work or study in the country. If a resident enters a college or university or finds a job, they have to obtain a residence permit corresponding to their new status.
The period of validity of a residence permit and extension. The national visa is granted for a maximum period of five years, with the possibility of extending it for the same period.

residence permit in hungary | Village of Hollokö
The village of Hollokö in northern Hungary, an hour's drive from Budapest, is an example of the preservation of Hungary's national culture, an open-air ethnographic museum and a UNESCO World Heritage site
Option #15

Temporary residence permit according to the working holiday scheme bilateral agreements

Working Holiday Scheme bilateral agreements allow citizens of 8 countries to obtain temporary residence in Hungary: New Zealand, Korea, China (Taiwan), the Commonwealth of Australia, Japan, Chile, Argentina, and Hong Kong.

A working holiday visa to Hungary allows foreigners to stay in Hungary for up to 12 months and take up short-term employment of not more than six months.

Requirements for residents. The residents have to be 18—35 years old and provide sufficient funds for the period of stay in Hungary. They also have to provide financial proof of around €3,000 and medical insurance covering treatment and repatriation.

Requirements and documents to obtain a residence permit in Hungary

There is a basic package of documents regardless of the type of residence permit:

  1. Valid national and foreign passports.
  2. A completed application.
  3. Two photos taken not earlier than three months before the application for a residence permit.
  4. Medical insurance with worldwide coverage or valid within the EU for the sum of €30,000. It is also necessary to add a receipt proving the purchase of an insurance plan.
  5. An application that a foreigner is ready to leave the country if the residence permit is approved. It's also necessary to add a return ticket or proof of having a sufficient amount of money to buy it if needed. A foreigner must leave Hungary within 30 days starting from the day of refusal.
  6. In the case of minors, it is necessary to add the parents' agreement for a minor's stay in Hungary.
  7. Proof that the documents are uploaded online via the site Enter Hungary is applicable.
  8. A permanent residential address in Hungary is what absolutely all the applicants for a Hungarian residence permit have to prove.

If an applicant owns residential property, they have to provide:

  1. Real estate purchase and sale agreement.
  2. An extract from the land registry indicating a property item as residential.
  3. Proof that the living space equals or exceeds 6m2 per capita.
  4. A copy of a certificate from a government body of Budapest allowing the purchase of property if the applicant obtains a temporary residence permit through buying property.

If applicants rent an apartment or a house in Hungary, they provide:

  1. A lease contract for at least three months.
  2. An extract from the cadastre confirming that the lessor has the right to rent out the property.
  3. It is necessary to indicate a residential address on the site Enter Hungary.

Sufficient financial means must be confirmed by the following documents:

  1. Bank statements from all the bank accounts for the last four months.
  2. A certificate from work or a tax authority proving sustainable income for the last six months.
  3. Certificate of payment of scholarship grant.
  4. Certificate of pension payments.
  5. Confirmation of the financial status of a family member and family ties if they sponsor the applicant’s residence in Hungary.

Additional documents, depending on the type of residence permit, may include a work contract with a Hungarian employer, a certificate of an applicant’s registration as a self-employed person or an entrepreneur, a birth or marriage certificate, a diploma of higher education, a contract with an institution of higher education.

Rights and obligations of residence permit holders in Hungary

A residence permit in Hungary grants its holders the right to reside in the country. Depending on the type of residence permit, residents may be allowed to work or study in Hungary.

Public healthcare services are available to Hungarian residents. The national social health insurance system provides free medical treatment. However, outpatient medical care and pharmaceuticals, medical devices and dental care demand significant co-payments.

Residents’ family members may also apply for residency in the country on the grounds of family reunification. Residents’ children may attend state schools.

Residents have legal obligations to:

  • maintain their health insurance valid;
  • inform Hungarian authorities of changes in their circumstances, such as marriage or address change;
  • obey Hungarian laws;
  • pay taxes if they stay in the country for more than 183 days a year.

How to extend the Hungarian residence permit

It is possible to extend a status online on the website Enter Hungary. It’s necessary to apply at least 30 days before a current temporary residence permit expires. A renewal fee is about €61.

