Case Studies

Residence Permits and Permanent Residence in Hungary: How to Secure Peaceful Retirement in 6 Weeks

Last week, we had a chance to see that it is never too late to apply for permanent residence in Europe, even when you have already retired. In this case, we will take a look at a specific example of how retirees can obtain permanent residence in Hungary.

Permanent residence in a EU country for relocate to the EU

Our protagonists

Anna and Dmitriy, a couple of pre-retirement age living in Ekaterinburg.

Once retired, the couple plans to actively travel and relocate to the EU.

Prior to contacting Immigrant Invest

Anna and Dmitriy have raised two children. Approaching the age of 60, the couple started thinking more and more about how to arrange their retirement years.

Due to the unstable political and economic situation in Russia, Anna and Dmitriy decided to move to Europe. This would have allowed them to travel more and live in a quieter place getting qualified medical services.

The problems popped up almost right away. Anna and Dmitriy considered a few different options. However, in most cases, one had to reside in the same country for more than 183 days in order to obtain a residence permit and that was not part of their plan due to the work issues. Besides, the majority of investor programs offering to obtain citizenship were too expensive for them.

After giving much thought to the matter, Anna and Dmitriy decided to obtain residence permits in Lithuania by investment. It was necessary to extend residence permits each year, though, which was not always convenient.

However, even that did not last long. Dmitriy likes driving fast, and the couple was not able to extend their residence permits in 2013 due to administrative fines for speeding.

Contacting Immigrant Invest

Having failed with Lithuania, Anna and Dmitriy started to search the Internet for other opportunities. Government investor program in Hungary turned out to be a pleasant surprise for both of them. By some lucky coincidence, the program was launched that very same year.

For example, Hungarian permanent residence permits must be extended only once in every five years and in any consulate of the country. Upon obtaining that status, Anna and Dmitriy could have finally been able to permanently reside in any country of the Schengen area.

Unlike their failed attempt to get Lithuanian residence permits, a new option with Hungary seemed a viable alternative to Anna and Dmitriy for three reasons:

  • investment in government bonds could be returned;
  • Anna and Dmitriy would be able to get their money back in 5 years to buy property;
  • it was not necessary to confirm their investment sources.

Another significant benefit Anna and Dmitriy liked was an opportunity to apply for an international insurance. Going forward, they received internal social insurance number and the e-card after obtaining permanent residence in Hungary. After that, their private health insurance has cost them a lot cheaper than ever before.

Being a fan of a high-speed travel, Dmitriy has appreciated the opportunity to apply for insurance and obtain a European driver's license. At the same time, he did not have to pass any exams.

Having evaluated all pros and cons, Anna and Dmitriy contacted our experts, and the work began.

Stage 1: Registration and contracts

Timeframe: 1 week

When Anna and Dmitriy decided to obtain permanent residence in Hungary, they have been preparing themselves for a complex routine work and collecting huge amount of papers, as was the case with Lithuania. It turned out to be a lot easier.

To register as investors, Anna and Dmitriy submitted just two documents: copies of their foreign passports and residential addresses. They also left us their contact information (emails and phone numbers) and came up with code words.

Shortly after, we met in our office and signed two agreements between Anna and Dmitriy, a Hungarian government-licensed company and the independent escrow agent responsible for ensuring execution of the transaction. Usually, we partner up with the international law firm CMS McKenna. However, Anna and Dmitriy could have offered any agent of their choice: a notary, a bank, a lawyer or a law firm.

Next, we have transferred the funds necessary to buy government bonds and pay administrative fees to the deposit accounts of the agent and the licensed company.

Stage 2: Applying for Hungarian residence permits

Timeframe: 1-2 days

At this stage, Anna and Dmitriy felt a big difference between applying for residence permits in Lithuania and Hungary. Firstly, they did not have to fly to Moscow as the consulate of Hungary is located in Ekaterinburg as well. Secondly, they signed the documents in the presence of the Consul which allowed them to feel themselves real investors.

We have prepared apostilled copy of Dmitriy’s passport and the couple’s marriage certificate to be filed to the Office of Immigration and Nationality. We did not need Anna’s passport since Dmitry was the main applicant.

We had coordinated the date of Anna and Dmitriy’s visit in advance and booked their appointment. The couple signed the application and a letter of trust in the presence of the Consul, presented a required set of documents and submitted their biometric data. The whole procedure took about 20 minutes.

Stage 3: Obtaining Hungarian residence permits

Timeframe: slightly longer than 2 weeks

After our meeting, the Consul sent the electronic versions of the documents to the Office of Immigration and Nationality of Hungary. A week later a positive response came. It took another 8 days for the residence permits to be printed and delivered to Ekaterinburg by DHL.

As the main applicant, Dmitriy has been granted his residence permit issued for five years. Anna got her permit issued for three years.

Stage 4: Obtaining permanent residence in Hungary

Timeframe: half a year

Within 45 days upon obtaining residence permits for Anna and Dmitriy, our company has bought them Hungarian government bonds. Next, our clients have been granted a promissory note guaranteeing repayment of funds upon the expiration of the investment period of 5 years.

After that, we filed the papers to obtain permanent residence permits. The procedure itself was very similar to applying for residence permits, requiring only a few additional documents.

Our company prepared all the documents and statements. All Anna and Dmitriy had to do was to sign them in the presence of the Consul. In about 3 months, Anna and Dmitriy received their permanent residence cards, Hungarian identity cards (ID) and address cards.

The ultimate result of our cooperation

Anna and Dmitriy liked Hungary very much. The couple bought a property in Hévíz which was much more affordable than in Russia. Now, not only they can frequent thermal lakes, they can also:

  • travel to any of the countries of the Schengen area visa-free;
  • live in any European country with virtually no time restrictions;
  • receive pension payments and enjoy social benefits and guarantees;
  • obtain loans in European banks.

This success story of emigrating to the EU is far from being unique. Select the program that suits you best of all, and one day we will share the story of your path to life in Europe on our blog.

Read more about the program for obtaining permanent residence and citizenship of Hungary or download the presentation and documents below.

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

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Svetlana Gorchakova
Head of the Sales Department
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