Second Citizenship
April 8, 2024
Reading Time: 6 min

Hungary Golden Visa: how to obtain a residence permit by investment

In 2024, Hungary will relaunch its Golden Visa program. Under the new terms, several options will become available to potential investors, including participating in a local real estate fund, real estate purchase, or a charitable donation.

The minimum investment for a 10-year residence permit is €250,000.

Here is everything we know about the new program so far.

Zlata Erlach
Zlata Erlach

Explained what we need to know about the new program terms

Hungary Golden Visa: how to obtain in January 2024

Hungary Golden Visa: how to obtain a residence permit by investment

New conditions for a relaunched Hungary Golden Visa program

The new-look Hungary Golden Visa program will be launched in 2024, as ruled by the Hungarian National Assembly. Investors from non-EU and non-EEA countries will be able to obtain a 10-year residence permit.

According to the parliament’s official website, there will be three options to participate in the program:

  • investing €250,000 in a local real estate investment fund;

  • purchasing real estate for €500,000;

  • donating €1,000,000 to a public trust that supports universities and colleges in Hungary.

The investor will first receive a two-year Guest Investor Visa that will allow them to spend 90 out of 180 days in the country.

Within 93 calendar days after entering Hungary with a Guest Investor Visa, the applicant will have to fulfil the investment condition. These two parts make the path to a 10-year residence permit clear.

Before the changes, applying for the Hungary residency by investment was possible after purchasing real estate worth €155,000. Since December 20th, 2023, it has no longer been a viable option.

Hungary is not the only European country that offers investors a chance to obtain residency. Similar programs with the real estate option are available in countries like Spain, Cyprus, and Greece.

Comparing Hungary Golden Visa with other European programs

Program terms

Hungary Golden Visa

Status

Residence permit

Residence permit

Permanent residence

Residence permit

Minimum investment

€250,000

€500,000

€300,000

€250,000

Eligible properties

Residential

Residential or commercial

Residential or commercial

Residential or commercial

Time required

Several months

5+ months

3+ months

6 months

Validity

10 years

3 years, then 5 years

Unlimited

5 years

Stay requirement

No

No

A visit every two years

No

9 advantages of the Hungary residency by investment program

1. Travel freedom. Hungarian residents can spend up to 90 days within 180 in any other Schengen Area state.

2. Opportunity to live, work and study in the European Union. Obtaining a residence permit in Hungary will allow applicants to stay in the country for an indefinite amount of time. Holders of Hungary residence permits can get a job or start a business in the country, while their children can attend schools or enrol in local universities without an additional student visa.

3. No minimum stay requirement. As currently understood, the terms of the program do not stipulate that the investor spends any time in Hungary after obtaining the 10-year residence permit. It probably will not impact their chances of renewing the permit for the same period.

4. Fast application process. The application process could take up to 2 months before the investors receive their residence permit cards.

5. No capital risk. The investment condition can be fulfilled after the applicant receives the Guest Investor Visa.

6. Residency for the whole family. The investor’s spouse, children, and parents can be included in the application if they depend financially on the main applicant.

7. No language tests. Applicants will not be required to confirm even basic knowledge of the Hungarian language.

8. Open to all nationalities. Hungary welcomes citizens of all countries except EU and EEA nationals to participate in the program.

9. Path towards citizenship. Foreigners can obtain permanent residency in Hungary after three years of legally residing in the country. Eight years of living in Hungary with a permanent residence permit and a registered address leads to becoming eligible for Hungary citizenship by naturalisation.

However, it’s yet to be determined whether naturalisation rules will apply to Golden Visa holders and whether they will be able to obtain citizenship.

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Requirements for Hungary Guest Investor Visa applicants

To make the first step towards becoming a Hungary resident and obtain the Guest Investor Visa, the applicant must:

  • have a valid passport, the documents for a return trip or a transit, and financial means to cover the costs of food, accommodation and travel during the entire period of stay;

  • justify the purpose of the entry and stay in Hungary;

  • be insured for the full range of medical services or able to cover the costs of medical care;

  • not be subject to expulsion or prohibition of entry and residence, or not threaten state policy, public safety, national security or health interests of Hungary;

  • also not be subject to a Schengen Information System alert.

The Guest Investor Visa is issued to foreigners whose entry is in the national economic interest due to their investment in Hungary.

Individual cost calculation of a Hungary Golden Visa

Individual cost calculation of a Hungary Golden Visa

Hungary Golden Visa expenses

According to the new terms, there will be three investment options for foreigners who want to become Hungary residents:

  • €250,000 as a contribution to a local real estate investment fund;

  • €500,000 as a real estate purchase;

  • €1,000,000 as a charitable donation to support universities and colleges in Hungary.

More information on additional expenses will be revealed after the Hungary Golden Visa formally launches again.

Obtaining a Hungary residency by investment: a step-by-step process

The new program is yet to come into effect, and there is currently no precise data on the details of the process.

The following guide will be updated as soon as new information becomes available.

1

1 day

Preliminary Due Diligence

Before signing an agreement with a client, Immigrant Invest conducts a Preliminary Due Diligence check to establish if the potential applicant qualifies for the programme of their choice.

The procedure is mandatory, confidential and time-efficient. It only takes one day and reduces the chance of the application being rejected to 1 per cent. If any issues arise, Immigrant Invest lawyers help the client find an alternative solution, which may include picking another investment option.

2

2 to 4 weeks

Preparing documents and applying for the Guest Investor Visa

Immigrant Invest Lawyers provide the client with a list of necessary documents. They help to translate and notarise the required documents and fill in government forms. After that, the application for a Guest Investor Visa can be submitted.

3

About 2 months

Guest Investor Visa approval

If the application is approved, the investor will receive the document that will allow them to spend 90 days out of 180 in Hungary.

