The current Hungarian Citizenship Act was accepted in 2010, and it grants citizenship to everyone with Hungarian descendants. Since the new Act came into force, more than 1 million people received Hungarian citizenship, and there are many more eligible.
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:
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.