Hungary Residency FAQs

The follow are common questions asked about Hungary residency program.

Where is Hungary and what is the currency?

Hungary is in the centre of Europe, and as member of the European Union and the Schengen visa zone, its citizens and residents are permitted to travel freely in the EU. The capital Budapest attracts over 4 million tourists every year. The currency in Hungary is the Hungarian Forint (HUF), and you can buy ca. HUF 22,000 for 100 USD and HUF 30,000 for EUR 100, but please note that the exchange rate of HUF tends to fluctuate.

What are the approximate living costs in Hungary?

The living costs in Hungary are much lower than in western Europe. General costs for a month are at least EUR 600, while apartment rentals start from EUR 500 / month, utilities not included, which come around EUR 100 / month.

What type of payments do you accept?

We take payments by bank transfer, western union, cash. We also issue invoice against all payments.

Is the Residency bond program closed?

Yes bond program has been discontinued from Mar 31, 2017 but it may resume in the future after 2018 elections in Hungary.

What services do you provide in Hungary?

1. Company incorporation
2. Housing and Accommodation (required for residency)
3. Tax and EU VAT registration
4. Bank account opening (possible only if you are in Hungary)
5. Resident permits/visas for family members
6. Accounting / Reporting to tax authorities
7. Virtual office service and registered company seat
8. Airport welcome service
9. Translation of documents from English to Hungarian or vice versa.
10. Personal assistance
11. Emergency services
12. Market research
13. Business Invitation letters to our business partners

What are the advantages of a Hungarian resident permit?

1. Do business with EU countries without limitations
2. Take up jobs or get employed
3. Free travel in any member country of the Schengen visa zone in Europe, without a visa
4. Spouse and children can join you
5. Affordable living costs compared to other EU countries
6. No minimum qualification or language skills required
7. No business experience required
8. No points based immigration system

Can I visit the UK with a Hungarian resident permit?

No, you can’t. The UK is not a Schengen state and you will need a visa to go to UK. However, if you have a Hungarian resident permit, you can apply for a UK visa in Budapest.

Do i need to learn Hungarian?

Not required. English is widely spoken in Hungary and by many young generations.

Is Hungary safe?

Yes Hungary is a very safe country with low crime rate and many fast food outlets open all night with a buzzing city center and ambient night life.

What are the requirements for Visa approval?

You have to meet these most important requirements to be approved of long term residence permit.

  • Good business plan mentioning plans for your business and creating jobs
  • Show atleast EUR 15,000 or more in your bank account when applying for visa.
  • Rent an apartment in Hungary for address purposes

Once the residence permit is issued, you can extend it easily for one or two years, if you pay taxes, social contributions to Hungary.  Spouse and children can apply for residency in Hungary, once the main residence permit is issued.

What if my visa or residency application is rejected?

If your visa or the resident permit application is rejected, the Hungarian authorities will let you know why. Based on that, you can appeal against the rejection – we will help with that, too.

How do I apply for a dependent visa for my spouse?

If you have a valid resident permit, you can apply for “dependent visa” for your spouse and children, so they can come to Hungary with you. This takes about 3-4 months with the Hungarian authorities. Also, please keep in mind that you will have to prove that you run a fruitful business and earn the sufficient funds for your family, that is, you will have to show that you have at least EUR 5,000 on your / your dependant’s private bank account.

What are the actual costs?

We generally require our clients to have at least EUR 15,000 at their disposal before applying for immigration to Hungary. We charge a flat fee with all services necessary for starting your company included in the package; however, there are several additional costs (e.g. travel, insurance, accommodation, office or warehouse rental, employees, etc.). Because of this, we do not accept clients who do not have at least the above amount at their disposal.

What are the payment terms?

We expect 50% of the payment in advance to start the process. We accept payment by bank wire transfer, Western Union, or MoneyGram. Please note that in Hungary there is a 27% VAT, which will be added to the flat fee. However, VAT is only charged on individuals and EU-based companies without a valid VAT number. This means you will NOT have to pay the 27% VAT if we can invoice our services to a foreign company.

What is total time taken to get the hungarian residence visa?

The total time frame could be anywhere from starting the process to getting the visa is about 4 months. The immigration office in hungary is busy with requests and cause long process times to process residence permit applications. The Asylum and Migration office will take a decision on the application within 21 working days.

Do I need to deposit the capital to form the company?

No, you don’t. You do not need to deposit the capital.

How long does the whole process take?

