Everything we know about getting a Hungarian Residence Permit

Apparently Eat, Drink, and Carry a GPS is popping up on Google searches by people trying to figure out the Hungarian Residence Permit process (which I find a little scary to be honest, really there must be better resources out there!)  After many emails, we have finally organized what we know about the process. So far, we have managed to get an initial one year visa and a two year extension. This does not make us experts, but we are willing to share any hard earned knowledge we have come by… 

To this end, below is a list of the required documents and possibly semi-helpful hints needed to apply for a “Residence Permit for Other Purposes”. (Which means you don’t plan to work in Hungary, you aren’t planning to open a business, you aren’t here for medical care, formal education, or family reunification, or any other reason other than you just want to be here and aren’t going to cost the Hungarian government anything; there are different forms for those purposes.) We have never made an appointment at the immigration office; we just show up about 15 minutes before they open, wait in line, get a ticket, wait until called, and then meet with the immigration officer to submit all the documents. You can make an appointment via the website, but we haven’t figured out what type of appointment to request. 

One final note, it does appear that there is truth in the advice we were initially given by others who had been thru the process: “No one gets there Residence Permit the first time through. No matter what documents you initially turn in, the immigration office will alway want one more piece of paper.”  Don't get discouraged when three weeks after you submitted all your lovely perfect paperwork you get a letter in the mail asking for an additional document. Just figure out what they want, get in line, get a number, turn it in, and wait another 3 weeks. 

Disclaimer: Please refer to the official website of the Hungarian Office of Immigration and Nationality (http://www.bmbah.hu/index.php?lang=en). It has undergone a very user friendly overhaul since we first starting looking at it in 2013. When in doubt, go with what the official website says. 

And make sure you have a copy for your records of everything you turn in!

Marc and Julia’s brain dump on applying for a “Residence Permit for Other Purposes”

  • Application Form
    • Select the appropriate form from official website http://www.bmbah.hu/index.php?lang=en
    • The “Residence Permit for Other Purposes”  form is available from the site, but here is the version that was available at the start of 2015.  (It is a MS Word document, you can fill it out on your computer (typed is better than hand written…)
      • One quick note, on the second page half way down you will see this…the last 3 blocks should say: Staircase, Floor, and Apartment Number (the form is wrong, just line thru and write in the correct information)

      • and FYI... “Type of Public Space” is the “utca” “ut” “ter” etc part of your address, so if you live on Vaci Utca, the “Name of Public Space” = Vaci, the “Type of Public Space” = Utca
  • One passport size photo
    • the “passport photos” from a photo booth are acceptable
  • Duty Stamps (this is how you pay the fee for the application)
    •  18.000 HUF for first time application;  10.000 HUF for Residence Permit extension
    • in Hungarian: illetekbelyeg 
    • available at most post offices
  • Detailed Statement of Purpose of Stay in Hungary
    • Typed and signed, be clear in first paragraph about why you want to be in hungary (retirement, private study, etc) 
    • here is an example
  • Recent bank statement (in English or Hungarian)  indicating an account balance, sufficient to cover living expenses
    • some sites say to bring the last 6 months bank statements, but we just had the most recent.
  • Proof of income (If applicable, if you plan to live on your savings then not applicable)
    •  ie. pension statement, investment disbursal, etc.
  • “Accommodation Reporting Form for Third Country Nationals” signed by your landlord. 
    • Note: Finding an “official” version of this form is a nightmare, you can use a copy of the form and fill it out. The “official” version of the form is heavy stock paper and is 17cm by 25cm.  The immigration official who handles your case will accept the regular paper version for your file and then have you fill out one section of the official heavy stock paper version. They will stamp and date it and this will be your proof of where you live (this is your "address card" which you will need to carry with you at all times). 
      • Here is a copy of the “Accommodation Reporting Form” in Hungarian. Print this out,  fill in the boxes and have your landlord sign it.
      • Here is a not so great scan of the “Accommodation Reporting Form” in English. It doesn’t print with the boxes lined up correctly back to front. Use it as a reference for filling out the Hungarian version.
      • Note: Box #17 is your Passport number, Box #19 is your Residence Permit Number (Box #19 is only applicable if you are applying for an extension and already have a Residence Permit Card)
  • Photocopy of former accommodation form (the small white address card you already have if you are applying for an extension. If this is your initial residence permit application you don’t have one yet.)
  • Rental contract in Hungarian or English 
    • one original and one copy
    • This only applies if you are renting, if you own your apartment you should just need the “Certificate of Property Ownership” (next item below) which will list you as the owner.
    • Note on the Rental Contract…your residence permit will be issued with an expiration date that matches the expiration date on the rental contract. Which means your residence pernit will only be issued for the length of your lease, so if you have a one year lease and ask for a two year residence permit, you will likely get a one year residence permit that expires on the day your lease expires. 
      • There is a type of rental contract called a Rolling or open-ended contract. It usually applies when a tenant has completed an agreed fixed term (usually 6, 12, or 24 months) contract but wants to stay for an unspecified time longer. The Tenant and Landlord agree that each will give X (usually 30 or 60) day's notice to the other if either of them wants to terminate the contract. If you have an open-ended contract you can apply for any period up to 5 years (the immigration office may or may not grant the full amount of time you request, but you can request it.)
  • Original “certificate of property ownership” issued within the last 30 days
    • in Hungarian: tulajdoni lap. 
    • This document provides proof of who owns the apartment you live in. If you own your apartment, it proves your ownership; if you are renting, it proves the person you are renting from (the owner on the lease) has the right to rent the apartment to you. 
    • Some sites say that this document is not required if you are doing a Residence Permit extension and there is no change of address, but we found the immigration office wants it even if you haven’t moved.
    • Caveat on this next piece because we have never actually obtained our own Land Registry Form, our Rental Agency obtained it for us, but here is the information we have on the process.
      • You can buy the Land registry form at all Land registry offices for 6250 HUF. 
      • Our agency uses Land Registration Office 1. Számú Földhivatal, 1111 Budapest, Budafoki út 59. (http://fovaros.foldhivatal.hu/content/view/113/193/)
        • Take Tram 4 to the Budafoki út/Szerémi sor stop on the Buda Side of the Petofi Bridge. Walk half a block to North to Budafoki út 59
        • Double check the opening hours before you go, they are not open late! (At the time we wrote this they were open: Monday -Thursday 0730-1500, Friday 0730 - 1100).
    • You can find the official Request forms here (http://www.foldhivatal.hu/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=23&Itemid=27)
      • I think you want the one titled "Kérelem tulajdoni lap másolat szolgáltatása iránt”,
    • You will need the following information to fill out the official Request form:
      • Full Address of the flat (zip code, town, street, building, floor, door number)
      • Owner’s name
      • The TLN (HRSZ), topographical lot number (In Hungarian: helyrajzi szám)
    • First pay the 6250 HUF at one window, then get another ticket/number to get the ownership document at a different window.
      • You will need your ID Card, passport, or Driver’s License 
    • You can find the address of all the Land registry offices and official Request forms on the Land registry office’s official website http://en.foldhivatal.hu/
  • 1 copy of “certificate of property ownership
  • Passport (valid for at least 18 months at the time of application)
  • 1 copy of Passports information page (page with name, photo, expiration date, etc)
  • Proof of medical insurance that provides coverage during your stay in Hungary (original and photocopy)
  • Voluntary departure statement  (you will receive this to sign at the immigration office when you turn in the application)
  • 1 copy  of current residence permit card (Front and Back) if applying for a Residence Permit Extension.

We hope this helps. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us!

Good Luck!

Marc & Julia

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