Recent golden visa in Hungary

2024 April 23.
Author: Dr. Dávid Kiss
  • corporate law

With effect of 1st July 2024, Hungary introduced new golden visa rules that opens the possibility for citizens of countries outside the European Union to obtain a long-term residence permit if they make a suitable investment. Below is a summary of the most relevant provisions of the new rules. 

Which investments can I choose to obtain a residence permit?

  • Buying bonds in a real estate fund

Acquisition and holding for at least 5 years of investment bonds issued by a real estate fund registered by the Hungarian National Bank, with a minimum amount of EUR 250 000.

The bond must be issued by a real estate fund whose net asset value is at least 40% of investments in residential real estate in Hungary and the fund manager holds at least a simplified site security certificate or is included in the list of operators meeting the security requirements.

  • Purchase of residential real estate

Acquisition of ownership of a residential property with a value of at least EUR 500 000. The property must be free of charges, encumbrances and claims and must be located in Hungary.

A prohibition of alienation and encumbrance must be registered in favor of the Hungarian State for a period of 5 years from the date of conclusion of the purchase contract, as the property cannot be sold for 5 years.

The immigration office shall appoint an expert to determine the market value of the property.

  • Donate to a public foundation

Support an educational, scientific, research or artistic activity by making a financial donation of at least EUR 1 000 000 to a Hungarian university run by a public foundation.

In case of non-EUR investments, the investment will be considered in EUR at the exchange rate published by the Hungarian National Bank on the date of the investment.

Proof of the investment must be provided within 3 months of the date of entry into the territory of Hungary. The application for a residence permit for foreign investors must be submitted to the aliens’ registration authority within 93 days after the first entry into the territory of Hungary and the realization of the investment.

What is the residence permit for and what are the conditions for obtaining it?

  • The residence permit for guest investors entitles the holder to reside in Hungary, to work or to engage in other activities for consideration and to become a manager of a company. 
  • A residence permit for the purpose of family reunification may be issued, which also entitles the holder to work. Family members are spouses, minor children of the same spouse, adopted and foster children
  • Residence permits may be issued to holders of a valid travel document; holders of the necessary permit for return or onward travel; who can prove the purpose of their entry and stay; who have accommodation or residence in Hungary; who are not subject to expulsion or entry and stay bans; who are not subject to an alert under the Schengen Information System; whose entry or stay does not endanger public policy, security, national security or public health interests of Hungary and the competent authorities prove this
  • A valid Guest Investor Visa is required in order to obtain a residence permit, unless the applicant is legally residing in Hungary for other reasons
  • Residence permits are valid for a maximum of 10 years, renewable for a maximum of 10 additional years for the same purpose only. The period of validity of the residence permit may exceed the period of validity of the applicant’s travel document
  • Fee for the permit procedure is HUF 24.000

What is required to obtain a GUEST Investor Visa?

The Guest Investor Visa entitles to multiple entry and to stay for more than 90 days within 180 days and to apply for the Guest Investor Residence Permit. The visa is valid for a maximum period of 2 years. The visa expires upon issuance of the residence permit. The official fee for applying for a visa is EUR 110.

The Guest Investor Visa is issued to applicants who:

  • declare that already made at least one of the investments and provides proof thereof; OR submits a written commitment to make one of the investments within 3 months of entry with a Guest Investor Visa
  • certify that the financial funds corresponding to one of the investments is of legal origin and which must be available in or transferable to Hungary
  • hold and present a valid travel document
  • has the necessary authorization for return or onward travel
  • justifies the purpose of entry and stay
  • has financial means to cover costs of living in Hungary for the entire duration of stay and cover travel expenses to leave Hungary
  • is insured for the full cost of health care, or prove that the applicant is able to cover the cost of health care
  • is not subject to expulsion or a ban on entry and residence, or if his/her entry or residence does not endanger public policy, public security, national security or public health interests in Hungary
  • is not the subject of an alert under the Schengen Information System

The visa application must be accompanied by:

  • a certificate issued by a foreign or Hungarian bank proving the availability of financial resources, stating that the amount required for the investment is permanently available
  • a credible proof of the legal origin of the available funds (for example, a public or private document proving the origin of the assets, or proof of income from regular employment or business activities)
  • proof of residence in Hungary
  • proof of the purpose of entry and stay (to be attached at the request of the authority)
  • proof that the applicant is insured for full health care or can provide for the costs of health care (to be attached at the request of the authority)
  • one copy of a photo ID