Central-European, landlocked Hungary draws an increasing amount of expats to its improving economy and relaxed pace of life. Immigrants enjoy a relaxed workplace, a great work/life balance, dropping unemployment numbers and an increasing average wage. 

And life outside of work? Expect a warm welcome in the country that’s home to the most inviting city of Europe. Locals are known for being helpful and friendly, and not just to foreigners. Hungarians love sitting in cafes and taking time to socialize is part of their culture. Besides being welcoming, Hungarians are straightforward and somewhat cautious in business. Trust is very important so take your time to invest in personal relationships. It will make business smoother. 

Many Hungarians speak English, especially younger generations, and German is also widely spoken. But taking a language course can definitely work in your benefit and locals really appreciate it when foreigners make an effort to learn their language. 

Apart from a great work culture, Hungary is a wonderful country to discover. Traveling by public transport is easy and well managed and there are many places to explore. The countryside hides more than 1000 thermal springs, 10 national parks and ‘the Hungarian sea’, which is one of Europe’s biggest lakes, with countless beaches. 

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Hungary is part of the EU so people with citizenship of countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) can move, live and work freely in Hungary.

Here are some of the ways to live in Hungary if you are a citizen of a non-EEA country:

Work visas

  • If you have a recognized university degree or professional experience as well as a work contract or binding job offer, you may be eligible for an "EU Blue Card".   The Blue Card is a four-year temporary work and residence permit.  This also gives you free movement within the Schengen area and enables your family to join you.   If you do not have a work contract or job offer, you can register on the EU Blue Card Network, where European employers can view your details and connect with you around job opportunities.  This is also where you apply for the EU Blue Card.
  • If you are not eligible under the EU Blue Card Programme, and you want to work in Hungary or start your own business, must apply for a residence permit. The application must be done in person and a contract with a Hungarian employer is necessary. The application process takes 60 to 70 days and the validity of the permit depends on the duration of your contract and the expiration date on your passport. Permits can be extended if needed. 

Through your Family

  • If your spouse is a citizen or permanent resident of Hungary, you are probably eligible for residency.  Please note that your status of spouse needs to be legally recognised in this country.
  • See the citizenship section below for more information on residency or citizenship based on descent.

Youth Mobility Visa

  • If you are an Australian, Chilean, South Korean, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japanese or Taiwanese citizen between the ages of 18-30, you may be eligible under the Working and Holiday Visa programme. Note: you may need a letter of government support to undertake this type of visa.

Here are some of the ways to get citizenship in Hungary:

  • If one or both of your parents were citizens when you were born, you are probably also a citizen.
  •  If your spouse is a citizen, you can apply for citizenship after being resident in Hungary for a period of 3 years.  Please note that your status of spouse needs to be legally recognised in this country.
  • Once you have lived in Hungary for 8 years, you can apply for citizenship.  As part of the application you need to pass a language skills test and meet other requirements.  If you were born in Hungary or lived in Hungary before the age of 18 the residency requirement is reduced to 5 years.

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The passport for Hungary allows you to travel to 155 countries without a visa.

Its global rank is 28.

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