Important update on Hungary's new immigration law effective December 2023
A friendly reminder that on December 12, 2023, the Hungarian National Assembly passed a new law “on the general rules regarding entry and stay of third country nationals”.
The new law introduces the concept of permanent residence rights, which modifies the previous concept of settled status. It provides for three types of permits for staying in Hungary: Short-term Permits (up to 90 days within 180 days), Prolonged Permits (more than 90 days within 180 days), and Permanent Residence (PR), which is further divided into three categories: temporary PR, national PR, and EU PR.
An important change is that the one-time entry visa issued for picking up the Residence Permit will be valid for up to three months.
The new immigration law also introduces new purposes of stay. A third-country national can stay in Hungary for the following reasons:
For entrepreneurial or investment purposes.
For taking a job as a guest worker.
For taking a job as a person with high qualification or having skills in a field with exceptional significance for the country.
For employment tied to certain citizenship – National Card.
For other reasons as specified in the law.
A new category of Residence Permit for investors introduces a Golden Visa equivalent, granting investors the right to reside in Hungary and access to the entire Schengen area. The program offers several investment paths: the investor must obtain an Investment Certificate of at least EUR 250,000, or purchase real estate worth at least EUR 500,000, or donate at least EUR 1,000,000 to support educational, scientific, or artistic activities.
The Hungarian Residence Permit for investors differs from other Golden Visas across Europe in its duration. Unlike other similar visas, which usually grant residence for up to five years, the Hungarian Residence Permit will be valid for a full ten years. Investors will be able to apply for an extension of their Residence Permit for another ten years after the initial term.
Several types of permits have been excluded from eligibility for Permanent Residence Permits. Restrictions have been introduced for family reunification purposes for different categories of applicants (e.g., for student visas).
The new legislation comprehensively regulates the responsibilities of employers and host organizations. The planned start date of work specified in the preliminary contract with the applicant will become much more important.
The new legislation comprehensively regulates the responsibilities of employers and host organizations. Therefore, the planned start date of work specified in the preliminary contract with the applicant will become much more important.
The validity of Residence and Permanent Residence Permits that expire between January 1, 2024, and February 29, 2024, has been extended to April 30, 2024.