How to prepare yourself when moving to Hungary? – Step 1

Moving to a new city is somehow stepping out from your comfortzone, and figuring out the specifics of living in a foreign country is a headache. Here are our advices on how to get prepared for Hungary with everything you need to know about immigration and visa paperwork.

Immigration and visa procedure

Getting residency in Hungary is a challenge even for an EU citizen, because of all the bureaucratic paperwork to handle.

Non-EU citizens that can enter Hungary as a tourist for a certain period of time need to apply for a residence permit at the immigration office before that time period expires, and anyone who needs a visa to enter Hungary may not apply for a residence permit at the immigration office unless they can provide a written deposition to the immigration authorities explaining why they should not return to their home country to make the application (those applications are rarely accepted).

EU citizens must receive a registration card if they’d like to be located in Hungary. Anyone looking to settle down in Hungary need to prove they have an income or the ability to earn a living to get the permits. Together with the address card (“lakcímkártya“), which is sent out to your address by post once you’ve got the registration card if you’re a citizen of the EU/EEA, these papers serve as sufficient documentation to apply to live in the country, and you can then also apply for a tax card and get registered on the social security system.

So how can you obtain the relevant papers?

EU Citizens can get the residence card by going to the Immigration Office in the XI District (60 Budafoki Street) with the application form, proof of employment or that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay, and proof of accommodation (eg a rental contract) in addition to your passport of course, and a European Health Card. For all applications there is a certain processing fee.

For non-EU citizens it’s a bit more complicated, because for the application you need to take a recent passport photo and a proof of health insurance to the same place, together with the above documents required for EU citizens. You’ll need to fill out a specific application form for your case. To find out which form to fill out, check this website offering a nice questionnaire to assess it.

In case you’re a student, you’ll need a proof of your university or course admission. CEU has a detailed and clear checklist for student cases, providing a detailed guide for student immigration requirements,

For more information on the application and forms, check the official website for the Office of Immigration and Nationality.

Citizens of countries outside of the EU often do not require special visa to enter Hungary but nevertheless you should always check this before setting off. However if you are planning to stay more than the allowed period (usually 3 months under a tourist visa) you will need a visa or permit to stay. It’s always best to apply for the correct visa before arriving in Hungary, otherwise you might have to leave the country to get the right visa in order to apply for the residence permit. You can find more on visa information here.

For full assistance with these complicated procedures, it worths hiring a Hungary-based professional relocation agency like Smile Relocation & Concierge, which is offring 20 min free consultation service now.

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