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, a two year visa extension, and a three year visa extension. Having been through the process three times 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!

Overview and Documents

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

  • Application …

Things people ask about...

In order to get a Residence Permit, the Immigration office requires that you prove three …


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