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April 8, 2024
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How to apply for a Hungary Schengen Visa

Over 2.6 million foreign tourists visited Hungary during the summer of 2023. The country’s tourism sector has surpassed its pre-pandemic records and is ready to welcome more visitors.

Most foreign nationals must obtain a Schengen visa to stay in Hungary for up to 90 days. In this article, find out who needs to acquire this visa, where and how you can apply, and what documents to prepare.

Zlata Erlach
Zlata Erlach

Explained how to get a Schengen visa to Hungary

Hungary Schengen visa: application, process, requirements

How to apply for a Hungary Schengen Visa

What is a Schengen visa?

A Schengen visa is a temporary stay visa that allows non-European nationals to travel to any member state of the Schengen Area. It is a group of 27 European countries with no border controls.

Hungary is one of the Schengen states, so a valid Schengen visa allows you to enter it freely and travel to other member states. A Hungary residence permit gives an opportunity to stay in Schengen countries for 90 days in 180 without a visa.

The Schengen Agreement includes most European Union (EU) countries except Ireland and Cyprus. Although Switzerland, Iceland, and Norway are not in the EU, they are part of the Schengen Area. Great Britain is not a member of the Schengen Area or the EU.

Depending on its type, a Schengen visa can be valid for up to 5 years.

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Types of Hungary Schengen visa

Type A or Airport Transit visa allows travelling through Hungary to a non-Schengen country. Its holder can stop and wait in the international transit area of a Schengen airport for their flight to the destination. A transit visa is valid for 24 hours and allows single entry.

Type B or Transit visa used to be the visa that allowed its holder to travel through more than one Schengen country on their way to the destination outside the Schengen Area. Type B visa has been abolished and replaced by type C visa with the "transit" condition.

Type C or short-term visa allows foreigners to reside in Hungary for up to 90 days over a 6-month period. This applies if you travel:

  • as a tourist;

  • to visit family or friends who are residents of Hungary;

  • to attend business meetings and cultural, religious, or sports events;

  • for medical treatment;

  • for short-term studies or training.

Depending on the visiting reasons, the short-term visa can allow entering Hungary once, twice, or multiple times within the given period.

Single-entry visas are typically issued only for the days of the trip. Multiple-entry visas can be valid for up to 5 years. However, even with a 5-year type C visa, its holder cannot spend in Hungary or other Schengen states more than 90 days within half a year.

Type D or long-term visa is required if you stay in Hungary for more than 90 days to work, study, or for business travel within a year. Foreigners who reside in Hungary for a sole purpose can be granted a single entry national visa. After fulfilling the purpose, they must leave the country.

A multi-entry national visa allows its holder to travel in and out of Hungary and throughout the whole Schengen Area without additional visa requirements. A multi-entry national visa can be granted for:

  • international students;

  • teachers at a higher institution or research centre;

  • professionals travelling to their expertise;

  • people in emergencies who cannot leave the Schengen Area at the designated time frame because of a medical condition.

Who needs a Schengen visa to enter Hungary

A visa is required for non-European nationals from countries that are not part of the Schengen Area. Travellers from certain countries outside the EU and EEA need to apply for an Airport Transit Schengen visa.

Citizens of countries with a visa-liberalisation agreement with the Schengen member states do not need a visa to enter Hungary and can stay up to 90 days. The United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, and Japan are among such countries.

Other Schengen country’s nationals can enter Hungary freely if their visit is at most 90 days within six months.

Where to apply for a Schengen visa to Hungary

Visa applications must be submitted at the representation of the country which is your main visit destination. It is defined by the purpose of entry or the length of stay if you plan to visit more Schengen countries with the same purpose.

If Hungary is your main travel destination, you need to submit the documents to one of its representative bodies in your residing country:

  • the embassy of Hungary;

  • a Hungarian consulate;

  • a visa application centre that Hungary has outsourced visa submission to.

You should file your application for a Schengen visa not earlier than 6 months and not later than 15 calendar days before your planned trip to Hungary. Applying at least 2 months before the departure is recommended so that you have enough time if the consulate needs more time to process your application.

Note that you can apply for a short-stay visa to Hungary only from a country you are a citizen of or where you have a residence permit. You cannot apply from a country where you are on a visa.

How much does it cost to get a Schengen visa to Hungary?

The visa fee is non-refundable and is mainly determined by the applicant’s age. Some applicants can pay the reduced fee depending on their nationality and entry purpose.

Hungary Schengen visa fees depend on the applicant’s age and nationality:

  • €80 — for adults;

  • €40 — for children aged 6—12;

  • €0 — for children under 6;

  • €35 — for nationals of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Kosovo;

  • €120 — for citizens of Gambia.