To renew the permit, the applicant has to prove that they still qualify for it — for instance, foreign employees show their work contract. 

Reasons for the denial of Hungary's temporary residence permit 

The basic reasons for refusal of a temporary residence permit in Hungary are providing incomplete or false data about an applicant and their purposes of staying in Hungary. Criminal records, previous deportation, or visa refusals may also be obstacles to obtaining a Hungarian temporary residence permit.

A residence permit may be revoked in case a resident doesn’t meet the requirements that allow him to obtain a certain type of temporary residence. For example, a student has been expelled from a university or a digital nomad no longer has sufficient income.

How to appeal against a residence permit decision

In case an application for a residence permit is refused, one has a right to challenge the commission’s decision.

Within 8 days after a refusal, an applicant may challenge the migration service decision and apply to a governmental body where the application and the documents were submitted, for instance, to the Hungarian Immigration and Asylum Office.

To appeal, an applicant has to write a letter of appeal to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hungary, explaining their situation and the reason for the appeal. The letter must be written in Hungarian or English. The appeal letter may be written in any other language of the EU, but in this case, it must be translated either into Hungarian or German.

Within 15 days the officials send the appeal letter along with an official refusal document to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hungary. After reconsidering the application, the Consular Section informs the applicant about a new decision. The applicant may be interviewed during the appeal process.

The application fee is around €160 if an application is submitted abroad, e.g. at the Hungarian consulate, and if in Hungary, it is about €125.

The decision may be overturned or stand. In case the decision was not changed after the appeal, an applicant may challenge it in court.

6 benefits of living in Hungary

1. Visa-free travel around the Schengen Area. Hungary is a member state of the Schengen Agreement, which means that Hungarian residents may freely visit the other Schengen Area countries.

A resident of Hungary may stay in other countries of the Schengen Area for up to 90 days in total within 6 months.

2. Moving to Hungary. Residents may live in Hungary within the whole period of a residence permit validity. Depending on the type of Hungarian residence permit, they may study, work and run a business in the country.

Hungary is a country in Central Europe with a good ecology, developed infrastructure and a competitive economy. In international rankings, Hungary is:

  • 33 out of 180 countries in the Environmental Performance Index by Yale University, which considers air and water quality, biodiversity, population health and whether the governmental eco-policy is efficient;
  • 18 out of 163 countries in the Global Peace Index released by the Institute for Economics & Peace in 2023;
  • 51 out of 137 in the Ranking of Happiness produced by the United Nations that considers GDP per capita, social support, health life expectancy, and opinion poll results. 

3. The cost of living in Hungary is about 50% lower than in Germany, Austria, and the UK. Monthly costs for a single person are around €636 without rent. A family of four will spend around €2,200 a month, not including rental expenses.

4. Access to high-quality healthcare and recreation facilities. Hungarian residents are eligible for the Hungarian healthcare system free of charge and can receive treatment at local private clinics. Average prices for medical services in Hungary are 40—60% lower than in the US, UK, and Scandinavian countries.

Hungary is a popular medical tourism destination. The most popular medical procedures among such tourists are dentistry, cosmetic and plastic surgery, rehabilitation of patients with cardiovascular diseases, infertility treatment, and vision correction services.

Apart from high-quality medical services, tourists in Hungary can enjoy thermal and mineral springs in every region of the country: 1150 in total, 106 of which have healing qualities.

5. European higher education. 11 Hungarian institutions of higher education are included in the top-1500 world universities, according to QS World University Rankings 2023. Education in Hungary is carried out in accordance with the Bologna process, so diplomas and degrees received in Hungarian universities are recognised internationally, including the EU, the US, and the UK.

6. A prospect of obtaining Hungary permanent residence and citizenship is one more advantage of owning a temporary residence permit in Hungary.

Residence permit in Hungary: Szentendre
Popular with expats, Szentendre, a city 20 km west of Budapest, is famous for its galleries and festivals, diverse architecture and relatively low cost of living compared to the capital

How to get permanent residence and citizenship in Hungary

Hungary permanent residence is granted to applicants who’ve been legally living in the country for at least three years, for example, with a temporary residence permit. They also confirm their permanent address in Hungary, a sufficient level of income or savings for living in the country, and the fact that they have health insurance.

