Residence permit Hungary for non EU citizens

Hungarian Residence permit is a card that mentions the purpose of stay of an individual in Hungary,if he is allowed to stay for more than 90 days.

It is of a size that can easily fit into a wallet.

Hungarian residence permit allows a 3rd country national to have unlimited entries into Hungary as well as other Schengen states.
Out of the two types of Hungarian visa, Residence permit is D-type visa,which allows a person to stay for more than 90 days in Hungary.

You can also check How to get a Hungarian visa,cards and permits in Hungary, Notary for Hungarian residence permit and who needs a visa for Hungary.

Who needs a Hungarian residence permit

If you belong to a country whose nationals require a visa to travel to Hungary, you will need to apply for a residence permit in your home country at the Embassy or consulate of Hungary.

Hungarian resident permit is normally issued by the immigration if the applicant is able to prove that he/she has a valid reason to stay for more than 90 days in Hungary.

Make sure to get familiar with certain terminologies associated with cards and permits in Hungary.

Following are the most common cases when you will need to apply for a Hungarian residence permit in your home country.

  1. You got a job offer from Hungary and your company arranged a work visa
  2. Your spouse is working in Hungary and would like to invite you to stay with him/her
  3. You got admission to a university/college in Hungary and want to study
  4. You got a scholarship to study in Hungary
  5. You are a digital Nomad and would like to live in Hungary

You can visit the official website of Hungarian immigration office to get more details about it.

Hungarian residence permit categories

As Hungarian residence permit falls into D type visa, there are multiple categories which may apply to you. When filling out a form for the residence permit application,make sure to select the appropriate category.

Gainful Activity

You need to select the gainful activity category when applying for a Hungarian residence permit application. If you got a job offer from a Hungarian employer,while you are still in your home country, you need to apply for the work permit application by selecting the category to be gainful activity.

Family Reunification

If one of your close family member/spouse already has a Hungarian permanent residence or a residence permit for study,job or any other reason, you are eligible to join him/her by applying for a family reunification residence permit.

Family reunification residence permit are normally applied for kids or partner,however,require that the person residing in Hungary has a good financial situation.

Study Purpose

You need to select the purpose to be Study when applying for a Hungarian residence permit if you have got admission to any course or degree program that exceed 90 days of stay in Hungary. Bachelors,Masters,MBA or Medical field courses are typically 1 or more years in Hungary. In such cases, you should apply for a study purpose visa.

Hungarian Scholarship

You will also need to apply for a residence permit for Hungary if you have been selected to study in a University in Hungary. Although Studying in Hungary on personal finances and getting a scholarship to study are pretty similar,however, in terms of visa, the application form should be filled in a different way for Hungarian scholarship. One of the reasons is that there is no visa fees if you got a Hungarian scholarship while for normal paid courses, you are required to pay for visa fees.

Digital Nomad residence permit

One of the categories that has been newly introduced in Hungary is the Digital Nomad Residence permit. This residence permit is for remote workers who want to live in Hungary while they provided services to companies in other parts of the world.

Digital Nomad visa allows anyone to stay in Hungary for more than 90 days.

Where to Apply residence permit

You must be wondering,where should you apply for Hungarian residence permit, and what is the procedure. There are two scenarios when applying for a residence permit.

  1. Apply for Hungary residence permit for the first time
  2. Apply for renewal of Hungary residence permit

Applying for Hungary residence permit for first time

If you are applying for Hungarian Residence permit for the first time, you will file the visa application in your home country. It applies to all sorts of D-type visas with categories including Gainful activity,family re-unification,study purposes,scholarships and nomad.

If there is no Hungarian Embassy or consulate to accept the applications, you may need to travel to another country where either Hungarian or any other Schengen country embassy will accept and process your Hungarian visa application.

In case you are not in your home country,but living in another country as a resident, you can file the Hungarian residence permit application in that country.

If your Hungarian residence permit application results in a positive response, your passport will be getting a schengen visa type D sticker with a stamp from the Hungarian embassy/consulate.
It means your application for residence permit has been accepted,however,this visa sticker is not called residence permit.The visa sticker is basically a single entry visa to Hungary.

With this visa on your passport, you are allowed to travel to Hungary,within a certain time period.e.g one year.However, you have to make sure, that when you enter Hungary, you visit the immigration office,within one month of entry, to collect the Hungarian residence permit.

It means, when you apply for a residence permit application for the first time in Hungarian embassy/consulate, you will collect the residence permit after arriving to Hungary from the immigration office.

You will not require to pay any additional fees to collect your residence permit card from the immigration office in Hungary. In future, the residence permit card will be your travel permit when entering Schengen or Hungarian area from any non-schengen country.

On the other hand, the visa printed on your passport is just to allow you to enter for the first time in Hungary and has no importance after you got your residence permit in Hungary.

Applying for Hungary residence permit renewal

Residence permit renewal for Hungary is slightly different from the residence permit application for the first time. If the residence permit holder is present in Hungary, the residence permit renewal takes place in Hungary.

For residence permit renewal inside Hungary, you need to apply for the residence permit renewal application in Immigration office that is designated for your city.

In majority of cases, it is best to book an appointment online at the immigration office, this will ensure that you do not have to wait in long lines at the immigration office.

The residence permit renewal application can be submitted in Hungarian immigration office in various cities.
Another option to apply for Hungarian residence permit renewal in Hungary is to apply online at their website.
Hungarian residence permit renewal application is cheaper online compared to visiting the immigration office.

Duration of Hungary residence permit

Duration of Hungarian residence permit can vary from 6 months to 3 years. Below are some of the experiences shared by expats living in Hungary based upon their residence permit applications.

The validity of Hungarian residence permit has lots of dependencies.

  1. If your passport has 8 to 9 months validity at the time of application for Hungarian residence permit,most probably your residence permit duration will be 6 to 7 months. This condition applies to residence permit for family reunification,study purposes,gainful activity or any other reason.
  2. Another dependency for Hungarian residence permit is the visa validity of the sponsor. If your spouse is sponsoring your application,and his/her visa validity is around 6 to 7 months,your residence permit will also be valid till the validity of your sponsor.
    The rule stands even if your passport has 4 or 5 years validity,but limitation is because of the sponsor visa validity.
  3. Hungarian residence permit duration can be 3 years,if the sponsor of the applicant has a permanent residence valid for over 3 year (5 is the maximum). It also requires the passport of the applicant should be valid for more than 3 years.

Of course, having a residence permit for lesser duration like 6 months is not a problem,as you can revisit the immigration office to renew it. However,gathering all the documents and waiting in queue and at the immigration can be a big hassle.

Hence, in order to have Hungarian residence permit for maximum time period,make sure your passport validity is longer. In case of sponsor visa by your spouse, make sure that the sponsor residence permit has longer validity.