Permanent residency in Hungary

October 19, 2022

Last updated on 22 February 2023.

Have you already been living in Hungary for a few years? It might be high time you changed your temporary residency to permanent residency in Hungary. The national permanent residence permit is the most popular option among third-country nationals – learn why.

Conditions of permanent residency

The national permanent residence permit is available to third country nationals who have been living in Hungary for at least 3 years. You need to prove that you have

  • Long-term plans in Hungary;
  • Proper accommodation;
  • Comprehensive healthcare insurance;
  • Appropriate funds or income.

In this sense, the requirements are more or less the same as for temporary residence permits. The additional elements are those that are supposed to have accumulated over the years. The most obvious of these is the 3 years of uninterrupted residency in Hungary before your application. In this sense, “uninterrupted” means that you spent no more than 270 days out of Hungary within the last 3 years, and no more than 90 days at a time.

Please note: it is a common misconception that time spent in Hungary on student residency counts by half toward permanent residency. This is true only for the EC permanent residence permit, but not for the Hungarian national permanent residence permit.

For proving that you plan for the long run in Hungary, you have various options. You can demonstrate that you speak Hungarian (or at least have made good progress in learning the language), that you own property, or that you do volunteer work locally.

You must also have a stable income in Hungary, either from employment or from your own business. Having a savings account in Hungary is also a must, preferably with a considerable sum that can support you (and possibly your family) for a prolonged period even if your source of income suddenly dries up. 

Once obtained, the national permanent residency cannot be revoked even if you leave Hungary for a few months. If you are planning to leave for more than 6 months, you must notify the Immigration Office of your plan to do so. Providing that you stayed in Hungary for at least 180 days during the 365 days before your notice, you are allowed to stay up to two years away from Hungary without forfeiting your permanent residency.

Extended rights

As a permanent resident of Hungary, you will have extended rights compared to your previous temporary residency. Most importantly:

  • You will not need a work permit any more to work in employment;
  • You get an address card and a Hungarian ID card;
  • Your permanent residency must be renewed only every 5 years (as opposed to the previous maximum 3 years).

Since you will not need a work permit anymore, you can more easily find a job that suits you well. No more waiting time for the labor demand to be approved with the local Labor Department or the Immigration Office; you can start the employment relationship as soon as you agree with your employer.

Your new Hungarian address card will let you take advantage of more services in Hungary. These include being enrolled in public healthcare (in case you have not yet been included), the option for choosing a post-paid mobile phone service, and easier procedures for bank account opening, buying a car, or localizing your driving license (if you have not done it earlier).

Same as before, you will have the right to enter any Schengen country without a visa and stay there for 90 days within 180 days without a separate permit. If you want to travel, you will need both your passport and your permanent residence permit. As a Hungarian resident, you do not even need the ETIAS visa waiver or registration in the EES.

Familiar application procedure

Just like in the case of other residency options, application is supposed to be processed in 70 days (although in our experience it is more like 3-6 months). The national permanent residence permit is issued for 5 years, but you should make sure that your original document (passport) is valid for at least that time. Before application, check the validity date of your passport and renew it if necessary, otherwise your new national permanent residence permit will be issued only until the expiry date of your original document.

You will be required to submit supporting documents for your case. These include documents that prove you meet the conditions listed above, such as previous residence permits, rental contracts, bank statements (as a proof of your financial situation), healthcare insurance or TAJ card, just to name the most important ones. You must also submit your birth certificate, and a no criminal record will also be required from your home country or country of previous residency, issued within 6 months of your application. These must be accompanied by a certified translation in Hungarian provided by OFFI, the Hungarian Office for Translation and Attestation.

The documents you need will also depend on your existing status. For example, if you have been in Hungary with a work permit, you will need to submit your labor contract, while if you have been here based on family unification, you will obviously not be required to submit such a document.

Why choose the national permanent residence permit in Hungary?

Out of the available permanent residency procedures, the national permanent residence permit is the most straightforward. It requires 3 years of Hungarian residency prior to application, and it will let you live, work or study in Hungary without limitations or extra permissions. It is valid for 5 years (or until your passport expires), after which you can even apply for Hungarian citizenship.

Helpers Hungary has an expert team with 15+ years of experience assisting expats in Hungary with immigration, including residency and work permit application. Should you have any questions, feel free to contact us. Just fill in the form below.

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