A permanent resident’s relatives are also eligible for permanent residency in Hungary:

  • grandparents if they’ve been living in the country for a year before applying for permanent residence;
  • a spouse, in case married to a resident at least 2 years before submitting a permanent residence application;
  • minor children.

Applicants submit documents online on the Enter Hungary website. They will also have to visit the migration service office in person to submit biometrics for a permanent resident card.

Hungarian permanent residence has no expiration date. However, it is necessary to renew a card every five years. To renew a card, a resident submits an application online and pays a fee of about €54.

Citizenship by naturalisation is available to foreigners who've been legally living in Hungary with a permanent residence permit for at least 8 years. Continuity of stay means that a resident spends not more than 45 days a year outside Hungary.

To reduce the required period of stay is possible for:

  • 5 years for people born in Hungary, got a temporary residence permit before turning 18 years old or have no citizenship;
  • 3 years for Hungary citizens’ spouses, underaged Hungary citizens’ children, children adopted by Hungarian parents, and persons with refugee status;
  • 1 year for applicants of Hungarian origin.

Applicants for citizenship confirm the absence of criminal records, deportations and any other problems with the law. They also have to prove their knowledge of the Hungarian language, culture and Constitution of the country by passing an exam.

Applicants submit documents in person to the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice of Hungary. The governments consider an application within 3—6 months. After their applications are approved, the citizens-to-be take an oath of allegiance to Hungary.

Dual citizenship is recognised in Hungary, so there’s no need to renounce your first passport if the other country allows dual or multiple citizenship as well.

Residence permit in Hungary for pensioners and treatment: Lake Hévíz
Thermal Lake Hévíz is the most famous thermal lake in Hungary. The water here is saturated with minerals and contains sulphur, calcium, magnesium and hydrogen carbonate. A ticket for a one-time visit for 4 hours costs 3900 HUF, or about €10

Hungary Citizenship Test

Applying for Hungarian citizenship requires knowing the Hungarian language, culture and history. To check it, applicants have to pass a Hungary citizenship exam.

There are 2 parts in the exam

  1. Part 1 is a Written Exam that contains 20 questions dedicated to Hungary's history, culture, Constitution and government functioning. It lasts for 60 minutes.
  2. Part 2 is an Oral Exam. Candidates choose one item from a list of 20 and talk about it. Before the oral test, a 30-minute time slot is allowed for a written outline to help with the answer. 

To prepare for the exam the government recommends to read a book by Mária Ugróczky “Alkotmányos alapismeretek című tankönyvében”. In addition to a book, the Government Office provides free of charge coaching consultations to facilitate the learning process.

The examination is passed if both parts, the oral and the written, are passed. The successful candidate receives a certificate, which will be an annexe to the naturalisation application.

The exam is considered failed if at least one of the parts is marked as failed. In this case, it is possible to repeat the failed part of the examination at another examination date. 

There are certain categories exempt from the exam:

  • seniors over 65 years old;
  • alumni of Hungarian universities;
  • language courses graduates;
  • people with disabilities;
  • those who cannot take an exam due to health issues.

The cost of the examination is around €300 or 116,000 forints. 
The fee for the re-test is 50% of the examination fee per part, for example, €150.

Hungarian citizenship: Hungarian passport
A Hungarian passport allows its holder to travel visa-free to 186 countries, including the UK, Japan, and Singapore. To travel to the USA, Canada and Australia, you only need to obtain an electronic entry permit

Key takeaways

1. There are 15 ways to obtain temporary residence in Hungary: through work, family reunification, study, business and medical treatment, and the Hungary Golden Visa program.

2. Wealthy individuals obtain Hungarian temporary residence as financially independent people. To do so, it’s necessary to have sustainable income outside Hungary or sufficient savings for living in the country — at least €10,000 per capita.

