Digital citizenship in Hungary – How will electronic administration change?

February 1, 2023

The Hungarian government has recently approved the National Digital Citizenship Program that aims at creating more accessible online administration spaces. The first strategic phase is set to start in 2023 and end in 2026, by which time people should be able to handle almost all matters relating to public administration on their computers and phones.

Electronic administration in Hungary today

Many administrative tasks can already be managed electronically in Hungary. You just need an access to Ügyfélkapu (the “Client Gate”), which is a gateway to electronic administration, and you can access the various systems relevant for taxes, healthcare, immigration, and other functions. Any natural person can apply for this access, they just need to take one trip to the closest government office (“kormányablak”) in Hungary or Hungarian consulate abroad. Learn more here.

The pillars of digital citizenship

Digital citizenship is the concept that most basic things should be available electronically, online, and automatically, without visiting a government office in person. The newly approved strategy has five main functions, some of which are already available to Ügyfélkapu users, at least in part. These are the following:

  • Electronic wallet: a digital version of all your documents necessary for identification – currently not available.
  • Electronic inbox: a platform for sending and receiving official messages – currently there is a similar function available through Ügyfélkapu.
  • Electronic archives: a platform for storing every document and correspondence relevant for administrative procedures – currently you can receive documents in your electronic inbox, and you can upload documents through Ügyfélkapu, but not all of the latter can be retrieved later.
  • Electronic signature, which should be valid all over the EU – currently this function is available only to holders of the latest type of Hungarian ID card who also have a card reader for this purpose; otherwise documents can be attested through the AVDH function (“document verification based on identification”) available with an Ügyfélkapu access, accepted within Hungary.
  • Electronic payment options, which should be accepted by both the government and other parties – currently you can already pay various taxes and fees for most administrative procedures through EFER, the Electronic Payment and Settlement System, with a bank card.

For now, there is no information available about how the current setup is going to change. With the first phase of the program set to be implemented 2023 through 2026, developments will probably be rolled out gradually. Watch this space for updates.

Who can take advantage of the digital citizenship program?

While the program is referred to as digital citizenship, it would make sense if the innovations became available to Hungarian residents as well. Currently there are more than 200,000 foreign citizens living, working, and studying in Hungary, and letting them access the new systems would certainly be advantageous not only to them but also to the administrators.

The Helpers Team is here to help

Since its creation in 2005, our team is doing its best to support foreigners moving to Hungary, whether they intend to set up business, enter employment, or simply be together with their family members. While our services include assistance with registration for electronic administration, we also strive to always provide you with up-to-date information about issues relevant to your stay in Hungary.

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