Things people ask about...

In order to get a Residence Permit, the Immigration office requires that you prove three main items: Housing, Money, and Health Insurance. These show that your living in Hungary isn’t going to cost the Hungarian government any money. 

  1. Housing: you must prove that you have a place to stay via either a valid lease or owning an apartment. If you are renting an apartment, there are 2 documents you must have: a valid lease and an official document that shows that the person who owns the apartment is the person leasing the apartment to you (or has the right to lease it to you). The official document is easy to get and if you are going through a reputable rental agency they should provide it for a small fee. If you are renting, your residence permit will likely be valid through the last day of your lease (as this is the last point at which you can prove you are not homeless). 
  • If you don’t already own an apartment, I would recommend leasing someplace for the first year. Get to really know the city and then decide where you would like to live. 
  1. Money: You need to prove you have sufficient funds to support yourself, either in the form of pay/retirement income or savings. You need to show 6 months of bank statements showing the income/savings. This is to prove that the money is “real”. 
  • There is a scam (and the government is aware of it, hence the 6 months of statements) where multiple people shuffle around the same money. The money is deposited in one person’s account, a bank statement is generated, and then the money moved to another person’s account, a different statement generated, moved again, etc.
  1. Health Insurance: This is a stumbling point for a lot of American retirees since American Medicare/Medicaid does not cover overseas treatment. There are, however, several ways to get the insurance you need for immigration documentation purposes (Please allow me to caveat the following as we have not done any of these. My husband and I are covered by an insurance plan from his previous work. We only know of or have heard of people who have done some of the following to meet the health insurance immigration requirement.)
  • There is an English-speaking clinic in Budapest called First Med that has an annual plan which covers all your standard needs (annual physicals, minor issues, some specialists). 
    1. I have heard the residence office will accept the First Med plan as insurance coverage. HOWEVER, the plan does not cover catastrophic incidents (i.e. heart attack, cancer treatments, car wreck, broken leg, etc.). And quite frankly, it is the catastrophic incidents that generally cause serious financial problems. You might want to look into a catastrophic policy for overseas (one which doesn’t cover day to day or health maintenance but which does cover the big stuff).
  • The following information on acquiring private health coverage while in Budapest was listed on a different blog… The guy who wrote the blog doesn’t have great things to say about the immigration process but he did have a handy tidbit about insurance… Here is the link to the Insurance company Generali Testör's page for health insurance. ( ). They don’t have an English language selection but if you use Google Chrome the auto translation feature will translate the webpage. 

—Excerpt from the blog…it was written several years ago so the price may not be the same.

Also on the form, you’ll notice a box to be checked with the stipulation that you have full health care coverage during your stay in Hungary. While it’ll cost you around 33,000 HUF (roughly 150 USD), it’s a relatively straightforward process: simply send an e-mail or call one of the offices of Generali Testőr (the one I used was conveniently located not far from my place on Teréz körút 42) requesting an English-speaking (or Hungarian, if you’re able and willing) representative in regard to receiving basic health care. The shittiest aspect, while frustratingly understandable, is that this coverage won’t actually kick in six months into the annual coverage. Make sure to keep a copy of your signed contract as well as your receipt in case OIN needs another paper to pad your appeal

© Eat, Drink, and Carry a GPS 2013