The whole process usually takes about 6-7 months. Since it is not exactly predictable how much time you need to start the activity of your company, or how long the Hungarian authorities exactly take to process the applications, we recommend our clients to apply well in advance, at least 6 months before their planned relocation.

Do you provide invitations to visit Hungary for setting up a company?

Yes, we do offer invitation letters to our clients, so that they can visit Hungary, open their bank account and do market research. Market research and compliance to Hungarian laws and regulations is very important for running a company in Hungary. Incorporating your company will also be faster if you are in Hungary. However, we offer invitation letters only to our clients; we cannot invite you before you sign a contract and pay the first instalment of the package price.

What is a Hungarian resident permit? How do I apply for a visa or a resident permit?

You can apply for a resident permit at the embassy of the country where you live, based on the company you formed in Hungary (usually an LLC, or “KFT” in Hungarian). The consulate takes 3 months processing time for approvals, and once approved, you will initially be given a single entry long term “D” visa to enter Hungary. It will be valid for 30 days, and you will be required to enter Hungary directly. Once you arrive, you have to report to the Office of Immigration, where you will be issued a biometric resident permit. It takes about 10-20 days for the authorities to issue this card, which will be valid for 1 or 2 years (this is decided by authorities separately in each case).

With the biometric resident card (it looks like a credit card) issued by Hungary, you can travel to Schengen states and can stay up to 90 days within a 180-day period.

Can I work with the Hungarian resident permit?

Yes, you can, but you will need a work permit as well; for that, you will need to find an employer before applying for a work permit. However, if you “just” want to be the executive manager of your company, no separate work permit is needed.

Can I apply for your Hungary immigration program if my passport is expiring soon?

We highly recommend our clients to have a passport valid for at least 18-24 months before applying for our Hungary immigration program. If your passport expires sooner, it might be a good idea to renew it.

What documents are required?

We will need the following documents to start the process:
1. Copies of your passport
2. Detailed business plan and list of activities – we can help you compile this
3. We will send you powers of attorney, which should be legalized by the Hungarian embassy in your country.
4. Bank statements for the previous 12 months, showing funds of at least EUR 10,000-20,000
5. Copies of Business contracts, …
6. Police clearance or certificate of no criminal record (apostilled)
7. Birth or Marriage certificate (apostilled)

Please note if you come from a country that is a member of Hague convention (eg. India, US, UK) you have get apostille seal in important documents to get legally accepted in Hungary.

Please note that a solid business plan and proof of accommodation are the most important documents to get visa approvals. Apartment search for foreigners is not easy in Hungary as most landlords would expect to meet the tenant in person; in order to convince them that the deal is for real, we ask for 6 months advance payment + 2 months deposit.

For more information about apostilling and where to get a document apostilled in your country, please see http://www.apostilleinfo.com

Do you provide assistance in writing a business plan?

A sound business plan is a very important document; Hungarian authorities base their decision on this when considering visa applications. We do provide assistance in writing a business plan; it is included in our year one package. However, the basic idea has to come from you, as you will be operating your business, and you will be responsible for its success. The supporting documents must also come directly from you, as you need to contact future partners and subcontractors.

What about taxes in Hungary?

Hungary has strict taxation rules. In Hungary, the corporate tax is 10%. There is also VAT (value added tax, which is also known as sales tax in some countries) which is 27%, and whenever you buy something in a shop for example, it is always already added to the price you see, so you do not have to start counting each time how much something will cost. You will be required to file taxes periodically (on a monthly or quarterly basis). When you become a long term resident in Hungary (after receiving your resident permit), you will have to pay pension contribution, personal income tax, social security contribution and educational contributions to the Hungarian authorities.

Do you offer refunds if my visa or resident permit application is rejected?

No. We do not offer any refunds even if all papers are in order.

Where is Hungary and what is the local currency?

Hungary is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. The local currency used Hungarian Forint (HUF), which is approx 300 forints for 1 euro. The Hungarian capital Budapest is the 8th most popular tourist destination in Europe and over 2 million tourists visit every year. Lake balaton is very popular in summer. Budapest is a safe city to live and has very low crime rates. English is widely spoken. Hungary has less snowfall, warm climate not too cold (max -5 deg) in winter and not too hot (35 deg) liveable conditions in Central europe. The cost of living is only half of other big european cities such as Berlin, Vienna, Paris. Vienna is just 3 hours by high speed Railjet train from Budapest. Budapest Liszt ferenc airport terminal 2 is centrally located and has excellent connections to all major cities in Europe.

Is Hungary a schengen country?

