Hungarian citizenship for golden visa investors

February 7, 2024

While Hungarian citizenship is not part of the golden visa program, there is no rule that would prevent application through the regular channel. Read on to learn how that works.

Hungarian residency vs. citizenship

As a Hungarian resident, you will have the right not only to enter Hungary for a prolonged stay, but also to enter any Schengen member state without an additional visa, and stay for up to 90 days. Additional rights come with actually living in Hungary, generating income, paying taxes, and having a permanent address.

If you obtain Hungarian citizenship, you gain visa-free access to even more countries around the globe (currently the Hungarian passport is the 7th strongest in the world). Moreover, as a citizen of the European Union, you will be able to live and work freely in any member state.

However, please note that the Hungarian golden visa program does not offer fast-track citizenship. Instead, it offers a Hungarian residency that has various benefits compared to other residency options.

Guest investor residency vs. regular residency

The residency you can obtain in the Hungarian golden visa program is called “guest investor residency”. It offers the following benefits compared to regular residence permits.

  • First of all, it is valid for 10 years, while regular residency usually expires in 2-3 years.
  • Second, validity is not tied to the expiry date of your passport: your guest investor residence permit will be valid for 10 years even if your passport expires sooner.
  • Third, there is no minimum stay requirement: your residency remains valid and can be renewed even if you spend very little time in Hungary.
  • Fourth, family unification is available to your spouse and underage children – that is not a given for all types of residency.
  • At the same time, just like regular residence permits, you can use your Hungarian guest investor residence permit as a Schengen visa, and enter any member states without a separate visa throughout the validity of your permit.

How to qualify for guest investor residency

To become eligible for these perks, you must make an investment that may be considered of national interest in line with the latest update to Hungarian immigration law. The investment options are as follows:

  • EUR 250,000:  purchase of bonds issued by a real estate fund registered by the Hungarian National Bank (MNB)
  • EUR 500,000:  purchase of Hungarian residential real estate
  • EUR 1 million: donation to a designated educational or cultural institution

Application starts in July 2024, but you can already sign up for more information. Just fill in the form below the article.

How to qualify for Hungarian citizenship

While the Hungarian guest investor residency program does not specify fast-track residency for participants, you can still go the regular way if your goal is Hungarian citizenship.

This requires 8 years of continuous Hungarian residency proven by an address card.

Since the law does not specify if guest investors are eligible for an address card, until further clarification we must assume that you can apply for one only if you apply for permanent residency, which is possible after three years of other residency. However, in this case there is a chance you will lose some of the perks tied to your guest investor residency, such as the 10-year validity and the no minimum stay requirement, so you might need to reconsider your objectives. At the same time, if you are planning to spend most of your time in Hungary anyway, switching to permanent residency might be a way for you.

Can we help you? Sign up now

Since the Hungarian guest investor residence permit grants excellent perks to investors and their family members, it might be a better option than Hungarian citizenship, which requires that you spend most of your time in Hungary. Consider your goals, and choose your path accordingly.

Whichever course you choose, we would be happy to assist you. Helpers has 20 years of experience in providing business, immigration, and investment related assistance to foreigners living, working, and doing business in Hungary. Hundreds of satisfied clients vouch for our services. Join them today.

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