Citizenship
June 5, 2024
Reading Time: 8 min

Hungary dual citizenship requirements for different nationals

Holding citizenship in multiple countries opens up additional opportunities for work, business, and education by granting rights in more than one country.

Hungary permits dual citizenship, especially encouraging those of Hungarian descent to reclaim their nationality.

While Hungary does not offer citizenship directly by investment, it does provide residency through the Golden Visa Program, which can potentially lead to citizenship after a longer period of residency and naturalisation.

Zlata Erlach
Zlata Erlach

Told about Hungarian dual citizenship rules

Hungary dual citizenship for Americans, Australians, Canadians, British and other nations

Hungary dual citizenship requirements for different nationals

Does Hungary allow dual citizenship?

Hungarian law permits holding foreign citizenship in addition to Hungarian citizenship. If a foreigner acquires Hungarian nationality, they do not have to renounce their original one unless the laws of their home country prohibit this.

Hungarians who live abroad often maintain their Hungarian citizenship alongside their new nationality. This policy makes it easier for descendants of Hungarians and those with Hungarian heritage to claim citizenship based on descent while retaining their current nationalities.

Hungary offers the Golden Visa Program, which can eventually lead to citizenship, providing a path to dual citizenship by investment of at least €250,000.

Dual citizens may have obligations to report income or even pay taxes in both countries, depending on their respective laws. The tax liability of foreign nationals in Hungary is limited and applies exclusively to income derived from Hungarian sources, such as earnings from gainful activities performed in Hungary or income that is taxable under an international treaty.

Hungary has tax treaties with many countries to avoid double taxation, but it is important to understand how these treaties apply to one’s specific situation.

Hungarian citizenship can be revoked if it was acquired through fraudulent means, such as false statements or concealing relevant facts during the naturalisation process.

Obtaining dual citizenship in Hungary is common for individuals of Hungarian descent and through marriage, as they are involved in a simplified naturalisation process. Others become EU citizens by naturalisation in 8 years after obtaining permanent residency.

Wealthy foreigners can apply for the Hungary Golden Visa Program and get a residence permit through various investment options. Investors get a right to obtain Hungary citizenship by naturalisation after 11 years of living in the country.

Individual cost calculation of a Hungary Golden Visa

Individual cost calculation of a Hungary Golden Visa

7 benefits of Hungarian dual citizenship

1. Ease of travel. The Hungarian passport is a powerful travel document, allowing visa-free travel for business or pleasure to 171 countries, including the EU states, the UK, Japan, and Singapore. The USA, Canada, and Australia permit Hungarian passport holders to benefit from quick and hassle-free entry through the eTA initiative.

2. Freedom of movement in the EU. As Hungary is a member of the European Union, Hungarian citizens have the right to live, work, and study in any other EU country without the need for a visa or residency permit. This freedom of movement extends to the EEA countries and Switzerland as well.

3. Access to educational opportunities. Hungarian citizens have access to free educational opportunities within the EU. This includes many programs offered in English and other languages. Ranked among the top 200 universities in Europe, the University of Szeged, Semmelweis University, and Eötvös Loránd University are considered the best in Hungary.

4. Employment and business opportunities. With a Hungarian passport, individuals can seek employment across the EU without the need for work permits, opening up a wider job market and facilitating career mobility.

Hungary also offers a conducive environment for profitable business ventures due to its strategic location, skilled workforce, favourable tax regime, and growing economy.

5. Social security benefits. Hungarian citizens are entitled to social security services such as free healthcare and pensions provided by Hungarian law and can often access similar benefits across the EU.

Hungarian citizens covered by a state social security scheme are eligible for a European Health Insurance Card, EHIC. This card gives access to state-provided medical healthcare during a stay in any of the EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, or the UK, under the same conditions and cost.

6. Voting rights. Dual citizens have the right to vote in Hungarian elections, allowing them to participate in the democratic process and influence policies in Hungary, even if they live abroad.

7. Cultural and personal connection. For those with Hungarian heritage, dual citizenship affirms their connection to Hungarian culture, language, and history. It can also facilitate easier access to Hungary for family visits and cultural engagement.