Yes, Hungary signed the schengen agreement. The visas and residence permits issued by Hungary is valid in all schengen states, including Switzerland. The currency in Hungary is “Hungarian forint (HUF) which is approximately 300 forints for 1 euro.

How to open a personal or corporate bank account in Hungary?

You have to come in person and show your passport to open an account with banks in hungary.

What are the steps involved to apply?

First, make the investment through us, then with the papers, apply for D visa to visit Hungary first time at the Hungarian embassy/consulate in home country, showing the papers for purchase of Government bonds 300,000 euro through approved lawyer in Hungary.

Visit Hungary immigration office (BAH) to receive 6 month temporary residence permit (TRP).

After 6 months, TRP is converted to Permanent residence permit (“National settlement permit issued under economic interest) valid for 5 years and then renewed later for another 5 years.

Can i live and visit EU Schengen member states?

Yes, with a valid Hungarian ID card (residence permit card), you visit all the 25 schengen states for business or tourism purpose. You can also live in these countries for maximum 90 days in 6 month window period, under Schengen rules.

AT Austria BE Belgium BG Bulgaria CH Switzerland CY Cyprus CZ Czech Republic DE Germany DK Denmark EE Estonia EL Greece ES Spain FI Finland FR France HR Croatia HU Hungary IE Ireland IS Iceland IT Italy LI Liechtenstein LT Lithuania LU Luxembourg LV Latvia MT Malta NL Netherlands NO Norway PL Poland PT Portugal RO Romania SE Sweden SI Slovenia SK Slovakia UK

You can also visit Non-Schengen EU member states with Hungarian residence card such as

Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Cyprus, Bosnia, Moldova, Montenegro, Georgia. You can also visit Turkey with e-visa using your Hungarian card.

Can i go to UK with the visa issued under hungarian residency bond scheme?

UK does not belong to Schengen zone, so if you are non-EU national, you will need a separate UK visa. Hungarian residence permit (ID card) is not valid to visit UK.

Is financing or loans possible ?

No.

What documents are required to apply?

  • Passport copy
  • Birth certificate *
  • Travel and health insurance coverage (original must have sign and seal from the issuing company).
  • Certificate of no criminal record or police clearance from home country (not more than 6 months old) *
  • Proof of accommodation in Hungary (lease, land registry extract, address card signed by landlord)
  • Bank statements, salary certificates, any other proof of income (must be in original have sign and stamp of bank)
  • Marriage certificate original * (for spouse)
  • Business documents (if any)
  • Document proving entitlement of social care services in Hungary.

*  Apostille seal

  • If apostille is not available, then the documents must be legalized/notarized at hungarian consulate, by signing infront of the consular officer depending on the document.
  • All documents must have a copy, and originals must have seal/stamp with a signature to be accepted by the Hungarian consulate under hungarian law.

What are the common reasons for refusal by the hungarian authorities?

The hungarian authorities will refuse your visa application, if you

  • Provide false or misleading or concealment of information in the application form.
  • You are threat the public safety or national security of Hungary or EU member states;
  • You are a subject of expulsion or entry and stay ban, as well as Schengen Information System SIS alert ordering entry and stay ban.
  • who declares false data or untrue facts or who deceives the authority
  • who has a criminal record in home country.
  • If you fail background or diligence checks done by the Government.
  • If you are from blacklisted countries.

What is the processing time?

21 working days by the Office of immigration but may take longer.  The time from applying at the embassy and receiving your visa will take 2 months or more.

How to renew the residence permit after expiry?

You can easily renew the residence permit after 5 years for another 5 years. You have to apply at the Office of Immigration of Nationality (OIN), 30 days prior to the expiry date.

Please also note that if you change your place of living, you have to notify OIN office immediately.

Is the Government fee paid refundable?

No, it is a non-refundable payment once your application is approved.

What are the benefits available with hungarian residency?

  • Lifetime EU permanent residency status
  • Family and children get PR under family unification.
  • Processing time 2 weeks
  • No language tests. No health tests. No education requirement.
  • Visa free movement in Schengen. Live in any EU Schengen country for 6 months maximum
  • Work in Hungary
  • Financing option possible for the entire investment.
  • Risk free bond investment for 5 years in Euro currency
  • Open to all country nationals

 When can i apply for permanent residence card in Hungary?

You can apply for permanent residency, after you have lived in Hungary for 5 years without interruption. But this is not really needed, if you already have investor visa of bond investment. The days are counted with entry and exit stamps in your passport. Once you have PR card, you must remember that you cannot be absent out of Hungary for more than 6 months, if not it will be revoked. You may be also questioned at the border, why you are holding PR card, if you are living outside Hungary for a long time.