4

Up to 3 months

Fulfilment of investment condition

Within 93 calendar days from the date of their first entry to the country with a Guest Visa, the applicant is required to fulfil the investment condition. After that, they become eligible to apply for a residence permit.

5

2—3 days

Resident permit approval

Immigrant Invest lawyers help to prepare documents and apply for a Hungary residence permit. The application processing takes a couple of days.

After approval, the investor can book an appointment to submit biometrics.

6

Up to 3 weeks

Submitting biometrics and getting a residence permit

On the appointed day, the investor and family members visit the migration service to submit fingerprints and take photos for residence permit cards. The cards are sent to the applicant’s address in Hungary within 21 days.

Residence permits will be valid for 10 years and are subject to one renewal for another 10 years.

Other ways to obtain residency in Hungary

Financially independent people can obtain residence if they prove a stable income of at least €10,000 from sources outside Hungary, including employment in a foreign company, pensions, dividends, or rent. The visa is issued for 2 to 5 years.

Entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals can receive a residence permit for a maximum term of 3 years, which can be extended by the same period. For digital nomads, the residence permit is issued for one year. They must be able to prove a monthly income of €2,000.

International students enrolled in a Hungarian school or university can receive a visa valid for one year if they prove basic knowledge of the Hungarian language and pay tuition fees.

5 benefits of moving to Hungary

1. Location. Hungary is situated in the middle of Europe, making it very easy and convenient for locals to travel around the continent. In addition, the country is also an attractive tourist destination thanks to its unofficial status as the spa capital of Europe.

2. Access to healthcare and education systems. Children of Hungary Golden Visa investors can study in public and private schools in the country. The whole family can receive medical treatment in the country. In 2022, Hungary was ranked 29th in the World Index of Healthcare Innovation.

3. Affordable living. The cost of living in Hungary is estimated to be two times lower than in Denmark or Norway and almost 40% lower than in Malta and Italy, other countries with residency programs for foreign investors.

4. Safety. According to the Global Peace Index, Hungary ranks among the 20 safest countries in the world. For context, Norway, Sweden, Spain and Italy are among many countries below Hungary in these rankings.

5. Beautiful nature and rich cultural heritage. The country boasts a range of picturesque landscapes, from Budapest’s urban beauty to the countryside’s tranquillity, including Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Central Europe, and numerous national parks.

Hungarian cultural heritage uniquely blends Eastern and Western influences, showcasing diverse architecture, vibrant folk traditions like the "csárdás" dance, the distinct Hungarian language, famous thermal baths, and cuisine with abundant paprika-flavoured dishes.

Hungary Golden Visa for moving to Europe: Tokaj Wine Region

Tokaj Wine Region in northeastern Hungary is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with active vineyards and wine cellars

Cost of living in Hungary

Hungary is one of the cheapest European Union countries to live in. According to Numbeo, an average family of four spends €2,264 per month without rent.

Hungary is relatively affordable compared to other European states, making it a desirable option for families who want to settle down in a safe haven. The average expenses for a family of four in Hungary are the following:

  • a rent fee for a three-bedroom apartment per month — €732;

  • utilities per month — €133;

  • home Internet per month — €15;

  • groceries per month — €650;

  • a monthly ticket for local transport — €25;

  • gas, 1 litre — €1.5;

  • kindergarten per month — €318;

  • international primary school per month — €664.

Taxes for Hungarian residents

There is no minimum stay requirement for the Hungary Golden Visa as currently understood, which means there are also no requirements for the investors to become tax residents in the country.

To become a Hungarian tax resident, one must spend at least 183 days a year in the country. Residents pay taxes on all of their worldwide income; non-residents are only taxed on the income they receive in Hungary.

Tax rates for individuals are the following in Hungary:

  • an income tax — 15%;

  • a capital gains tax — 15%;

  • a withholding tax on dividends, interest and royalties — 15%;

  • social security contributions — 18,5%;

  • inheritance and gift taxes — 18% is the standard rate, 9% is for residential properties;

  • VAT — 27% is the standard rate, 18% and 5% are charged on some goods and services.

Key things to know about the Hungary investment residence permit

  1. The Hungary Golden Visa program is relaunched in 2024. Investors will be able to obtain 10-year resident permits but will not be required to spend any period in the country.

  2. The applicants will first receive a Guest Investor Visa that will allow them to spend 90 days out of 180 in Hungary. Only after that, they will need to fulfil the investment condition.

  3. The minimum investment to participate in the program is €250,000 into a local real estate investment fund.

  4. Other investment options are purchasing real estate for €500,000 and donating €1,000,000 to a public trust that supports Hungarian universities and colleges.

  5. The Hungary Golden Visa is valid for 10 years, subject to one extending for another 10 years.

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 have a Golden Visa?

    The Hungary Golden Visa program will be relaunched in 2024. Foreigners will be able to obtain 10-year residence permits, which can be extended for the same period.

  • Can I get a Hungary residence by investment if I buy a house?

    Purchasing real estate worth at least €500,000 is one of the options that makes the investor eligible for the residence permit.

  • How do I get a Hungarian residency permit?

    Applicants first receive a Guest Investor Visa that would allow them to spend 90 days out of 180 in Hungary. After fulfilling the investment condition within three months of the first entry, they become eligible for a 10-year residence permit.

  • How much is a residence permit in Hungary?

    The minimum investment to be eligible for the Golden Visa is €250,000 for contributing to a local real estate fund. Other options are purchasing real estate for €500,000 and making a charitable donation of €1,000,000.

  • How long does it take to get a Hungary residence permit by investment?

    It can take about two months for the applicant to gain entry to Hungary with a Guest Investor Visa and a few more months after fulfilling the investment requirement to receive the residence permit cards.