13 Feb Hungary residency by investment – 2023 Guide
It is possible to gain residency by investment in Hungary, although the options have become restricted in recent years. Currently, you can apply by investing in real estate or by business formation. The requirements for the residency program are not immediately clear if you are searching for instructions online, so expert help is definitely recommended.
In this article, we describe the real estate investment option in detail, providing the essential information in these areas:
- Hungary residency by investment – What is it?
- Benefits of becoming a resident in Hungary
- Hungary residency by investment options
- Hungary residency by investment eligibility requirements
- How to apply for Hungary residency – Step-by-step
- Hungary residency by investment – Documents required
- What is the minimum investment required for Hungary residency?
- Can you buy residency in Hungary?
- Is there a language requirement for the Hungarian residency by investment program?
Hungary residency by investment – What is it?
The Hungarian residency by investment in real estate scheme allows non-EU nationals to gain a temporary residency visa by purchasing property in Hungry. The application process is usually swift, and the temporary residency visa can eventually be upgraded to a permanent residence visa, as long as you adhere to the regulations and requirements. The programme has a high success rate among applicants, and investment is only required after approval.
Benefits of becoming a resident in Hungary
In addition to gaining visa-free travel within the EU and Schengen area, there are many benefits to living in this highly individual country. These are just a few of them:
- Corporate income tax is 9% (the lowest in the EU), and personal income tax is 15%, making them some of the lowest in Europe.
- No tax on dividends and capital gains.
- Affordable and efficient healthcare system.
- Low cost of living and high levels of safety.
- Affordable real estate, with prices lower than most other European countries – Budapest has some of the lowest per square metre EU city prices.
- Free public and international schools in Budapest.
- Renowned, first-class public transport.
- Beautiful and unspoilt forests, mountains and countryside.
- Many international companies have bases in Budapest.
Hungary residency by investment options
Residency in Hungary by residential real estate investment is a simple way to obtain your residency visa. This scheme requires a HUF 56 million (approximately EUR 150,000) purchase of real estate in the capital city, Budapest, via a property company established in your name. Given that the average price of an apartment in Hungary is around EUR 100,000, you can make a substantial investment, and you could consider buying several apartments and renting them out.
The residency scheme also involves a programme fee of EUR 65,000, in addition to the other business and investment expenses.
Hungary residency by investment eligibility requirements
Applicants must be 18 or above and must have attained at least 12 years of education. The main applicant’s spouse and children under 18 can also be included on the visa application (and will be eligible for free local healthcare and education). You must also satisfy the following requirements:
- You will need to own a locally registered company with a Hungarian bank account.
- You must make a minimum of one visit to Hungary to open the bank account.
- You should create a professional, financially watertight business plan and demonstrate trading activity (in Hungary or elsewhere).
- You must have a verifiable income from your business activities or other legal sources.
- All applicants must have accommodation in Hungary, whether rented or purchased.
- You and your fellow applicants will need to have full travel insurance.
- You must have a clean criminal record, proved by a certificate issued by your local authority or police.
- You must declare any illnesses or severe health conditions.
- If you have a valid residence permit in another Schengen country, this must be declared.
- You must declare whether you have had a previous residency application rejected or have ever been expelled from Hungry.
How to apply for Hungary residency – Step-by-step
The first six steps of the application process apply to the main applicant and any family members included.
Step 1: Submit all initial documents for Due Diligence testing.
Step 2: Transfer the application fee.
Step 3: Make a trip to Hungary to submit your application for a temporary residence visa. At the time of the application, you must make a declaration undertaking to buy property in Hungary (with a minimum value of HUF 56 million) within three months from the issue date of the residence permit card.
Step 4: After four to six weeks, you will be notified of your successful application, as long as there are no issues.
Step 5: Make a second trip to Hungary to receive your Hungarian ID card and to choose property for purchasing.
Step 6: The main applicant must then purchase property with a minimum value of HUF 56 million (approximately EUR 145,000). The purchase must be made within three months of receiving the temporary residence visa. Within this three-month period, you must sign a real-estate sale and purchase agreement and share a copy with the Hungarian immigration authorities.
The property must be residential and should be a completed project that can immediately be used as your official address. The property needs to be of sufficient size to accommodate you and the family members included in the application, with a minimum requirement of six square metres of living area (i.e. living room and bedroom per applicant).
You are not allowed to let the property, and you and your family must be the sole occupants.
Hungary residency by investment – Documents required
When applying for Hungarian residency by investment, you will need the following documents:
- Photocopies of all applicants’ passports.
- Two passport photos for all applicants.
- A booking form completed for the main applicant.
- A data sheet completed by each family member included in the application.
- Certified copy of any relevant marriage or birth certificates.
- CVs for each person included in the application.
- Proof of your occupation, income and savings.
- Recent bank statements from the main applicant’s bank account, not older than 30 days and covering the previous six months, signed and stamped by the relevant bank officer and written in English.
- The bank statement should demonstrate the availability of the funds to make the property investment, plus HUF 6 million HUF (EUR 20,000) per family member for living costs.
What is the minimum investment required for Hungary residency?
The residency by investment scheme will cost you EUR 65,000, and if you are pursuing the residency by real estate investment path, a minimum investment of approximately EUR 150,000 in property is required.
Can you buy residency in Hungary?
Investors can gain temporary residency in Hungary by purchasing property worth at least EUR 150,000.
Is there a language requirement for the Hungarian residency by investment program?
Anyone pursuing citizenship (theoretically possible after eight years of permanent residence) must be fluent in Hungarian. For the temporary residency investment schemes, there is no requirement to speak the language.