No-deal Brexit: UK citizens in Hungary

December 16, 2020

The transition period after Brexit is coming to an end. As currently a no-deal Brexit is most probable, UK citizens living in Hungary should confirm their status, because starting from 1 January 2021 they will be third-country nationals in Hungary.

UK citizens in Hungary

While the UK were a member of the EU, UK citizens staying in Hungary for more than 90 days were eligible for an EU registration card. It is different from any kind of resident permit given to non-EU nationals, since it is always granted, and the procedure takes only a few days. Moreover, it comes with an address card, and after 5 years of residency, it can be traded in for a permanent residency card.

EU registration card for a no-deal Brexit

Until the end of the transition period, 31 December 2020, UK citizens living in Hungary can still apply for the EU registration card. Mind you, due to the current pandemic related measures, you need to make an appointment at the government office (you cannot just walk in). Moreover, opening hours will slightly change due to the holidays:

  • 21, 22, 23 December (Monday – Wednesday): normal opening hours
  • 24, 25, 26, 27 December (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the weekend): closed
  • 28, 29, 30 December (Monday – Wednesday): normal opening hours
  • 31 December (Thursday, New Year’s Eve): 8 am – noon
  • 1 January (New Year’s Day): closed

UK citizens after the transition period

With a no-deal Brexit, after the transition period, UK citizens who are not yet registered in Hungary will lose all their privileges related to EU citizenship. If they intend to stay for more than 90 days, after 1 January they must apply for residency the same as any other third-country resident.

UK citizens who are already registered should switch their EU registration card to a permanent residence permit. You can apply for permanent residency between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2021. The process is obligatory in case you want to continue to live in Hungary.

If a UK citizen only comes to visit Hungary, or at least does not intend to stay for more than 90 days, they can still do that without a visa. At the same time, Hungarian citizens (and all other EU citizens) can also travel to the UK without a visa if they intend to stay for less than 90 days.

Travel to Hungary during the pandemic

Please note that currently only residents of Hungary are allowed to enter Hungary (with a few exceptions, e.g. for business trips). If you are a UK citizen currently registered as a Hungarian resident (you have an EU registration card), entering Hungary will not be a problem even after the no-deal Brexit. Without the registration, you will need to apply for a police clearance just like any other third-country national, even though you will not need a visa.

Need help? Let us know!

The Helpers office is open until 23 December (Wednesday) this year. After a holiday break, we will open again on 4 January (Monday). If you need help in applying for an EU registration card, changing it to permanent residency, or applying for residency in Hungary, fill in the form below and let us know. We will be happy to help.

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