Hungary Golden Visa Program

Hungary Golden Visa: The Ultimate Guide

Updated: 22 December 2023

Hungary joined the EU in 2004, and it is one of the European countries that people want to reside in. The new Hungary Golden Visa is also called as Hungarian Guest Investor Program (GIP). It aims to become active in 2024, and you can apply for this program.

Right at the beginning of the program, let us walk you through the requirements and benefits. This article also shows how you get a Hungarian residency permit. We hope you find it useful before planning and getting ready for Hungary.

New Hungarian Golden Visa Program in 2024

It is possible to apply for a long-term residency permit with a ten-year validity period through the new Hungarian Golden Visa. The program is called a Guest Investor Residence Permit.  You can renew the permit ongoing for life. In addition, you can also upgrade your permit to permanent residency if you reside in Hungary full-time for five years. The new Hungarian Golden Visa is not a citizenship-by-investment program. And there is no direct relation to citizenship in Hungary, as you observe in some other European countries. So, it is better to consider this according to your goals when you apply.

Hungarian Guest Investor Program (GIP) Application Process

• Application form, passport, proof of funds, and other required documents.

• Visa application approval by Hungarian authorities may take up to 90 days.

• Minimum investment of €250,000 in real estate, real property bonds, or public interest projects.

• Obtaining a 10-year resident permit valid for another ten years.

Requirements of Hungary Golden Visa Program

As an applicant, you will need to meet specific requirements to be eligible for the Hungary Golden Visa. These requirements will be the foundation for your investment journey.

Investment Requirements for Applying for Hungary’s Golden Visa

From 2024, there will be three new investment avenues available for investors. Here are the options:

  • €250,000: Real Estate Investment Fund
  • €500,000: Real Estate Acquisition
  • €1 million: Non-refundable Public Trust Donation

If you plan to apply for a Hungary Golden Visa in 2024, you will also need to budget for a selection of legal, application, and processing fees. These will depend on the number of your family members applying and the investment avenue you choose.

Family Applications to Hungary’s Golden Visa Program

You can also include your spouse or children under 18 in your application. If your children are over 18, you can still have the opportunity to include them. But in this case, your children must prove financial dependency, study, and be unmarried. You can also include your parents when you apply for Hungary Golden Visa. The requirement is that your parents should be 65 years and over. And they do not need to prove dependency. If you want additional dependents in your application, know you will need to pay extra fees. 

Benefits of Hungary Golden Visa Program in 2024

Here are some of the benefits of this program:

  • A quick and effective option for European residency.
  • Life-long residency, renewed every ten years.
  • Visa-free travel within the countries in the EU Schengen zone.
  • There are no minimum stay requirements.
  • Non-residents have no tax obligations.
  • The right to reside in Hungary.
  • Approximate timeline for approval: 4 to 8 weeks

Residency Permit in Hungary

Non-EEA nationals can also apply for a Hungarian residence permit. Suppose you are a non-EEA national and want to reside and work in Hungary, be self-employed, or establish a business. In that case, you can be eligible for a Hungarian residence permit. Besides, it is also possible to establish a business cooperative or some other legal entity. You can also be a member of such entity’s executive, representative, or supervisory board.

What can be the purpose of the self-employed gainful activity, and how does the verification work?

Here are some: A private entrepreneurial license, a business plan, a license for a small-scale agricultural producer, a professional service contract, or any other reliable method.

Some of the conditions to verify the purpose of entry and residency are as follows: 

• The company must employ at least three Hungarian citizens or persons with free movement for at least six months.

• Applicant’s residence in Hungary is essential.

• The business plan must be credible and provide sufficient information for prosperity.

• The plan must be verified through work, personal services, agreements, or supply/sales contracts.

A residence permit has a validity of three years. It is renewable for three more years if you, as a resident, still conduct an economic activity. Your family members can be included.

Once your Hungarian residence permit is obtained, you can apply for an EU Blue card. This will give access to visa-free travel across the European Union.

After five years of continuous residence in Hungary, you can also apply for an EC Permanent Residence card. This will give you a validity of five years, and it is renewable. After eight years of residence (temporary or permanent), you may be able to apply for Hungarian citizenship. You need to pass an examination. It is based on the basic constitutional studies in the Hungarian language.