What is the difference between “National Permanent Residence Permit” and “Permanent Residence Permit” issued by Hungary?

National permanent residence permit is like a temporary residence card valid with maximum 5 year validity and then can be renewed later. Permanent residence permit (green card) is issued to you only after you have lived 5 years (as per law) in Hungary and is valid for maximum 10 years. Under the Hungarian residency bond scheme(golden visa), you will get national permanent residence permit issued under economic activity.

Can we get PR status for newly born children?

If the child is newly born in Hungary, then parents (holding PR status) can file directly with the local immigration office BAH for the child’s permanent residency application.

Is it possible to get Hungarian citizenship under this program?

Yes, you can get Hungarian citizenship and passport after 8 years of living by naturalizing. You will also need to pass Hungarian language test and take an oath.

Can i work under business investment program in Hungary?

Ye

Can i buy a real estate in Budapest?

Yes, with the residence permit card, you are allowed to buy housing or real estate property in Hungary. The prices are cheap usually a nice flat in a central area costs from 60,000 euros.

But this only after you get approved under the golden visa scheme.

Do i need to pay taxes in Hungary?

Only if you live more than 183 days per year, you become a tax resident. The hungarian tax authority (NAV) will issue you a tax id card, and it is recommend to have one.

Does Hungary permit dual citizenship?

Yes

What is the difference between “Temporary residence permit” and “Permanent residence permit” ?

Temporary residence permit (TRP) has limited validity (say for 2,3,5 years), while Permanent settlement permit has unlimited validity.

Can EEA/EU citizens apply under this program?

No, this scheme is only open for third country nationals outside EU.

What are the approval and success rates?

We have had 100%  successful approval rates, as we do a quick due diligence on clients and let them know beforehand if they can get approved.

Can US citizens apply under this program?

Yes, we welcome Americans to apply under this route and we also encourage real estate investment in Budapest.

What if my passport is expiring soon?

To apply for the golden visa program, we recommend your passport has to be valid for atleast 6 years. As a general rule, when you travel, you must have atleast 6 months validity.

Are we allowed to do business investment in Hungary?

If you want to do a business investment, we can help you to start a new Hungarian company (Kft or Zrt) and register for EU VAT. It will cost you about 5000 euros and 10,000 euro capital investment or HUF 3,000,000 (can be financed too). We offer business package

What are the taxes in Hungary?

  • Corporate tax 9%
  • Personal income tax rates 15%
  • VAT 27%

Does Hungary has double taxation treaties with other countries?

Yes, see here http://en.nav.gov.hu/taxation/double_taxation_treaties

Can hungarian legal entities or companies buy real estate?

Yes, this is the best way to mitigate taxes. You can refer to information here by the information published by local tax authority. http://en.nav.gov.hu/taxation/taxinfo/rent_of_real_estates.html

Is it possible to open bank account in Hungary?

Hungarian banks offer internet banking in english, and you can open multi currency accounts in Euros or HUF. You must appear in person at the bank, show your passport to open bank account.

What are the approximate living costs in Hungary?

The living costs in Hungary are much lower than in western Europe. General costs for a month are at least EUR 600, while apartment rentals start from EUR 500 / month, utilities not included, which come around EUR 100 / month. So all in all you will need about 1000 euros or 300,000 forints to live comfortably in Budapest. It is much cheaper to live in the countryside.

What services do you provide in Hungary?

  • Company incorporation
  • Housing and Accommodation (required for residency)
  • Tax and EU VAT registration
  • Bank account opening (possible only if you are in Hungary)
  • Resident permits/visas for family members
  • Accounting / Reporting to tax authorities
  • Virtual office service and registered company seat
  • Airport welcome service
  • Translation of documents from English to Hungarian or vice versa.
  • Personal assistance
  • Emergency services
  • Market research
  • Business Invitation letters to our business partners

Can i visit your office for meetings?

Yes, we are happy to arrange meetings for you on appointment. Please contact us for prior appointments.

How are  the transport systems in Hungary?

Budapest has excellent public transport systems (bus, tram, metro) and taxi to airport takes about 50 minutes costs about 25 euros. There are trains and buses to the countryside towns but only in the daytime.  Lake balaton is about 135 kms from Budapest.

What are some of the big summer events happening in Hungary?

In summer, hungary is full of festivals and events. In August, there is one week Sziget festival with 1 million visitors, Balaton festival (same month), Beer & Wine  festival in Castle hill (jun/jul), F1 Hungarian Grand Prix (July end) and tonnes of events happening every week end.