Hungarian residency options for non-EU citizens under the new immigration law

April 17, 2024

As of 1 January 2024, a new immigration law came into force in Hungary, affecting third-country nationals living in Hungary or planning to move here. The new law changed the types of residence permit available. Below you can find an up-to-date list of Hungarian residency options.

Hungarian residency needs a purpose

When you are applying for Hungarian residency, you always need to indicate your purpose for staying in Hungary. Requirements and benefits will be different based on which residence permit you apply for.

The new Hungarian residency options are similar to the old categories, but they got a bit restructured. One major change is that the residence permit for “another reason” is no longer available; you need to choose a specific reason from the list.

For now, below you can find only the list of Hungarian residency options. We intend to write about each option separately and link the explanations from this article.

Business or investment immigration

If you are interested in making an investment or starting a business:

Employment in unskilled jobs

A new development is that most types of residence permits based on work do not offer family unification, and holders do not become eligible for permanent residency.

  • Residence permit for seasonal work: valid only for 6 months
  • Residence permit for employment purposes issued for the implementation of an investment: relevant only in government approved projects
  • Residence permit for guest workers: relevant to people who are to work for preferential employers or qualified temporary work agencies
  • Residence permit for employment purposes: relevant for any other job type that is not done in a specific project, for a special employer, and that does not require special skills of qualifications  

Employment in high skilled jobs

Third-country nationals who work in high-skilled positions remain eligible for both family unification even under the new immigration law.

  • Hungarian Card: available to employees in jobs that need high qualifications; the list of eligible qualifications is available in Hungarian, but they have FEOR codes that can help you check if they are relevant to you
  • EU Blue Card: available to employees in jobs that need high qualifications; has the added benefit that changing employers does not require a new application after 1 year of employment; however, the monthly minimum salary specified for this type of residency is 1.5 times of the average salary of the year before the previous (in 2024, this means HUF 773,700, which is ca. EUR 1,900 monthly based on the 2022 data)
  • Intra-corporate transfer: available to employees of foreign companies who are transferred to a Hungarian subsidiary or affiliate of the same company
  • Corporate card: available only to executive officers of specific companies that have made an agreement with the Hungarian government

Read an overview of work-related residency options here.

For citizens of Ukraine and Serbia

  • National Card: a type of work permit that can be received only by Serbian or Ukrainian citizens

Other reasons

If you do not fit any of the above categories, you cannot simply indicate “another reason” in your residency application. You still need to specify the purpose of your stay, but the new immigration law offers plenty of Hungarian residency options, as seen below.

One major change is that if you apply for student residency under the new regulations, family unification and permanent residency are no longer available to you. (Those who have old residence permits can still apply for residency for their family members.) Otherwise, family unification and permanent residency may or may not be available, please check the website of the Immigration Office.

  • Residence permit for study purposes: meaning full-time studies at a registered public education institution of higher education
  • Residence permit for training purposes: similar to a student permit, but available to persons participating in other, scholarship-based training programs
  • Residence permit for interns (“traineeship”): available to recently graduated or soon to graduate students of a relevant field, based on a traineeship contract with an approved hosting organization
  • Residence permit for the purpose of research: available to researchers who have a hosting agreement with an accredited research organization
  • Residence permit for job seeking or starting a business: available to soon to graduate students at Hungarian higher education institutions who wish to stay in Hungary in order to find a job or start a business
  • Residence permit for official purposes: available to diplomats, press correspondents, or members of various cultural, scientific, or educational institutions operating under international treaties in Hungary
  • Residence permit for the purpose of work for tourists: available only to certain nationalities, find a list here
  • White Card: available to digital nomads who want to live in Hungary while performing remote work for a company that is not based in Hungary
  • Residence permit for posted work (or secondment): available to third-country nationals who already have an EU work permit and are now posted to Hungary for a short time
  • Residence permit for medical treatment purposes: based on a formal statement by the medical facility that is to provide treatment
  • Residence permit for voluntary activities: based on a voluntary contract with a host organization
  • Residence permit issued in the national interest of Hungary: granted by the responsible Minister, based on the economic, national political, scientific, cultural and sporting interests of Hungary
  • Residence permit for the purpose of ensuring family cohabitation (family unification): available to the spouse and underage children (younger than 18 years) of a Hungarian resident (please note that not every type of residence permit provides an option for family unification)
  • Residence permit issued for humanitarian reasons: available to stateless persons, refugees, or other people who require some kind of protection or support

Permanent residency

If you can, it makes sense to apply for permanent residency. Unlike standard residency options, permanent residency is not tied to an employer or any specific purpose in Hungary, so it offers you more freedom.

  • National residence card (with mostly the same conditions as the former national permanent residence permit): available for those who have been living in Hungary for at least 3 years and has the funds to prolong their stay (please note that not every type of residence permit may be changed to permanent residency)
  • EU residence card: available for those who have been living in Hungary for at least 5 years and has the funds to prolong their stay (please note that not every type of residence permit may be changed to permanent residency)
  • Interim residence card: available to those who already have permanent residency in another EU country, and they are now moving to Hungary to work or study here

How can we help you?

Helpers provides business and immigration assistance to foreigners living, working, and doing business in Hungary. If you are moving your business to Hungary and need residency for yourself, your family members, and your employees, we are here to help.

We also offer assistance in every aspect of business setup, including company registration, registered office, accountancy, and HR support. Tell us more about what you need, and we will find a solution tailored to you.

Fill in the form below to get in touch

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