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Hungary - Visas

Getting a visa in Hungary should be straightforward if the right application procedure is followed. EU citizens do not have to apply for a visa, and can move in and out of Hungary freely. The purpose of your visit to Hungary will determine what type of visa you apply for.

Citizens from countries that are members of EU do not require a visa to enter Hungary. Instead, they just need a national identity card, passport or official EU registration card. EU Countries approved to enter Hungary without a visa include Belgium, Austria, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Estonia, Croatia, Lithuania, France, Finland, Greece, Britain and Germany. Other countries on this list include Luxembourg, Latvia, Italy, Portugal, Iceland, Netherlands, Malta, Norway, Slovakia, Liechtenstein and Spain. Citizens of Sweden will have to apply for the new identity card that includes travel privileges to Hungary.

Non-EU expats will have to apply for a visa and additional documentations to enter Hungary. However, there is an exception for a select number of countries, provided the traveler has a valid passport. These countries include Australia, Argentina, Brunei, Costa Rica, Singapore, USA, Honduras, Hong Kong, El Salvador, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Monaco, Israel, Korean Republic, San Marino, Brazil, Panama, Vatican City, Venezuela and New Zealand. Migrants from Andorra, Macao, Croatia and Switzerland require a special kind of passport or identity card to be granted entry into Hungary.

Travelers from countries not mentioned in any of the lists above will have to apply for a visa. The purpose and duration of your visit determines the kind of visa to be issued. Generally, visas in Hungary are divided in two: short-term visas and long-term visas.

Short-Term Visas

Short-term visas are issued to migrants who intend to stay in Hungary for less than a year. Expats must apply for a short-term visa and get it approved before entering Hungary. Application forms for a short-term visa can be downloaded from the official website of the ministry of foreign affairs in Hungary. These documents are available in English, French, German, Spanish, Ukrainian, Russian, Greek, Hungarian and Serbian.

There are several types of short-term visas that grant entry into Hungry. These are visitor, business, tourist, medical, transit and national visas. We outline each of these visas below.

Visitor Visa

A visitor visa is valid for 12 months from the day of entry. One must apply for a letter of invitation from the embassy of Hungary or the consulate to apply for this visa. If you have a sponsor in Hungary, they can apply for this invitation letter on your behalf. Once this letter is approved, you will be required to apply for the visitor visa in person at the nearest embassy or consulate.

For the Hungarian government to grant you a visitor visa, you must prove a few things. One is that your purpose of travelling to their country is purely for visiting purposes. You must also show you are able to finance your accommodation and costs for the period you will be in Hungary. If you were invited by a sponsor, such as a friend, family member, or company, they must show that all your expenses are catered for.

Business Visa

A business visa is issued solely for the purposes of conducting commerce in Hungary. Similar to the visitor visa, you will need a letter of invitation from a business contact or company in Hungary. They will be your sponsor for the period you will be in Hungary, and they can apply for the invitation letter on your behalf. Once the letter is approved, you are required to apply for the business visa only if you can prove that your accommodation, healthcare and day to day costs in Hungary will be catered for. A business visa is valid for 90 days, after which it can be renewed.

Tourist Visa

Tourist visas are issued for leisure visits to Hungary. Expats can apply for tourist visas directly from the Hungarian consulate or embassy in their country. You will be required to produce a valid plane ticket to Hungary, as well as proof that your accommodation is arranged for the period you will be visiting. A copy of your current bank statement may also be requested as proof that you are able to finance your trip to Hungary.

Medical Visa

Medical visas are issued to those entering Hungary for medical treatment. One must produce a letter from the Hungarian hospital that approved your admittance into their facilities. The person seeking treatment is also required to produce a bank statement to show they have enough funds to support themselves while they are in Hungary.

Transit Visa

A transit visa is issued to travelers who are passing through Hungary to another destination. It is valid for five days and is one of the easiest visas to process. People from Liechtenstein and Switzerland are not required to obtain a transit visa if they hold a residence permit. Check with your consulate about the characteristics of a transit visa, especially if you are from a country that is a member of the EU.

Long-Term Visas

Long-term visas are issued to people who intend to stay in Hungary for more than a year. This type of visa takes at most 60 days to process and is valid for 30 days after entry into Hungary. A long-term visa does not grant permanent residency, and expats are required to apply for residence permit within 30 days. The Schengen residence permit is preferable, as it is valid in Hungary and all other EU countries. You will also need to register your address for the period your long-term visa is valid.

Immigration Card

An immigration card is similar to the long-term visa but with some differences. Those who have stayed in Hungary for more than three years or have not been absent in the country for a period of 90 days qualify for an immigration card. Individuals who are of Hungarian descent also qualify for an immigration card. Those who have been married to a Hungarian person for more than two years can apply for the card as well. It takes six months to process and issue an immigration card.

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