Hungarian dual citizenship

The region around Lake Balaton in Hungary is rich in cultural heritage. Towns like Tihany, with its famous abbey, and Balatonfüred, known for its historic spa culture

Hungary Golden Visa as the first step to Hungarian nationality

The Hungary Golden Visa program will commence on July 1st, 2024, offering a route to a temporary residence permit through investment in the country’s economy. The real estate option will become available starting January 1st, 2025.

A residence permit is issued for 10 years and can be extended once for the same period. Holders can live in Hungary, conduct business, and enjoy all the rights granted to residents.

Investment options. The Golden Visa program offers three investment options:

  1. Purchase of investment fund units in the amount of €250,000+. The certificates must be issued by real estate funds that are registered with the Central Bank of Hungary, Magyar Nemzeti Bank.

  2. Purchase of residential real estate for €500,000+. The property can be rented out for income or sold profitably, as market prices are increasing every year. It is allowed to sell real estate five years after the purchase or renewal of the permit.

  3. Charitable donation of €1,000,000+ to a higher education institution that is a member of the Foundation for Asset Management in the Public Interest.

The investor can include their family in the Golden Visa application: a spouse and children under 18.

The requirements for applicants are as follows:

  • possession of a valid passport;

  • confirmation of investment intentions in a written statement;

  • availability of insurance for the full range of medical services;

  • sufficient funds to live in Hungary;

  • documents proving the investment, such as agreements or certificates of ownership;

  • evidence of financial solvency and origin of funds;

  • the applicant must not be a citizen of the EU or the EEA.

Investors can obtain permanent residency after 3 years of living in the country and are eligible to apply for nationality after 8 years of residing in Hungary with the permanent status.

Initiate the process now: ensure your spot is secured within the program’s limited quota.

Submit your application

Hungarian dual citizenship requirements within simplified naturalisation

In 2010, Hungary amended its nationality law “Hungarians beyond the borders” to allow for the granting of citizenship by descent.

The Hungarian diaspora, which does not live in Hungary, is estimated at 5.2—5.5 million people. All of them are eligible for Hungarian citizenship by descent thanks to Hungary’s citizenship by descent laws, which allow those with ethnic Hungarian ancestors to naturalise, often without speaking Hungarian or spending time in the country.

This legislation was particularly aimed at Hungarians in Serbia, Ukraine, Canada, and North America.

Ethnic Hungarians can apply for citizenship through a simplified naturalisation process that does not require them to reside in Hungary:

  • applicants must demonstrate their Hungarian ancestry and have some knowledge of the Hungarian language;

  • the requirement for language proficiency is generally basic, ensuring that the applicant can engage in simple conversations and understand Hungarian to a reasonable extent;

  • applicants are not required to renounce their current nationality, thus allowing for dual citizenship.

This amendment was part of Hungary’s efforts to strengthen ties with Hungarian communities outside its borders. The change was also seen as a way to bolster the national identity and cultural ties of the Hungarian diaspora with their ancestral homeland.

Dual citizenship in Hungary for people from Australia

Australia allows its citizens to hold dual or triple citizenship, which means Australians can obtain Hungarian citizenship without losing their Australian passport.

Australians with Hungarian roots, such as having Hungarian parents or grandparents, can apply for citizenship by descent. This process typically requires proof of Hungarian heritage and some knowledge of the Hungarian language.

For those without Hungarian heritage, acquiring citizenship by naturalisation generally requires 11 years of living in Hungary. Applicants must demonstrate integration into Hungarian society, including proficiency in the language and knowledge of basic constitutional principles.

Australia and Hungary have a double taxation agreement, which generally prevents both countries from taxing the same income.

Dual citizenship in Hungary for people from the USA

Both Hungary and the US accept dual nationality without restrictions. Dual citizens are required to obey the laws of both countries. For example, dual citizenship holders might be required to pay taxes or report income in both the United States and Hungary, depending on residency status and income source.

Hungary allows individuals from the US with Hungarian heritage to apply for citizenship if they can prove their Hungarian ancestry and have a basic knowledge of the Hungarian language. This is one of the most common ways for US citizens with Hungarian roots to obtain Hungarian citizenship.

