Residence & Registration

How to become resident in Hungary

If you wish to become resident in Hungary, you must apply for a residence permit at the local Immigration office before your visa expires (Non-EU citizens) or you have to apply for a Registration Card (EU citizens) . Proof of your ability to earn a living in Hungary and a current status of legal residence are required to obtain a permit.

A Residence Permit or Registration card gives a foreign citizen the right both to reside in and to travel to and from Hungary. Together with an Address Registration Card, it acts as your documentation for legal residence during your stay in Hungary. If you are moving to Hungary with family, you and your partner, plus any children who will be relocating with you, will need to apply for the Residence Permit.

Usually, a Residence Permit is valid for one year only. This is depended on the requirement of obtaining a work permit for Hungary. For instance, there are exceptions for certain EU-nationals (see below). Once you have a valid Residence Permit and Address Card, you can then apply for a Tax card and a Social Security Card.

Usually, a Residence Permit is valid until the Work permit is valid. Once you have a valid Residence Permit and Address Card, you can then apply for a Tax card and a Social Security Card.

For EU citizens

From 1 July 2007 instead of receiving a Residence Permit, a Registration Card will be issued for you for unlimited period of time (without reference to the fact that you are required or not to obtain a work permit), so as long as you have a continual status (working, studying, etc.) in Hungary you do not need to apply for a new one.

Whether you need a work permit or not depends on the bilateral agreements between your home country and Hungary (read our article “Working in Hungary” for detailed information).

You will need to provide proof of accommodation, employment and the ability to cover you and your family’s costs during your stay in Hungary.

In case all necessary documents are collected the Registration Card will be issued at once at the Immigration Office. Once you get the Registration Card the Immigration Office will post your Address Card to you.

It is important that your Registration Card is valid only together with your Address Card and Passport!

For non-EU citizens

In the first year you will get a Visa at the Consulate which you can travel into Hungry with. This Visa is valid for 30 days from the date you entered the Schengen Area. During this period you will need to go to the Hungarian Immigration Office in person to receive the final Schengen Residence Permit and to arrange the Address Registration too.

From the second year Non-EU citizens can obtain a residence permit at the Hungarian Immigration Office. You need to prove your employment (Work permit and labour agreement/employment contract) and your accommodation (i.e. rental agreement). The process can take up to 30 days.

Immigration Card

The Immigration Card can be obtained someone who:

  • has been residing continuously in Hungary for at least 3 years and;
  • has not been absent from Hungary for more than 90 days annually and is currently residing in Hungary.

The following people can apply for an immigration card already after one year:

  • People of Hungarian origin or those who have/had Hungarian relatives (e.g. their parents, grandparents were Hungarian citizens – even for a short period)
  • People who are married to a Hungarian citizen or a foreigner holding a Hungarian immigration card (who must have been married for at least 2 years)

The process can take up to six months, as the authorities check the submitted documents, the status of employment, the means of subsistence and the accommodation of the applicant. During this 6-month process the applicant also can be called in for a national security check up.

Further reading

Does this article help?

Do you have any comments, updates or questions on this topic? Ask them here: