• Understanding Residence Permits for Voluntary Activities in Hungary: Validity, Extension, and Procedures

    Hungary offers residence permits for third-country nationals engaged in public interest volunteer work within the country. These permits provide a pathway for individuals who prioritize contributing to societal welfare through various voluntary engagements in Hungary. It's crucial to understand the permits' validity period fully, the conditions guiding their extension, and the procedural guidelines enforced by Hungarian authorities.

    Validity Period: The validity period of residence permits for voluntary activities depends on the voluntary engagement's nature and the contractual agreement between the individual and the host organization. Hungarian authorities cap the maximum validity of these permits at two years to ensure a reasonable timeframe for a volunteer's stay while maintaining regulatory oversight. Simultaneously, every permit issued under this regulation must be valid for at least six months or, where appropriate, maximally one year.

    As with other residence permits, authorities consider the validity of the volunteer's travel document, which must remain valid for at least three months beyond the permit's expiry date. This precautionary measure aims to avoid any complications or disruptions arising due to expired travel documents during a volunteer's stay in Hungary.

    Extension Procedures: Extension of a residence permit for voluntary activities requires compliance with specific criteria and procedural guidelines outlined by the National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing (NDGAP). The extension process is applicable solely within the territory of Hungary, underscoring the importance of compliance and continuity in a volunteer's engagement.

    To be eligible for an extension, the volunteer must fulfill the following conditions:

    1. Valid residence permit: The applicant must possess a valid residence permit at the time of submitting their extension application.
    2. Residence history: The volunteer should have resided in Hungary for at least 90 days within any 180-day period, demonstrating a commitment to their voluntary activities and integration into Hungarian society.

    The extension application must be submitted at least 30 days before the existing residence permit expires, allowing ample time for administrative processing and review by the authorities.

    In terms of documentation, the applicant must ensure the accuracy and completeness of all required attachments, including proof of continued engagement with the host organization, financial stability, health insurance coverage, and means of subsistence. Any deficiencies or additional documentation requested by the NDGAP must be promptly addressed to facilitate a smooth extension process.

    Seek Assistance from JCE Consultancy

    Navigating the complexities of visa applications can be challenging. If you require guidance through the application process, contact JCE Consultancy. Our team can help you understand the immigration procedures and ensure a smooth transition in Hungary.


    The information provided in this article is general information and should not be construed as legal advice. For personalized guidance tailored to your specific circumstances, consult with our immigration experts or legal professionals.

  • Securing Loans and State Support for Real Estate Investment in Hungary

    Do you dream of owning property in Hungary as a foreign citizen? With the right information and support, that dream can become a reality. Navigating the loan and support systems may seem daunting, but armed with the right knowledge, you can confidently take the steps towards owning your dream home in Hungary. This comprehensive guide provides valuable insights into the process, ensuring you're well-prepared to embark on your real estate journey.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    The first step towards securing a loan in Hungary is establishing lawful residence in the country. EU citizens can certify their permanent stay with a registration card, while third-country nationals need a permanent residence permit after three years of continuous stay. These applications are processed through the immigration office, setting the stage for your loan application.

    Hungarian Address Card, Verified Income, and Property Value:

    Once residency is confirmed, obtaining a Hungarian address card is essential. This document verifies your permanent residence address, a prerequisite for all loan applications. Additionally, you'll need to demonstrate verifiable income and, for mortgages, provide details of a property with market value.

    Real Estate Acquisition:

    Third-country nationals must adhere to additional regulations when acquiring real estate in Hungary, including obtaining official permits. While this may seem like a hurdle, these permits are typically a formality, albeit with some processing time required.

    Loan Options:

    Hungarian banks offer a range of lending terms, with some catering exclusively to Hungarian-speaking clients and others extending services to foreign borrowers. Researching and comparing loan products is key to finding the right fit for your needs.

    State Subsidies and CSOK:

    Hungary provides various state subsidies for property plans, particularly targeting families and couples planning to expand. The Hungarian family housing allowance, CSOK, offers non-refundable allowances and favorable interest rates for property purchases. However, eligibility criteria changes in 2024 signal a shift in priorities, favoring rural investment options. While the maximum amount of CSOK will increase, eligibility for certain benefits will be restricted, particularly in urban areas with populations exceeding 5,000. Additionally, the age limit for women applying for the prenatal loan will be reduced to 30 from 40, reflecting the government's intention to encourage earlier family planning and rural investment.

    Expert Guidance:

    Navigating the complexities of Hungarian real estate investment is made easier with expert guidance. JCE Consultancy, in partnership with Selling Budapest, offer comprehensive support throughout the loan, residence permit application and property acquisition process. From loan applications to property selection, their expertise ensures a seamless experience for buyers.