Certain categories of applicants may be exempt from paying the visa fees. For example, researchers, students and accompanying teachers on a school trip, seminars, conferences, cultural, educational, or sports events participants, and family members of an EU or EEA national.

Additional expenses may include €6—18 for Schengen visa photos and €22 per week of your trip for medical insurance.

You can appeal if your Schengen visa has been refused, annulled, or revoked. The fee for the appeal procedure is €160.

Required documents to apply for a Schengen visa to Hungary

When applying for a Schengen visa to Hungary, you must submit certain documents. The list below is a general guideline that does not consider individual circumstances. The Hungarian embassy may require additional documents.

Standard documents. Applicants generally need to provide:

  • a Hungary visa application form, duly completed and signed;

  • one passport-size photo not older than 6 months;

  • a passport, valid for at least 3 months after the visa expiry date;

  • proof of sufficient funds to cover the stay, like a bank statement from the last 6 months or a sponsorship letter;

  • proof of visa fee payment;

  • a travel itinerary, including round-trip flight ticket reservations;

  • a travel insurance policy with a minimum coverage of €30,000;

  • hotel booking or other proof of accommodation;

  • a cover letter;

  • copies of your previous Schengen visas or any other visas, if applicable.

Documents for minors. If you travel with children under 18, you must also obtain a Schengen visa for them. As a parent or a legal guardian, be ready to accompany your under-age children to the consulate and collect extra documents:

  • a birth certificate;

  • passport copies of both parents;

  • a visa application form signed by both parents;

  • a court order if only one parent has full custody of the child;

  • both parents' notarized consent for the child’s departure if they travel alone or with another accompanying person;

  • an original and a copy of the said person’s passport.

Note that minor children must be accompanied by parents or guardians while applying at the Hungarian embassy or consulate in their country of residence.

Documents for spouses of Hungarian citizens. In this case, the following supporting documents are required to come to Hungary for a short-term visit:

  • your spouse’s passport or ID;

  • a marriage certificate;

  • a Hungarian family record book.

Additional documents. Depending on your employment status, you may also need to provide the documents from the table below.

All documents must be submitted in original, preferably in English. Translated documents need to be legalised or certified with an apostille stamp.

Additional documents based on the applicant's employment status

Employees

Employment contract

Bank statement for the last 6 months

Leave permission from your employer

Income tax return

Self-employed

A copy of your business licence

Company bank statement for the last 6 months

Income tax return

Students

Proof of enrolment

No objection letter from the school or university

Retirees

Pension statement for the last 6 months

Specific requirements based on the purpose of travel

Depending on the purpose of your visit to Hungary, you may need to submit the supporting documents from the list below:

  1. Tourist visit — the travel agency certificate or the prepaid reservation of accommodation.

  2. Business — an invitation letter from a Hungarian company and proof of business relations.

  3. Study — the certificate of the receiving institution and proof of accommodation in Hungary.

  4. Visiting friends or family — an invitation letter and your host’s passport copy.

  5. Medical treatment — the certificate of the receiving health institution and the expected place of accommodation in Hungary.

  6. Cultural or religious activities — agency contract with the Hungarian service provider and an invitation letter from the host organisation.

  7. Sport — proof of participation in a sports event or contract with a Hungarian sports club.

  8. Conference — invitation letter issued by the host organisation, confirmation of participation, receipt of the paid registration fee.

How to get a Hungary Schengen visa: step-by-step procedure

The entire process of obtaining a Hungary Schengen visa can take around a month. Applicants may need up to 2 weeks to collect the required documents. The authorities also take up to 15 days to process the visa application.

You can undergo the process independently without turning to visa centres or specific experts.

1

Collect the necessary documents

Following the lists above, prepare all required documents to your visa category and nationality.

2

Complete the visa application form

Find the application form on your country’s Hungarian consulate or embassy website. Fill it out accurately, as any errors may result in delays or rejection of your application.

3

Book an appointment

Contact your local Hungarian embassy and schedule a meeting. It must take place not earlier than 6 months and not later than 15 days before the planned departure.

4

Pay the visa fees

The Schengen visa fee is €80 for adults and children over 12. Children aged 6—12 are charged €40 for the application procedure. Visas for children under 6 are free of charge.

5

Submit the documents

Bring the prepared documents to the appointment. Be ready to answer questions about the details of your trip, fiscal standing, and connections with your homeland.

6

Wait for processing

The decision for a Schengen visa is typically made within 15 days. In individual cases or during peak seasons, the time can extend to 30 days if additional document verification is needed. In more complex cases, it can increase to up to 45 days.

