Hungarian citizenship for ethnic Hungarians

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Hungarian citizenship for ethnic Hungarians

Although Hungarians are not a very populous nation, we are everywhere. In the 20th century, people left the country to flee from wars – these days, they mainly do so to pursue studies or employment abroad. Nevertheless, there are also many reasons to come to Hungary, and most ethnic Hungarians can apply for Hungarian citizenship.

The Hungarian diaspora

Most ethnic Hungarians live in the neighboring countries, most notably in Romania, Slovakia, Serbia and Ukraine. The Hungarian presence in these countries is related to the Treaty of Trianon, which awarded former territories of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to the newly born nation-states in the region, leaving Hungarian communities “stranded” in now foreign countries.

Later on, the events of World War II and the Revolution of 1956 resulted in waves of emigration, with Hungarians fleeing the country by the hundred thousands. Many of those who left at the time now live in Western Europe or overseas. Although most of them have been living abroad for decades (or even their entire life), many of them are Hungarian nationals or eligible for Hungarian citizenship.

How can ethnic Hungarians apply for citizenship?

The members of the Hungarian diaspora can be divided into two groups: those whose ancestors lost their Hungarian citizenship (e.g., due to leaving the country prior to 1929), and those whose ancestors remained Hungarian nationals.

  • If your ancestors lost their Hungarian citizenship, you are eligible for simplified naturalization, even if your Hungarian ancestors lived in the 1800s. You can apply for simplified naturalization at Hungarian consulates around the world, where you will have to present the documents (such as birth and marriage certificates or passports) that prove your Hungarian heritage. Moreover, you will need to demonstrate that you can speak basic Hungarian during an interview with the consul.
  • If your ancestors remained Hungarian nationals, but you did not claim Hungarian citizenship, you can request verification of citizenship. Similarly to simplified naturalization, you will have to present the vital records that prove your Hungarian ancestry but there will be no language requirement. Since these cases are always unique, we cannot explain the procedure in detail here. However, we can offer you a consultation to understand your situation, explain your options and offer assistance with your application.

Do not worry if the required documents are not available to you or if you lack the necessary language command: we can help you with every step along the way.

EU citizenship without Hungarian heritage

If you do not have Hungarian ancestry, you may still qualify for citizenship via regular naturalization. However, you need to have been holding a Hungarian address card continuously for eight years (or less, if you have a Hungarian spouse and children), and you also have to pass an exam with questions about Hungarian culture and history. If you do not meet the requirements for acquiring Hungarian citizenship, we can help you apply for a residence permit instead.

Interested in citizenship? Get in touch!

The experts of Helpers Hungary will gladly assist you with your citizenship application. Our services include eligibility consultations, genealogy research, language courses and even preparing application packages. You can learn more by clicking here.

You can fill in a short eligibility test free of charge to help you decide how to proceed, or you can request a consultation by calling our office on +36 1 317 8570, by e-mailing or by filling in our contact form. You can also like us on Facebook to never miss our blog posts.

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