For those without Hungarian descent, obtaining citizenship by naturalisation is possible. Typically, it requires:

  • residency in Hungary for a minimum of 11 years;

  • integration into the Hungarian community, including proficiency in the Hungarian language and knowledge of the Hungarian Constitution and basic legal norms.

US citizens are required to file US taxes regardless of where they live. However, various treaties and the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion can mitigate the tax burden.

Dual citizenship Hungary USA

Dual citizens can hold passports from both countries, simplifying travel between the US and Hungary, as well as within the EU

Dual citizenship in Hungary for people from Canada

Canadian citizens can acquire Hungarian citizenship without having to renounce their Canadian citizenship. This is particularly beneficial for those of Hungarian descent, but it also extends to others who meet certain eligibility criteria.

Canadians with Hungarian heritage can apply for citizenship by proving their Hungarian ancestry and demonstrating basic knowledge of the Hungarian language. This process is streamlined for those who can verify their Hungarian roots. In this case, the naturalisation process is simplified, meaning the residency requirement is reduced.

Canadian nationals who do not have Hungarian ancestors seek citizenship under common rules. This means they need to live in Hungary at least for 11 years prior to the application.

Canada and Hungary have a tax treaty to avoid double taxation, but Canadian citizens must still file taxes in Canada if they earn income abroad.

Will you obtain Hungary Golden Visa?

Practical Guide

Will you obtain Hungary Golden Visa?

Dual citizenship for the UK people in Hungary

UK nationals can acquire Hungarian citizenship without having to renounce their British passport.

UK citizens with Hungarian roots can apply for Hungarian citizenship by proving their heritage and some knowledge of the Hungarian language. This option does not require residing in Hungary.

For those without Hungarian heritage, acquiring citizenship by naturalisation involves living in Hungary for a continuous period of 11 years. Applicants must demonstrate integration into Hungarian society through language proficiency and an understanding of basic Constitutional principles.

The UK and Hungary have a double taxation agreement, which helps mitigate the issue of being taxed twice.

How to get dual citizenship in Hungary with a Golden Visa

It will take about 11 years for an investor to obtain citizenship. First, the applicant receives a residence permit by investment; second, after three years of residence in the country, they receive permanent residency, after which they can apply for citizenship.

1

1 day

Preliminary Due Diligence

Immigrant Invest runs a confidential check to reduce the risk of application refusal. A Certified Compliance Anti-Money Laundering Officer verifies the investor’s data against international databases.

2

2 weeks

Collecting documents

Immigrant Invest lawyers provide a document list for residence permit applications and assist in completing government forms.

3

3 months

Obtaining a Guest Investor Visa

The applicant is initially granted a multiple-entry Guest Investor Visa valid for 6 months. The visa allows the investor to enter Hungary to apply for a residence permit.

4

Up to 3 months

Fulfilling the investment conditions

An investment deal should be sealed within 3 months from the date of first entry into Hungary.

5

1 day

Applying for a Hungary Golden Visa

The investor applies for a permit from the local immigration authority in Hungary or through an online process.

6

2 months

Receiving a residence permit card

The investor is required to visit the migration office at a scheduled time, provide their passport, original documents, biometric data, and have a photograph taken for the residence permit card.

The card is sent to the investor’s address within 21 days.

7

In 3 years

Obtaining permanent residency

Investors can apply for permanent residency after 3 years of temporary residence in Hungary. During that period, they are not allowed to leave Hungary for more than 4 consecutive months or stay outside the country for more than 270 days over the 3 years.

Permanent residence status is issued for life with the obligation to renew the card every 5 years.

8

In 8 years

Obtaining Hungary citizenship

The 8-year residency period required for naturalisation in Hungary starts from the date of registering a permanent address in the country. During this period, the applicant must not be absent from Hungary for more than 45 days in any given year.

To obtain citizenship by naturalisation, it is required to pass an exam in the Hungarian language and constitution.

An application for a Hungarian passport is submitted to the Ministry of Internal Affairs regional office or the Unified Customer Service Office in Budapest. The application is then submitted to the Ministry of Internal Affairs for data verification and afterwards reviewed by the President of Hungary.