  • Understanding the Differences Between EC Permanent Residence Permit and National Permanent Residence Permit in Hungary

    For individuals navigating the complex landscape of immigration regulations, Hungary offers two key pathways to permanent residency: the EC Permanent Residence Permit (EC PRP) and the National Permanent Residence Permit (N-PRP). While both provide long-term residency rights, each has distinct eligibility criteria, application processes, and rights and obligations attached. In this article, we'll delve into the nuances of these permits to help you understand which might be the best fit for your circumstances.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    EC Permanent Residence Permit (EC PRP):

    • Requires continuous legal residence in Hungary for at least five years (or two years with an EU Blue Card).
    • Applicants must meet general residency conditions, including place of abode, financial stability, and health insurance.
    • Exceptions include individuals under diplomatic or personal immunity, refugees, asylum-seekers, and those in seasonal employment or voluntary service activities.

    National Permanent Residence Permit (N-PRP):

    • Available to third-country nationals who have legally resided in Hungary for at least three years.
    • Applicants must not have entered Hungary with or joined an EEA citizen as a family member.
    • Continuous legal residence and possession of a valid Hungarian residence permit are required.

    Application Process:

    EC Permanent Residence Permit (EC PRP):

    • Application process involves similar steps to the N-PRP, including online submission through the Enter Hungary platform.
    • Stricter requirements for continuous legal residence apply.

    National Permanent Residence Permit (N-PRP):

    • Applied for online through the Enter Hungary platform.
    • Requires a lower threshold of continuous residence compared to the EC PRP.

    Rights and Obligations:

    EC Permanent Residence Permit (EC PRP):

    • Valid for five years, with the possibility of extension.
    • Grants indefinite residence in Hungary and visa-free travel within Schengen Member States.
    • Provides employment rights without the need for additional permits.
    • Withdrawal conditions include prolonged absence from the EU or Hungary, or obtaining long-term resident status in another EU country.

    National Permanent Residence Permit (N-PRP):

    • Issued for 5 years period of time.
    • Entitles holders to indefinite stay in Hungary and free job mobility.
    • Provides eligibility for Hungarian national ID and address card.
    • Withdrawal conditions include significant changes in personal circumstances, prolonged absence from Hungary, or misleading the immigration authority.

    Choosing the Right Permit:

    When deciding between the EC PRP and N-PRP, it's essential to consider your current situation and long-term goals. The EC PRP may be preferable for individuals seeking broader mobility within the EU, while the N-PRP offers a simpler path to permanent residency with fewer stringent requirements.

    Ultimately, both permits provide valuable pathways to secure your status in Hungary and enjoy the benefits of long-term residence. Understanding the differences between them will empower you to make an informed decision that aligns with your aspirations for the future.

  • Third-country National Family Members of EEA Nationals in Hungary

    In the intricate web of immigration laws and regulations, understanding the nuances of family reunification is paramount for those seeking to reside in Hungary as third-country national family members of EEA nationals. Let's delve deeper into the eligibility criteria and definitions surrounding family life in the context of Hungarian immigration.

    Defining Family Life

    Family life, a cornerstone of immigration policy, is considered to exist when the third-country national applicant lives in the same household as a third-country national who has been granted immigrant, permanent resident, or refugee status. This definition underscores the importance of maintaining familial bonds and ensuring the unity of families, even in the realm of immigration.

    Expanded Definition of Family Members

    To provide clarity and inclusivity, the definition of family members extends beyond traditional notions. In addition to spouses of EEA nationals and Hungarian citizens, it encompasses:

    • Direct descendants of EEA nationals and Hungarian citizens under the age of 21 years or dependents.
    • Dependent direct relatives in the ascending line of EEA nationals and Hungarian citizens.
    • Persons who have parental custody of a minor child who is a Hungarian citizen.
    • Any person authorized by the competent immigration authority on grounds of family reunification.
    • Partners with whom EEA nationals or Hungarian citizens have entered into registered partnerships before relevant Hungarian or EU authorities.

    This expansive definition recognizes the diverse familial structures and relationships that exist in modern society, ensuring that no eligible family member is left behind.

    Understanding EEA Nationals

    The term "EEA national" encompasses citizens of Member States of the European Union, excluding Hungarian citizens, as well as citizens of any State that is a party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area. This includes citizens of the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein, highlighting the interconnectedness of European nations and the shared principles of free movement and residency.

    Additional Information

    Third-country family members of EEA nationals have the right to work and be self-employed in Hungary without having to re-apply for a new residence permit. Additionally, Hungarian authorities consider family life to be in existence when a third-country national applicant lives in the same household as a third-country national who has been granted immigrant, permanent resident, or refugee status.

    Seek Assistance from JCE Consultancy

    Navigating the complexities of visa applications can be challenging. If you require guidance through the application process, contact JCE Consultancy. Our team can help you understand the immigration procedures and ensure a smooth transition in Hungary.


    The information provided in this article is general information and should not be construed as legal advice. For personalized guidance tailored to your specific circumstances, consult with our immigration experts or legal professionals.

  • 90/180-day rule explained

    The European Union (EU) has established a visa waiver program and specific rules regarding the duration of stay for non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals. This guide details the visa waiver program, the 90/180-day rule, and special considerations for specific territories.

