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Permanent Residence in Hungary: an Optimal Solution for Civil Servants

Can a civil servant obtain a residence permit in a European country considering the law bars him from being a resident of another state? The story of one of our clients proves once again that it is always possible to find a positive solution, provided that you are aware of all the best options.

Permanent residence in a EU country for a former civil servant

Permanent Residence in Hungary: an Optimal Solution for Civil Servants

Our protagonists

Alexey, the deputy at the local council in Moscow.

Together with his wife, he raises Maria and Mikhail, their two children aged 7 and 20. His wife Tatiana also has a child from her first marriage.

Prior to contacting Immigrant Invest

Inconvenience with visas

Since civil servants cannot be citizens or residents of another country, Alexey could only apply for the Schengen visas to travel to Europe.

Every time Tatiana and Alexey get a chance, they spend their vacations in one of the European countries. However, extension of visas often coincides with the period when the couple is most busy and they simply do not have time to undergo this procedure.

Besides, Alexey has more flexibility in planning his vacations and leisure time, while the peculiarity of Tatiana’s business makes it hard for her to accurately plan her trips in advance. One day, they found out that their visas were about to expire… in 3 days prior to the planned trip. It came as a nasty shock!

The couple started thinking of a way that would allow them to travel Europe visa-free and whenever it was most convenient for them.

The main problem

The family could have tolerated the previous problem somehow, but Alexey made his dream come true and bought a yacht for his trips across the Mediterranean. However, he was bitterly disappointed when he found out he could not register his yacht in the port of registry as to do so he would need to hold a residence permit in one of the EU countries.

Additional problem was that Mikhail, a 20-year-old son, wished to continue his studies at university in Europe. In particular, the family was planning that Mikhail would apply for the studies in the Vienna State University.

Contacting Immigrant Invest

Alexey asked his lawyers to prepare him information on possible solutions to his problems. In turn, the lawyers consulted Immigrant Invest and received inclusive advice from our experts. It turned out that the most optimal solution for Alexey was permanent residence by investment in Hungary.

According to the requirements of the program, investors may obtain residence permits in Hungary upon purchasing government bonds in the amount of EUR 300,000. At the same time, the only reason their applications can be possibly denied is obvious legal issues like convictions. In all other cases, the state guarantees the residence status. A full refund of invested funds is guaranteed in 5 years.

  • The program allows you to obtain residence permits in Hungary within just 3 weeks. Permanent residence permits can be obtained within 6 months

  • Investors are not obliged to reside in the country for 186 days a year. Additionally, there are no restrictions towards the period the applicants must stay on the territory of the EU

  • The couple will be able to travel the Schengen countries visa-free and plan their trips when it’s most convenient for them

  • Both residence permits and permanent residence permits entitle their holders to register private small boats on the territory of the EU member states

  • The government guarantees a 100% return on investment in Hungarian economy in 5 years. Therefore, the family will only have to spend on the application

  • In order to participate in the investor program, applicants must meet the minimum requirements and are not asked to confirm their investment sources

  • Holders of residence permits are able to apply for Hungarian citizenship in 8 years and become citizens of the European Union

What happened next?

It was decided that Tatiana would apply as the investor. The couple planned that she would obtain permanent residence in Hungary while Alexey would hold a residence permit. This means Tatiana will have to extend her residence permit every 5 years. In turn, Alexey will need to extend his permit every 3 years. For him, it is a perfect option: he will have to extend his residence permit only once in 6 years and by the end of this period his deputy office will expire.

The eldest son’s application created some difficulties. Mikhail could not participate in the program since he was an adult. However, our team solved this problem too. Once Tatiana receives her permanent residence in Hungary, our experts will help Mikhail apply for his residence permit in the country on the grounds of family reunification.

Stage 1: Registration — contracts — payment

Timeframe: 1 week

Contrary to the family’s expectations (who believed that the procedure was going to be long and complicated), we minimized their participation in the application process and only asked them for two documents:

  • copies of foreign passports of all family members

  • copies of residential addresses specified in their internal passports

Also, the family provided us with their phone numbers and e-mails as well as mother’s maiden surname and name for all family members.

