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How to stay in Hungary while waiting for your citizenship approval?
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How to stay in Hungary while waiting for your citizenship approval?

So you think you are eligible for Hungarian citizenship, right? And you want to stay in Hungary while still waiting for your application being processed? Then read on to learn more about your options.

It all depends on your application process

The procedure that lets you stay in Hungary while you wait for becoming a Hungarian citizen depends on the type of your citizenship application. There are 3 methods:

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Do I need to speak Hungarian in order to become a Hungarian citizen?
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Do I need to speak Hungarian in order to become a Hungarian citizen?

Whether or not you are required to speak Hungarian for your citizenship application depends on the procedure you are applying in. Each procedure has their own requirements, including (or not including) language skills.

Our citizenship experts are happy to help you select the procedure that is right for you.

There are various procedures of Hungarian citizenship application– the procedure you choose will depend on your background. The language requirement is in line with the other requirements and time spent in touch with Hungarian culture.

  1. When you are verifying your Hungarian citizenship(e.g. if your parents left Hungary when you were a small child), speaking Hungarian is not necessary. If you include all relevant documents, you can submit your application in English.
  2. When you are applying for Hungarian citizenship based on your ancestry in the procedure of simplified naturalization, you have to demonstrate a basic knowledge of Hungarian. No one will ask you for a certificate in Hungarian, but you do need to be able to present your application in Hungarian while submitting it. For this, a conversational levelis more than enough: note that the officer or the consul will talk to you only in Hungarian.
  3. You can apply for regular naturalization in case you have been living in Hungary for at least 8 years. Before you can apply, you have to pass a citizenship exam where you have to demonstrate your knowledge of Hungarian history, culture, and fundamental laws, both orally and in writing. For this, you will need strong Hungarian language skills. When submitting all relevant documents, your certificate of this exam should also be included.

Hungarian language course as needed

Our citizenship experts will not only help you select the procedure right for you, but they can also introduce you to a trusted partner who can survey your Hungarian language skills and give you lessons to reach the level necessary for your specific application procedure.

Contact us to learn more!

Where and how can I travel with the Hungarian passport?
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Where and how can I travel with the Hungarian passport?

According to Henley & Partners’ passport index of 2019, the Hungarian passport is ranked as the 10thstrongest passport in the world. With your Hungarian passport, you can travel to 180 countries without a visa. Explore the world or go on business trips without any issues or hassle with the local immigration authorities.

How do I get my Hungarian passport?

Only Hungarian citizens can get a Hungarian passport. You can apply for yours once you become a Hungarian citizen, that is, after your citizenship application is approved by the authorities. You must apply for your Hungarian passport in person, either in Hungary (if you happen to be here), or at any Hungarian Consulate around the world. You just have to make an appointment and have your photo and fingerprint (your “biometric data”) taken.

Your Hungarian passport will be valid for either 5 or 10 years, depending on what you want – the only difference is the application fee. The passport for 5 years costs HUF 7,500 (ca. EUR 22), the passport for 10 years costs HUF 14,000 (ca. EUR 44) as of January 2019. Normally your passport will be ready and mailed to your preferred address within 8 calendar days. However, if you need it urgently, it can be prepared within 24 hours (in which case you pay HUF 39,000 or ca. EUR 122).

180 countries: can I basically go anywhere in the world with my Hungarian passport?

When planning your trip, please always make sure to check immigration regulations. You can enter 180 countries without a visa for sure, and this includes countries of the Schengen zone. Of course, you can visit any other countries as well, after applying for a visa. Since Hungary is member of the EU and has a “strong passport”, this may be easier for you now than with your original citizenship.

There is one thing you should pay special attention to: the time you are allowed to spend in each country might vary. 

  • You can spend 90 days in 180 days in most countries, especially in the EU and the Schengen zone. 
  • There are some countries where you can spend only 30 days, e.g. Belize, the British Virgin Islands, San Marino or Uzbekistan. 
  • There are a few countries where you can stay for 180 days without a visa or a residence permit. These countries include Canada, Mexico and Panama. 

If you are planning to stay longer in any of these countries (including countries in the EU), or if you wish to relocate there permanently, you will need a long-term visa or a residence permit. Similar to getting a visa with a Hungarian passport, this might be easier for you now as a Hungarian citizen than it would have been with your original citizenship.