    Countries Covered by the Visa Waiver

    The visa waiver applies to the territories of the EU Member States, excluding the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is important to distinguish between countries fully applying the Schengen Agreement and those that are not yet fully integrated.

    1. EU Member States within the Schengen Area: These countries have eliminated internal borders, allowing for passport-free travel:

    • Austria
    • Belgium
    • Czech Republic
    • Denmark
    • Estonia
    • Finland
    • France
    • Germany
    • Greece
    • Hungary
    • Italy
    • Latvia
    • Lithuania
    • Luxembourg
    • Malta
    • Netherlands
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • Slovakia
    • Slovenia
    • Spain
    • Sweden

    2. EU Member States not yet fully applying the Schengen acquis: These countries maintain some internal borders and have not fully adopted Schengen rules:

    • Bulgaria
    • Croatia
    • Cyprus
    • Romania

    3. Associated Schengen States: Non-EU countries participating in the Schengen Area through agreements:

    • Iceland
    • Liechtenstein
    • Norway
    • Switzerland

    Special Considerations for French and Dutch Overseas Territories

    The visa waiver does not extend to the overseas territories of France and the Netherlands. Travel to these regions is subject to bilateral agreements or national legislation.

    Duration of Stay Without a Visa: Understanding the 90/180-Day Rule

    Non-EEA nationals can stay in the Schengen Area, including Hungary, for up to 90 days within any 180-day period without a visa. This rule is flexible, allowing multiple entries and exits, but careful calculation is necessary to avoid overstaying.

    Key Points:

    • Entry Date: The first day of stay in the Schengen territory.
    • Exit Date: The last day of stay in the Schengen territory.
    • 180-Day Period: A moving window, checking each day of stay against the previous 180 days.


    1. Continuous Stay: Arriving in Hungary on January 1st and staying for 90 days until March 31st uses up the 90-day quota. Re-entry is possible after 90 more days, starting July 1st.
    2. Multiple Entries: Suppose you stayed in Hungary for ten days between January 1 and January 10, 2021, and then left the Schengen area for five days. You then re-entered Hungary on January 15th and stayed for another ten days, bringing your total stay for the 180-day period to 20 days. If you wish to return to Hungary after this second trip, you can stay for up to 70 days to comply with the maximum duration of stay allowed under the EU visa waiver program. Entering and leaving the Schengen Area multiple times is allowed, but the total stay cannot exceed 90 days in any 180-day period. For instance, after spending 90 days in Hungary and leaving on June 29th, you cannot return until September 28th without a visa.

    Absence and Reset: An uninterrupted absence of 90 days resets the 90-day limit, allowing for a new stay.

    Exemptions: Periods authorized under a residence permit or a long-stay visa are not counted towards the 90-day visa-free stay.

    To assist with calculating remaining days of stay, use the online calculator: Visa Calculator.

    List of Countries Exempted from Visa Requirements according to Hungarian immigration office

    Citizens from these countries can enter the Schengen Area without a visa for short stays:

    • Macedonia (the Former Yugoslav Republic)
    • Andorra
    • United Arab Emirates
    • Antigua and Barbuda
    • Albania
    • Argentina
    • Australia
    • Bosnia and Herzegovina
    • Barbados
    • Brunei
    • Brazil
    • The Bahamas
    • Canada
    • Chile
    • Colombia
    • Costa Rica
    • Dominica
    • Micronesia
    • Grenada
    • Georgia
    • Guatemala
    • Honduras
    • Israel
    • Japan
    • Kiribati
    • Saint Kitts and Nevis
    • South Korea
    • Saint Lucia
    • Monaco
    • Moldova
    • Montenegro
    • Marshall Islands
    • Mauritius
    • Mexico
    • Malaysia
    • Nicaragua
    • Nauru
    • New Zealand
    • Panama
    • Peru
    • Palau
    • Paraguay
    • Serbia
    • Solomon Islands
    • Seychelles
    • Singapore
    • San Marino
    • El Salvador
    • East Timor
    • Tonga
    • Trinidad and Tobago
    • Tuvalu
    • Ukraine
    • United Kingdom (for specific British nationals)
    • United States
    • Uruguay
    • Apostolic Holy See
    • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    • Venezuela
    • Vanuatu
    • Samoa

    Special Administrative Regions

    • Hong Kong - Special Administrative Region
    • Macao - Special Administrative Region

    British Citizens Not Nationals of the UK

    • British Nationals (Overseas)
    • British Overseas Territories Citizens
    • British Overseas Citizens
    • British Protected Persons
    • Members of the British Commonwealth (British Subjects)

    Entities and Territorial Authorities Not Recognized as States by at Least One Member State

    • Taiwan
    • Kosovo

    Hungary-Specific Information

    For non-EEA nationals traveling to Hungary:

    • If you require a visa, your embassy will process your residence permit alongside your visa application.
    • If you do not require a visa, apply for a residence permit online within 90 days of arrival and visit the Immigration Office within 15 days of submitting your documents.

    By understanding these regulations and carefully planning your travel, you can enjoy visa-free visits to the Schengen Area and make the most of your trips to Europe.

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