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November 17, 2023
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Hungary Golden Visa returns with new conditions and investment options

The Hungarian Government plans to relaunch a Golden Visa program that allows wealthy foreigners to obtain a residency permit by investment. The bill considering this decision was published on the Government’s official page in November 2023.

Hungary had to shut the previous Golden Visa in 2017 over a corruption investigation. However, investors will be able to obtain the visa again under new conditions.

Zlata Erlach
Zlata Erlach

Told about the new Hungary residence permit program

Hungary Golden Visa returns with new conditions and investment options

Hungary Golden Visa returns with new conditions and investment options

The new Golden Visa for guest investors will be available for non-EU and non-EEA citizens.

The National Assembly of Hungary must first approve the bill to announce the launch date. However, the conditions for a new program are already known.

As the National Assembly’s website states, investors will be able to obtain a residency permit in Hungary if they:

  1. Invest at least €250,000 in local property funds approved by the Hungarian National Bank.

  2. Buy real estate for €500,000. The investor or their relatives should keep the property ownership for at least 5 years.

  3. Donate at least €1 million to public trusts that support Hungarian universities and colleges.

To get a residency permit, a foreigner must first obtain an investor visa for 2 years. The visa allows them to enter Hungary multiple times and stay there for up to 90 days within 180.

The investment condition must be fulfilled within 3 months from the date of the first entry. After this, the investor will be able to apply for a residence permit in Hungary.

A residence permit will be valid for 10 years. It is expected to be extended for the same period. The investor will be able to move to Hungary together with their family, for example, with a spouse and children.

Hungary already had Golden Visas in the past. Investors could obtain permanent residence by purchasing government bonds. The minimum investment amount was €300,000. This program operated from 2013 to 2017 and was closed over a corruption investigation. Over 4 years, investors submitted 6,621 applications and got 4,798 approved.

Nowadays, foreigners can obtain a residence permit in Hungary if they buy an apartment or house in Budapest for at least €155,000. The residence permit is valid for 5 years for the main applicant. Their spouse and children obtain a residence permit for 3 years.

5 reasons why a Hungary residence permit by investment is worth a shot

1. Visa-free travel to the Schengen Area. Residents of Hungary can stay in the Schengen countries for up to 90 days within 180. They also can visit Hungary at any time.

2. Opportunity to live and work in Europe. A residence permit in Hungary allows foreigners to get a job and do business in the countries of the European Union and the Schengen Area. Children of residents can study at European universities without student visas.

3. Affordable living. The cost of living in Hungary is two times lower than in Denmark and Norway, and real estate prices are among the lowest in the European Union.

4. Safety. Hungary is among the top 20 safest countries in the world, according to the Global Peace Index 2023. For comparison, one of the best countries to live in, Norway, ranks 24th.

5. The prospect of obtaining a passport. After 3 years of residing in Hungary, foreigners can obtain permanent residence. After another 5 years, they can apply for citizenship.

Other ways to move to Hungary

Foreigners can obtain a residence permit for financially independent people with a stable income of at least €10,000 outside Hungary. Employment in a foreign company, pension, dividends, or rent income qualify. This type of visa is valid for 2 to 5 years.

The residence permit for entrepreneurs and self-employed persons is issued for 3 years tops with the possibility of an extension for the same period. For digital nomads, the permit is valid for 1 year.

To obtain this type of permit, a foreigner confirms their status as a self-employed or individual entrepreneur. Digital nomads must have an income of at least €2,000 per month for the last 6 months.
A student visa can be obtained if a foreigner is enrolled in a school or university in Hungary. The applicant must prove knowledge of the Hungarian language at a basic level and pay their tuition fees. The visa will be issued for a period of up to 1 year.