Semyon and his family were granted permanent residence in Hungary in 2016. Five years later, in 2021, Semyon again applied to Immigrant Invest to renew their permanent residence cards. He told us how much time the family spends abroad, whether they are going to apply for a second citizenship and the opportunities that have materialized for his children as a result of being granted permanent residence in the European Union.

Our clients: a family from Moscow

Герои — семья из Москвы
Semyon, 73 years old

He was granted permanent residence in Hungary with his wife and two children in 2016
The names and photos of clients have been changed

Backstory: why Semyon chose permanent residence in Hungary

Semyon has been attracted to Hungary since Soviet times: he worked at a joint Soviet-Hungarian enterprise and often visited the country. He is drawn to Hungary by its European standard of living and the friendliness of the locals.

Semyon has two children: Ruslan and Polina. He wanted them to be free to choose where to study, live and work. Therefore, when his children grew up, Semyon decided to apply for permanent residence in the European Union, in Hungary.

In 2016, the family approached Immigrant Invest’s lawyers and asked them to start their application. Semyon invested €300,000 in Hungarian government bonds and in return received permanent residence under the state’s investment program.

€300,000

investment for permanent residence in Hungary

The Hungarian permanent residence by investment program was closed in 2017

In 2021, similar programs are available in several EU countries. Among them, the Malta Permanent Residence Program is the one most in demand.

How Hungarian permanent residence helped Semyon’s children become cosmopolitans

In 2016, Semyon’s son Ruslan graduated from a university in Moscow and wanted to continue his studies abroad. Polina, his daughter, also wanted to continue her education in Europe.

As Hungarian permanent residents, Ruslan and Polina traveled to several countries to select their universities. They did not have to obtain visas to travel to France and the UK. In order to travel to the United States, they received visas at the consulate in Hungary, where interviews are held regularly. Ruslan and Polina also visited Asia several times as they were always attracted by the East, especially Japan and South Korea.

Traveling around the world helped Semyon’s children find and choose the right place to study and live. When visiting universities, they also found out which documents are needed for admission and how to prepare the application. They did not have to deal with the uncertainty and worry of guessing whether they had received the correct latest information online.

In 2021 Ruslan and Polina are continuing their studies abroad. Ruslan is studying Japanese and economics in Tokyo. Polina is studying for a Master’s degree at a French university: she has finished her first year at university in Paris and is now continuing her studies at a partner university in Seoul, Korea.

Universities where Ruslan and Polina have studied over the past five years

Where Ruslan has studied 👨‍🎓 Where Polina has studied 👩‍🎓
MGIMO University in Moscow HSE University in Moscow
Eötvös Lorand University in Budapest University of Newcastle
Tokyo University University of California at Berkeley
Paris School of Economics
Seoul University

Semyon and his wife have bought a house in Nice. In summer and winter, during the children’s holidays, the whole family meets on the Cote d’Azur. From there they holiday in the Alps, on the Atlantic Ocean, or visit resorts in Spain and Italy.

They are able to travel around Europe without visas: the family always uses their Hungarian permanent residence cards to cross borders within the European Union. During these visits, the children have improved their English, French and German at a conversational level.

My children are my pride! They are great, they have always studied well and strived for achievement. However, striving alone will not take you far. So, it is up to my wife and me to help them in everything.

In our youth, we did not have such opportunities: to study and holiday abroad, and build an international career. Now it’s different. And for us as parents, it makes us happy to see our children growing up as cosmopolitans: free, well-balanced and educated. Yes, now the whole world is at their feet!

Семен рад, что смог дать детям возможность получить международное образование
Semyon is glad that he is able to give his children the opportunity to get an international education at the best universities and travel freely around the world

Career prospects of Ruslan and Polina

Semyon wants his children to move to Hungary after completing their studies and receive citizenship. Ruslan and Polina share this view: both see the EU as an opportunity for career growth. Hungary will be a good starting point for their international career.

Ruslan has already been offered to head the branch of a European company in Hungary. However, he chose to continue his studies in Japan. After completing his studies, he plans to start his own business in Hungary.

Polina needs two internships to complete her master’s degree. She is taking her first six-month internship in Seoul. For her second internship, she has applied to McKinsey & Company in Budapest.

Once Ruslan and Polina have lived for eight years in Hungary, they will be eligible to apply for Hungarian citizenship. With a Hungarian passport, they will be able to move to any country in the European Union. Moreover, the combination of a European, American and Asian education will allow them to find high-paying jobs in any country in the region.