7

Collect your passport with a visa

If your application is approved, the visa sticker will be affixed to one of the passport pages. Check the accuracy of information such as name, surname, validity dates, and visit purpose.

How to extend a Schengen visa to Hungary

If your visa is about to expire, you need to leave Hungary and the Schengen Area. Overstaying your visa, even for a day, may result in penalties such as fines, deportation, or a restriction on visiting the Schengen Area in the future.

Foreigners can only extend a short-term Schengen visa in Hungary with exceptional circumstances. Acceptable reasons to extend a short-stay visa can be the following:

  • late entry, only in case you have a single-entry short-stay visa;

  • humanitarian reasons, such as receiving medical help, attending a funeral after the sudden death of a family member, or supporting a close person going through a hardship;

  • force majeure, such as a conflict or war, violent protests, extreme weather, or no flight connections;

  • important personal reasons, for example, some unfinished business.

A long-term Schengen visa can be extended. To do so, you should contact the Hungarian Immigration Office. The local authorities will clarify whether you can extend your visa and can provide you with the process details and requirements.

How to travel to Hungary without a visa

To stay in Hungary without time limits, foreigners can get a residence permit in the country. Hungarian residents are eligible for visa-free travel within the Schengen Area. They can also live, work, and study in Europe without additional permits.

Hungary will relaunch the Golden Visa program in 2024. It allows non-EU and non-EEA nationals to obtain a Hungary residence permit by investing in the country’s economy. Investors can move to Hungary with their spouses and children.

The Hungary Golden Visa Program offers three investment options to choose from:

  1. Invest from €250,000 in a property fund that is registered with the Hungarian National Bank.

  2. Purchase residential real estate for €500,000 or more.

  3. Donate at least €1,000,000 to a public trust foundation that supports the educational, scientific, or creative activities of a higher learning institution.

To complete the investment, applicants first obtain a Guest Investor Visa for 2 years. It allows them to enter Hungary multiple times for up to 90 days within a 6-month period. The investment requirement must be fulfilled within 93 calendar days from the date of the first entry.

The Hungary residence permit by investment is valid for 10 years. The status can be extended once for the same period.

Will you obtain Hungary Golden Visa?

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Will you obtain Hungary Golden Visa?

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is Hungary included in the Schengen Area?

  • Do I need a visa to visit Hungary?

    A visa is obligatory for nationals of third countries without a visa liberalisation agreement with the Schengen states. Citizens of the EU, EEA, Switzerland, or countries with a visa-free agreement can visit Hungary for up to 90 days without a visa.

  • Do you need a visa to go to Hungary from the US?

    No, you don’t. American citizens can travel to Hungary without a visa if their stay does not exceed 90 days.

  • Is a Hungarian visa easy to get?

    The Hungarian visa approval rate in 2023 is approximately 87,4%. It means most applications are accepted, and the visa is relatively easy to obtain.

  • How to apply for a Schengen visa for Hungary?

    Collect the necessary documents according to the requirements. Fill out the application form, schedule an appointment at the Hungarian embassy, and pay the visa fees. If your application is approved, you will obtain a Schengen visa to Hungary.

  • How long does it take to get a Schengen visa in Hungary?

    Application processing usually takes up to 15 days. In some cases, the time can extend up to 45 calendar days.

  • How long is the Hungary Schengen visa valid?

    A short-stay Schengen visa to Hungary is typically valid for up to 90 days within 180 days. A national visa allows one to stay in Hungary for over 90 days within 1 year.

  • Can I apply for a Hungary visa online?

    Hungarian embassies and consulates typically offer to download or fill out a visa application online for printing later. However, it is impossible to undergo the whole process online without visiting the local embassy.

    In November 2023, the European Council announced working on an EU visa platform which will allow foreigners to apply for a visa online. The date for its implementation has yet to be decided.

  • Can I extend my Schengen visa while in Hungary?

    To extend a Schengen visa, you must first leave Hungary and the Schengen Area. Extending the visa while in Hungary is possible only in exceptional cases like force majeure, humanitarian or serious personal reasons.

  • Can my Hungarian Schengen visa be revoked?

    Yes, a Schengen visa can be revoked if you violate visa requirements. For example, change your travel plans, visit a country you are not allowed to visit, or a member state considers you a danger to the public order.

  • Can I visit Hungary without a Schengen visa?

    Yes, if you hold a residence permit or passport of Hungary or another Schengen state. In this case, you can travel visa-free within the whole Schengen Area and stay there for up to 90 days in a 6-month period.