Using these documents, our specialists registered Tatiana as the investor while Alexey and a 7-year-old daughter Maria were registered as investor’s family members.

Upon doing so, we signed 2 contracts in our office. The first contract regulated provision of services, the other was a tripartite contract with the escrow agent.

In order to buy government bonds, the entire amount of the investment and administrative fees was transferred to the escrow agent’s deposit account.

Stage 2: Applying for residence permits and visiting the Embassy

Timeframe: 2 days

Together with her family, Tatiana visited the Hungarian consulate in Moscow. We carefully planned the visit and coordinated the time convenient for both the Consul and the family members. The meeting took a little longer than 20 minutes.

Tatiana provided the Consul with a set of documents we have prepared for her in advance.

Visa processing fee (EUR 60) and the fee for confirming the authenticity of signatures (EUR 60 for both spouses) were paid during the meeting too.

Stage 3: Obtaining residence permits

Timeframe: about 3 weeks

The Consul is responsible for filing the documents to the Office of Immigration and Nationality of Hungary. The papers are filed electronically which minimizes the time spent on this procedure.

The Office of Immigration and Nationality reviews the application and makes a decision. In Tatiana’s case, it took 8 days. After that, the consulate in Moscow received a positive response and we notified the spouses immediately.

It took another 12 days for the residence permits to be printed and delivered to Moscow. In less than 3 weeks, we provided Alexey and Tatiana with their desired access cards to Europe during our meeting in Immigrant Invest office.

Stage 4: Return on investment and obtaining permanent residence

Timeframe: 6 months

Within 45 days upon obtaining residence permits, Hungarian government bonds were bought. The procedure was similar to the one with the residence permit so we will not describe it in detail here. The only difference was that the list of required documents was slightly longer:

  • apostilled certificate of holding no criminal record and issued no later than 6 months before applying (for Tatiana)

  • apostilled copy of the certificate of birth of Tatiana (this rule applies to the candidates above 14 years of age);

  • a brief summary (for applicants above 14 years of age) in English and following the established format (we provided the sample).

During all that time, Tatiana did not spend a minute on sorting out the papers. All she had to do was to sign the documents in the presence of the Consul and pay fees for visa processing and certifying signatures.

The documents have been reviewed at the Office of Immigration and Nationality of Hungary for 3 months. A positive decision was made on the case. After that, Tatiana received her permanent residence card, Hungarian identity card (ID) and address card during our meeting at Immigrant Invest office.

The ultimate result of our cooperation

After obtaining permanent residence for Tatiana, our employees started the application process for her eldest son Mikhail on the grounds of family reunification. The procedure was similar to the one described above, with the only difference being that Mikhail would be able to apply for permanent residence in 3 years (since he is not the investor and is not included in the program).

As we already know, Alexey refused to obtain permanent residence in 6 months due to the problems he would have faced in connection with his public service otherwise. However, was it not for his job, he would have been able to obtain that status as a member of Tatiana’s family.

As a result, we have found the optimal solution that is going to satisfy all family members:

  • Alexey registered his yacht in one of the Greek ports

  • he opened a bank account in Europe where he’s going to keep his savings

  • the family travels to the Schengen countries visa-free while retaining their main place of residence in Moscow

  • the couple bought an apartment in Sopron for the eldest son Mikhail. As was planned, he started his studies at the Vienna State University

  • the family is thinking of obtaining permanent residence for all family members in 6 years and applying for Hungarian citizenship in the following 2 years. That done, they can relocate to one of the EU countries

We solved the problems associated with obtaining official status in Europe with the maximum benefit for Alexey’s family.

We will keep publishing original stories of our clients on our blog. Make sure to sign up for the updates as we can help you choose the optimal solution.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for government programs in the European Union and the Caribbean.

This case was provided by our expert

Zlata Erlach

Head of the Austrian office

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