If you were not born a Hungarian citizen but acquired Hungarian citizenship through naturalization, the short answer is: yes, your Hungarian citizenship can be revoked. However, that can happen only under special conditions. If you did everything correctly, and especially if you live in Hungary, you have very little to worry about during a citizenship check.
When can citizenship be revoked?
Hungarian citizenship can be revoked only under special conditions. If you received Hungarian citizenship through naturalization, it can be revoked only within 20 years of your naturalization. After that, you can lose your citizenship only if you renounce it – like every other Hungarian citizen.
If you received Hungarian citizenship through verification, your Hungarian citizenship cannot be revoked. You enjoy the same rights as “native” Hungarian citizens, since by law you are one of them.
Moreover, Hungarian citizenship gained through naturalization can be revoked only if it turns out that you obtained it illegally in the first place. For example, if it is confirmed that you used fake data or lied to the administrator (including the omission of relevant information). If that is not the case, you have no reason to worry.
What is a “citizenship check”?
Sometimes a person who obtained Hungarian citizenship through naturalization might be called in for a “citizenship check”. This can happen
- either if you have a history of suspicious incidents,
- or simply during an official procedure, such as passport or ID card application or renewal.
During the citizenship check, you will be required to have a conversation with an administrator, and when applicable, complete the procedure you started, all in Hungarian. The expected level of Hungarian proficiency is around B2 according to the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference), but this is not a language proficiency exam. It is alright if you have an accent or make mistakes, as long as the communication is successful. That means you must understand the administrator, and you must make yourself understood too.
If the administrator thinks your level of Hungarian is not good enough to complete the procedure, they will make a note of it and forward it to the competent authority. Then you may be called in for a separate interview regarding your Hungarian citizenship. If there it is discovered that you provided false information during your original citizenship procedure (which includes not being able to hold a conversation in Hungarian), your citizenship can be revoked.
Hungarian language proficiency
If you acquired Hungarian citizenship through naturalization, you already needed this level of Hungarian proficiency during the original procedure, whether or not you were required to pass an exam on Hungarian constitutional studies as well. As a result, it is expected that you have maintained at least the same level of Hungarian proficiency since then.
If you live in Hungary, you have probably nothing to worry about. Even if you do not, the procedure aims at discovering fraud and not at revoking the citizenship of honest applicants. If you are nervous about the check, it makes sense to ask a Hungarian friend to help you practice the situation, or even find a tutor and have a few lessons to refresh your relevant vocabulary.
Helpers at your service
Your Hungarian citizenship can be revoked only if you obtained it
- through naturalization (either regular or simplified),
- within 20 years,
- providing false information during your original application.
You might be called in for a citizenship check on occasion, but nothing more will be required than previously. If you are worried, ask a friend or a tutor to help you get some extra practice.
The Helpers Team works with an excellent language school partner that offers courses focusing on teaching Hungarian relevant for the citizenship application, tailored to your individual needs. Naturally, we also offer consultation about your options for obtaining citizenship as well as assistance with the citizenship application itself.