There is an option to shorten the required period for citizenship if you meet the following conditions:

  • If you were born in Hungary (five years)
  • If you are married to a Hungarian citizen or parent of a Hungarian citizen (three years)
  • If you have Hungarian ancestors (immediately after getting your residency card) or by the decision of the President of Hungary.

If you are an EEA national, you can apply directly for an Interim Permanent Residency Card if you meet the requirements. That means that you have a five-year validity, renewable. After five years pass, you can apply for a permanent residence card. That will be your valid card indefinitely.

What are the required documents to prove the means of subsistence in Hungary?

Bank statement: Provided by a Hungarian or foreign financial institution.

Income certificate: Issued by tax authority or employer.

• Documents on Hungarian accommodation: Residential lease contract, courtesy document, or proof of reservation and payment.

• Statement about boarding services: Provided by boarding services.

• Documents on home ownership: Abstract of title issued within 30 days.

Real estate sales contract: A copy of the decision of the competent Budapest. Or county government agency granting permission for property acquisition.

• Comprehensive health insurance documents: Statement of voluntary departure from the EU 

If your application is refused, what are the steps you can take?

• Valid passport or permits for return to home country or non-EU country.

• Valid departure ticket or means of transport.

• No official restrictions on nationalities.

• Recognized dual citizenship: No requirement to renounce previous nationality.

• Documents required: Bank statement, evidence of residential address, health insurance, proof of net wealth, business plan, proof of ownership or rental housing, medical certificate, original and photocopy of passport, birth and marriage certificates, and one passport-size photo.

Hungary Citizenship: What You Need to Know

Hungarian citizenship can be acquired through descent from a Hungarian parent or naturalization. A person born in Hungary to foreign parents only sometimes acquires Hungarian citizenship. The Hungarian Citizenship Act and the Hungarian Act on Foreigners regulate the pathways to citizenship for third-country nationals in Hungary.

You can apply for Hungarian citizenship after living continuously in Hungary for eight years, proving Hungarian language proficiency, sufficient means of subsistence, and a clean criminal record. Hungarians of Hungarian origin can apply for Hungarian citizenship through simplified naturalization, requiring Hungarian language knowledge, Hungarian origin, and an ancestor in Hungary. Dual citizenship is allowed, allowing third-country nationals to maintain their previous citizenship.

The Wrap-up

It is clear that the immigration and residency in Hungary are complex and evolving. There will alternative routes for those seeking to make this country their new home with the new Hungarian Golden Visa program in 2024.

Whether through business investment, employment, or family reunification, each way presents its unique requirements and rewards. Remember that the new Hungarian Golden Visa Program is recently announced and there might be new additional information regarding the application process.

If you found this article interesting, you can also check the latest announcements about the Portugal Golden Visa program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which are the European Economic Area (EEA) countries?

The European Economic Area (EEA) comprises EU countries Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, allowing them to be part of the EU’s single market. Not an EU member, Switzerland is part of the single market, granting Swiss nationals the same rights.

The EEA countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

What is the Hungarian investment immigration program?

The Hungarian investment immigration program offers a golden visa option for investors. It allows them to purchase bonds from the Hungarian National Bank, purchase residential real estate, or donate to a designated institution, granting ten years of residency.

Can I apply for a new Hungarian residency program?

The Hungarian residency program is open to all nationalities. It is expected to include Russians, Belarusians, and Iranians. The new program is set to launch in January 2024.

What are the program considerations for the Hungary Golden Visa?

Hungary Golden Visa offers a 10-year residency permit, fast processing, and the EU’s cheapest property-based Golden Visa option. It requires no minimum annual stays. It offers generous family eligibility criteria and immediate family reunification. It aso provides peace of mind with capital commitment after residency approval and ID card issuance. The program includes access to Hungarian education, healthcare, and visa-free travel across the Schengen Area.

Can I get residency in Hungary if I buy a house?

No, not automatically. However, non-EU nationals can apply for a residence permit, and property ownership can be a supportive factor in the application. The residency process involves meeting various criteria. It includes financial stability and health insurance coverage.

How much is the Golden Visa for Hungary?

Hungary discontinued its Golden Visa program in March 2017. This program previously allowed residency through government bond investment. Now, non-EU nationals seeking residency must consider other pathways. It can be business investment, employment, or family reunification. Each path has its specific requirements and costs.

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