8 years

you need to live in Hungary to apply for citizenship

Permanent Residency in Hungary: how to move to Budapest

Ruslan and Polina are considering moving to Budapest to begin building their careers in the European Union

Business in Hungary: companies with headquarters or branches in Budapest

The international education they receive will allow Semyon’s children to work in large international companies. Companies such as Deloitte, Bloomberg, Moody’s and Ernst & Young all have offices or representative offices in Budapest

Hungarian citizenship: how to obtain it

This is what a Hungarian passport looks like. If Ruslan and Paulina decide to obtain citizenship, they will need to live in Hungary for eight years and pass exams on knowledge of the Hungarian language, history and culture

Permanent Residency in Hungary: how to move to Budapest
Business in Hungary: companies with headquarters or branches in Budapest
Hungarian citizenship: how to obtain it

Moving abroad with the whole family

Semyon would like to move and live in Hungary. He was going to buy an apartment in Budapest five years ago when he received his residence permit. However, the children chose to study at universities in different countries, and the family postponed their move to Hungary.

Semyon and his wife have not forgotten about their plans. In the next two years, Semyon expects to retire and move to Budapest or to a local resort in Heviz. If the children decide to live and work in Hungary, Semyon will also buy both of them apartments in Budapest.

My wife and I really like Hungary. Beautiful, comfortable and many people know Russian. And it is much cheaper than France. While I am working, I cannot think of moving, of course. However, my wife and I often visit Hungary: we treat our joints in the local thermal waters.

Семен рад, что смог дать детям возможность получить международное образование
Semyon wants his whole family to eventually move to Hungary

Attitude towards Russians in Hungary and the language barrier

Semyon finds Hungarians very friendly. The older generation is united by their common Soviet history. However, even among young people, Semyon did not notice any prejudice against Russians.

Semyon’s peers, as a rule, speak Russian well: previously, Russian was a compulsory subject in Hungarian schools. Even today it remains the third most popular foreign language in Hungary after English and German.

Young Hungarians do speak a little English. However, most of the locals only know Hungarian, including those working in government offices.

Semyon considers Hungarian to be a difficult language. Hungarian has common roots with Finnish and Estonian. However, it does not resemble Russian, English or French at all.

Semyon’s children have no plans to learn Hungarian yet. However, if they are going to apply for Hungarian citizenship, they will have to take an exam on their knowledge of the country’s constitution, history and literature in Hungarian.

Foreign trips during the pandemic

Before the pandemic, Semyon and his wife traveled to Hungary for treatment in Hungary’s famous thermal waters twice a year. As they have Hungarian permanent residence cards, they were able to continue their treatment in 2020, when non-resident foreign tourists were not allowed to enter Hungary.

Although Ruslan and Polina are studying abroad, they are allowed to visit their parents in Russia or return to Europe as they have permanent residence in Hungary. However, they have not taken advantage of this opportunity, as it would mean that, on returning to South Korea and Japan, they would have to spend two weeks in quarantine. They do not want to miss their courses due to quarantine and have therefore decided to remain at their universities in Korea and Japan.

The family plans to meet in Hungary when it is safe to travel. Semyon and his wife have been vaccinated against coronavirus in Moscow, and Ruslan plans to be vaccinated with Sputnik V in Seoul as Hungary recognizes Russian Sputnik V vaccination certificates. Therefore, the family will be able to meet in Hungary without having to take tests or stay in quarantine.

Permanent residency in Hungary for trips to thermal springs

In the summer of 2021, Semyon and his family want to visit the thermal springs on Lake Heviz in Hungary

Permanent residency in Hungary to travel visa-free to France

France will be the family’s next overseas stop after Hungary. Semyon hopes to relax in Nice in August 2021

Permanent residency in Hungary for trips to thermal springs
Permanent residency in Hungary to travel visa-free to France

How to get permanent residence in the European Union

Hungary closed its permanent residence by investment program in April 2017. This did not affect those who had been granted permanent residence, as a Hungarian permanent residence permit is issued for life. However, permanent residence cards need to be renewed every five years.

From 2013 to 2017, the Hungarian permanent residence by investment program was one of the most popular ones among investors. Applicants were able to receive permanent residence in exchange for investing in government bonds. After five years, the bonds could be redeemed and the money returned in full.

Although the Hungarian program is now closed, there is an even better alternative available: the Malta Permanent Residence Program.

Виктория Атанасова - Иммигрант Инвест
Victoria Atanasova

specializes in international and economic law and is the head of the Maltese office of Immigrant Invest

The Malta permanent residence program requires an investment of €112,000, just one-third of the cost of the Hungarian program. Investors must fulfill the following four conditions in order to obtain a Malta permanent residence card:

  • rent or buy a home on the island;
  • pay an administration fee and government fee;
  • make a donation to a Maltese non-governmental organization;
  • confirm the presence of assets of €500,000, including financial assets worth €150,000.
€112,000

minimum investment amount under the Malta permanent residence program

The main applicant’s spouse, children, parents and grandparents can all obtain a residence permit in the same application. The Malta permanent residence card allows the holder to travel without visas to the Schengen countries.

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

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