Key points about Hungarian dual citizenship

  1. Hungarian law permits individuals to hold both Hungarian citizenship and citizenship of another country, facilitating connections with their homeland while enjoying the benefits of residing in Hungary.

  2. The country’s policies are particularly favourable for those with Hungarian heritage, as they can claim citizenship based on descent without relinquishing their current nationality.

  3. Hungary provides a path to dual citizenship through its Golden Visa Program, which involves investment but eventually leads to eligibility for citizenship after a period of naturalisation.

  4. Hungary dual citizenship enhances mobility within the EU, employment opportunities, and access to social services, making Hungary an attractive destination for dual citizens.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for citizenship and residence by investment programs in the EU, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Middle East. Take advantage of our global 15-year expertise — schedule a meeting with our investment programs experts.

Will you obtain Hungary Golden Visa?

Practical Guide

Will you obtain Hungary Golden Visa?

Frequently asked questions

  • Does Hungary allow dual citizenship?

    Yes, Hungary allows dual citizenship. Hungarian law permits individuals to hold both Hungarian citizenship and citizenship of another country without any restrictions. This policy is particularly supportive of those with Hungarian heritage, enabling them to claim citizenship based on descent while maintaining their other nationality.

  • What are the benefits of having a Hungarian passport?

    Holding a Hungarian passport offers several benefits, particularly given its status within the European Union. Here are some key advantages:

    • visa-free travel;

    • freedom of movement in the EU;

    • employment opportunities;

    • educational opportunities;

    • social security benefits;

    • voting rights;

    • cultural and personal connection.

  • Can you have three citizenships?

    Yes, it is possible to have three citizenships, a status often referred to as multiple or triple citizenship. Hungary’s acceptance of multiple passports, including triple citizenship, offers significant flexibility and advantages to its citizens.

  • Who is eligible for Hungarian citizenship?

    Eligibility for Hungarian citizenship typically involves one or more of the following criteria:

    1. Investment. Hungary provides residency through the Golden Visa Program, which can potentially lead to citizenship after a longer period of residency and naturalisation.

    2. Descent. Individuals with Hungarian parents or, in some cases, grandparents may claim Hungarian citizenship. This includes members of the Hungarian diaspora and ethnic Hungarians living outside Hungary’s current borders.

    3. Naturalisation. Non-Hungarians can apply for citizenship after a period of continuous residence in Hungary. Typically, this requires eight years of legal residency.

    4. Simplified naturalisation. This process applies to individuals who can prove their Hungarian ancestry and some knowledge of the Hungarian language. It was introduced mainly to assist ethnic Hungarians in neighbouring countries and does not generally require the applicant to reside in Hungary.

    5. Marriage. After being married to a Hungarian citizen and residing in Hungary for five years, a foreigner is eligible to apply for citizenship.

  • How strong is the Hungarian passport?

    The Hungarian passport is quite strong in terms of the travel freedom it offers. Holders of a Hungarian passport can travel to a significant number of countries without needing a prior visa.

    As of the latest rankings, Hungarian passport holders can access over 170 countries either visa-free or with a visa on arrival. The ability to travel easily to countries such as the UK, Canada, and most nations in the EU adds to its strength.

  • Can I lose my Hungarian citizenship?

    Yes, it is possible to lose Hungarian citizenship, though it generally occurs under specific circumstances:

    1. You can voluntarily renounce your Hungarian citizenship, usually in cases where another country does not permit dual citizenship and requires renouncing previous nationalities as a condition for naturalisation.

    2. Hungarian citizenship can be revoked if it was acquired through fraudulent means, such as false statements or concealing relevant facts during the naturalisation process.

    3. Engaging in certain activities, like serving in a foreign military or accepting a government position in another country without the permission of the Hungarian government, could potentially lead to the loss of citizenship.

  • Does the US allow dual citizenship with Hungary?

    Both Hungary and the US accept dual nationality without restrictions. Dual citizens are required to obey the laws of both countries. For example, dual citizenship holders might be required to pay taxes or report income in both the United States and Hungary, depending on their residency status and income source.

  • Can you have dual EU and UK citizenship?

    UK nationals can acquire Hungarian citizenship without having to renounce their British passport.