3. The process of obtaining a temporary residence permit takes up to 6 months. Regardless of the type of a temporary residence permit, an applicant has to prove the purpose of a stay in Hungary and sufficient financial means for living in the country, permanent residential address and medical insurance.

4. Having lived in Hungary for 3 years with a temporary residence permit, a resident can apply for permanent residence in the country. After legally living in the country for another 8 years, residents may apply for citizenship. 

Frequently asked questions

How to get a residence permit in Hungary in 2024?

Hungary Golden Visa is one of the 15 ways to obtain a residence permit in Hungary. Residence permits for the purpose of study, work, family reunification, medical treatment and for financially independent people are also options.

What rights does Hungary residency grant to its holder?

A Hungarian residence permit allows its owner to live in the country and freely enter and leave it. A resident card also substitutes a Schengen Visa: the card holders travel across the member states of the Schengen Area visa-free and can spend up to 90 days within half a year.

A resident can take advantage of the Hungarian healthcare system and free medical services. Depending on the type of a temporary residence permit, its holder can work, run a business, or study in Hungary.

After three years of residency, a temporary resident may apply for permanent residence. Continuous living in Hungary for 11 years lets a resident apply for citizenship.

How much time does it take to get a residence permit in Hungary?

The process of obtaining a Hungary residence permit usually takes up to 6 months. The migration service considers a submitted application within 21 days.

Is it possible to work in Europe with a Hungarian residence permit?

No. Hungary temporary residence permit for employees and job-seekers allows its owner to work only in the territory of Hungary. To work in any other European country, it’s necessary to obtain a residence permit, allowing a resident to work in that particular country.

However, a Blue Card holder may reside and work in one of the Member States of the EU as a highly qualified employee.

Is it possible to travel visa-free with Hungary temporary residence permit?

Yes. Hungarian residency allows its holder to travel visa-free across the 27 countries of the European Union. Residents of Hungary may spend up to 90 days within half a year in other Schengen countries.

What is a White Card in Hungary?

A White card is an analogue of a residence permit card for digital nomads. Third-country nationals obtain a White Card if they work remotely for a foreign company or customers or run a business remotely from Hungary. To obtain such a card an applicant has to prove a sustainable income of €2,000 monthly within 6 recent months.

Is it possible to obtain Hungary permanent residence and citizenship after a Hungary temporary residence permit?

Permanent residence in Hungary is granted to applicants who have lived in the country for at least three years with their temporary residence permit. They confirm their permanent residential address, medical insurance in Hungary, sufficient income, and savings for living in the country.

Hungary citizenship by naturalisation is available to foreigners who have lived in the country for at least 11 years. Continuous living in the country means that a person has spent no more than 45 days a year outside Hungary.

Is it necessary to speak Hungarian to obtain residence in Hungary?

Applicants for residency for work or study are required to know Hungarian. Golden Visa investors, on the other hand, don’t have to prove knowledge of the language.

Is it easy to get residency in Hungary?

There are diverse ways to obtain residency in Hungary, from temporary residence permits to national permanent residence.

How much does it cost to obtain a Hungarian residence permit?

The costs of obtaining a Hungarian residence permit depend on the type of residency one gets. For example, a residence permit in Hungary for a property purchase will cost an investor around €500,000.

What are the benefits of a Hungarian residence permit?

The advantages of a Hungarian residency are visa-free travel around the Schengen Area, relatively low cost of living, high-quality healthcare and education and many others.

Can you enter the UK with a Hungarian residence permit?

No, you cannot, as the UK is not a part of the Schengen Area.

Does Hungary give citizenship?

It’s possible to obtain Hungarian citizenship after at least 11 years of legally living in the country. However, certain categories of residents can reduce the required period of a stay. They are people born in Hungary, Hungarian citizens’ spouses, minor children and children adopted by Hungarians, people with a refugee status and applicants of Hungarian origin.

Can I stay in Hungary after my residence permit expires?

You have to renew your resident status at least 30 days before your current residence permit expires. It’s possible to do it online and will cost around €61.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for government programs in the European Union and the Caribbean.

Practical Guide
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