Hungarian citizenship for children
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Hungarian citizenship for children

Many of our clients applying for Hungarian citizenship ask us whether their children can apply for citizenship together with them – to phrase it more generally, whether the children of an applicant can get Hungarian citizenship through the parent. 

Are my children eligible for Hungarian citizenship?

If you are eligible for Hungarian citizenship through ancestry, your children will have the same basis for application. 

  • If they are minors (they are younger than 18 years), they can be included in your application, which means that you can submit the application together. 
  • If they are over 18 (so they are adults according to Hungarian regulations), they will need to apply separately. 

Based on which family member should my adult children apply for Hungarian citizenship?

Your adult children may apply based on the same ancestor(s) like you. However, if they apply only after you are granted Hungarian citizenship, a reference to you may be added to their application, which will strengthen their case. As a result, sometimes we advise that adult children apply for Hungarian citizenship only after the main applicant has become a Hungarian citizen.

Is there a language requirement for minor children?

During the simplified naturalization procedure, you (and your adult children) will be asked to have a short interview with the Hungarian consul, where you will be talking about yourself, your family, and why you want to become a Hungarian citizen. 

  • If your children are younger than 14 years, they do not have to be present at the interview. 
  • If your children are between 14 and 18, they can still apply for citizenship together with you, but they will have to go to the interview with you, and they will also be asked a few questions in Hungarian, which they will have to answer in Hungarian.

What if I don’t have a Hungarian ancestor, but I have been living in Hungary for a very long time? Can my children become Hungarian citizens?

If you have been living in Hungary for a long time but your children are not Hungarian citizens, there are several factors that can affect whether your children are eligible for Hungarian citizenship or not. Our citizenship experts are happy to review your and your children’s case and find the best solution for you.

Hungarian citizenship through ancestry: Is my ancestor Hungarian or not?
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Hungarian citizenship through ancestry: Is my ancestor Hungarian or not?

When you want to get Hungarian citizenship through ancestry, one of the documents supporting your application might be the birth certificate of one of your ancestors. But what if the place of birth turns out not to be in Hungary?

Example: “I know my grandfather was Hungarian. He was born in 1910 in Kosice – but that is in Slovakia! Can I still apply for Hungarian citizenship based on him?” 

No worries. Hungary used to be a lot bigger, so there are several towns in neighboring countries where Hungarian people live currently, and even more that are accepted as a proof of your Hungarian ancestry.

A historical background

The Kingdom of Hungary was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until 1918. After the war, with the Treaty of Trianon in 1920, Hungary was broken up (effective from 1921). The borders you know from maps today were determined then. Hungary lost 72% of its former territory. More than 3 million Hungarian nationals found themselves living in neighboring countries instead of Hungary. Families were torn apart, and many lost sight of relatives.

Countries with towns that used to belong to Hungary include Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, and Ukraine – so basically all neighboring countries – and even Italy and Poland.

Ancestors born in former Hungarian territory

Was your ancestor born in a territory that no longer belongs to Hungary? If they were born before 1921 in a territory that used to belong to Hungary AND they were Hungarian nationals, you can apply for Hungarian citizenship just the same as if their place of birth still belonged to Hungary. You just need to prove that they were Hungarian and that you are related.

There is only one caveat: various nationalities used to live in Hungary. If your ancestor was born in a territory that used to belong to Hungary, but it is obvious from their birth certificate or baptism certificate that they were NOT Hungarian nationals but they belonged to another ethnic group (e.g. they were Czech or Bosnian or Slovakian, etc.), you are not eligible for Hungarian citizenship based on that relation.

Genealogy research for Hungarian ancestors

If your ancestor you had in mind turns out to be born 

  • in former Hungarian territory, but after 1921;
  • in former Hungarian territory, before 1921, but was not a Hungarian national,

you might still have ancestors based on who you might be eligible for Hungarian ancestry. You just need to find them. 

You do not have to do this alone, of course: a skilled genealogy researcher may be able to find long lost documents linking you to your Hungarian ancestors. We have partners operating in neighboring countries like Romania, Ukraine, Slovakia, Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia as well as in Hungary. Thanks to their experience, they will be able to find documentation (most probably birth certificates or baptism certificates) of your Hungarian ancestors.

Contact us

If you have any questions about being eligible for Hungarian citizenship, or finding ancestors and documents that can support your application, make sure to give us a call or write us an email. We will be happy to help!