Tag Archive for: Brexit

It’s only 19th January 2021 as I write this short article and I believe I have spoken to more than 20 members of the UK expat community, both before and after midnight on 31st December, when us Brits completed our journey out of the EU.

What started out as curiosity to see what the process would be this year, rapidly developed into confusion and in some few cases satisfaction as I was variously asked about a horribly long and complex process, whether a CV or negative criminal record document would be required, to the happy folk who contacted me just to let me know that they had succeeded in making their applications in the first week of January.

As I believe I’m the only owner of an immigration compliance company in Hungary who is also a UK citizen, you could say I have a vested interest in this subject and for the past couple of weeks I’ve asked a range of expat Facebook group members and email enquirers to hold off, while my immigration team put together my application and submit it, hopefully this week.

Based on the preparation my immigration team has done, we have put together a text that should allow anyone who wants to, to complete the process alone. Of course if anyone does want our professional support then they can contact us at [email protected] and we will happily take the stress out of the process. The following is what we have put together:

National Permanent Residence Permit for UK citizens holding a registration certificate or permanent residence card on 31.12.2020

Documents needed:

  • Passport
  • Registration card or permanent residence card
  • Address card

Additional required personal data:

  • Email and phone number
  • Mother’s maiden family name
  • Mother’s first name
  • Your professional qualification
  • Highest level of education (high school degree, BA, BSC, MA etc.)
  • Permanent address before coming to Hungary (country, city and street)
  • Beginning of uninterrupted lawful residence in Hungary:
  • Hungarian address
  • Have you ever been convicted of any crime?: yes/no
  • Is there any criminal proceeding in progress against you before a Hungarian or foreign authority?: yes/no
  • In addition to the above, have you been convicted by a Hungarian authority for violation of law, especially for offence?: yes/no
  • Have you already been expelled from Hungary or from other countries?: yes/no
  • Do you have any debt in your homeland or in another country?: yes/no
  • Do you have a maintenance obligation (parent, child, spouse)?: yes/no
  • Are you aware of suffering from HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, lues, leprosy, typhoid fever infectious diseases requiring treatment, or do you carry the pathogens of HIV, hepatitis B, typhoid fever or paratyphoid fever?: yes/no

This is the data marked compulsory to fill on the Enter Hungary platform in order to submit an application, but according to the authority a new application form will be created by them most likely containing even less information.

As of Friday 15th January, this was on the government website:

‘The online application platform specifically provided for the beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement on the online application system ‘Enter Hungary’ is currently under development, we kindly request your patience until it is available.

Submitting an application for a national permanent residence permit or a residence permit for frontier workers is available on Enter Hungary until the above mentioned platform is available.’ (link)

The following are instructions about how to enter the government site and submit your application.

The request can be submitted via the Enter Hungary online platform. The platform can be accessed via this link:https://enterhungary.gov.hu/eh/ and can be set to English.   Please kindly click on the ‘sign in’ option in the top right corner. When registering, the ‘I act as a private individual, in my own case’ should be chosen when submitting one’s own application.

Detailed guide after logging in

After logging in, you should go to my cases menu option and click on the green ‘new application’ button, where the following category should be chosen: permanent residence permit (settlement) then Application for EC/national permanent residence permit (settlement).

When submitting an application for a national permanent residence permit, the ‘yes’ option should be selected at the ‘I declare that the procedure is exempt of fee’ section.

Then the above-mentioned personal data should be filled to the data sheet and moving on, the abbreviation ‘WA’ should be indicated in the data field for ‘DETAILED CV’.

The following documents should be submitted in the file attachments possibility:

  • Passport (only the data page)
  • Registration certificate
  • Address card
  • In case applicable: power of attorney

After submitting the application, the system will generate an application form that should be signed and then the scanned document must be uploaded to the case. This application form should be present at the personal attendance as well as in other cases, the authority asks for the original.

There is a compulsory personal attendance at the authority that must happen within 15 CALENDAR days from the date of submitting the application. According to the information from the authority, this can happen at any given customer service, but only with an appointment due to the current COVID measures.

This is only an appointment where the applicant’s biometrics data (fingerprint and photo) will be taken. Passport, registration certificate, address card and the signed application form should be present in original.

Again, if this seems too much to handle, or if you are not sure you qualify, don’t panic! Just drop us a line at [email protected] and I or one of my team will be happy to assist you.

By Stuart McAlister,
Managing Director, Inter Relocation

The new Hungarian law relating to Brexit has now been published. Hereby we are sharing a summary of how this law impacts UK citizens:

For UK citizens and their third country citizen relatives, due to Brexit, for residence and employment procedures started after 1st January 2021 – with the exception of circumstances listed below – Immigration compliance laws related to Non-EU/EEA citizens shall be applied.

Registration cards, permanent residence cards

UK citizens’ registration cards, permanent residence cards, third country relatives’ residence cards and permanent residence cards are considered to be valid until end of next year, 31st December 2021.

Permanent residence

UK citizens and their third country citizen relatives holding a valid travel document, and a registration card, residence card or permanent residence card may apply for a national settlement (permanent residence) permit in a simplified procedure during the course of 2021.

The following conditions are not investigated during the application:

  • place of residence and income
  • health insurance
  • uninterrupted three-year prior residence
  • one-year stay (as a supported ancestor)
  • two-year marriage with a Hungarian citizen (for spouse)
  • previous Hungarian citizen
  • minor child of settled person or refugee
  • settlement being in harmony with the interest of Hungary

Those applications where the applicant’s residence threatens public or national security or are under entry or stay ban, or ISIS warning notification about them in the police system, will be rejected.

  • Same applies if the applicant provides false data, makes untrue statements, or deceives the authority.
  • Citizens having a criminal record will not receive a settlement permit either.
  • Adjoint authorities participating in the decision-making procedure must provide their opinion within 15 days.

Good news for British citizens who can credibly prove that they were living in Hungary prior to 1st January 2021, but do not hold a registration card yet. They may still request a national settlement permit.

Residence permit for employment

UK citizens having an employment relationship in Hungary prior to 31.12.2020, if the employment relationship is still existing at the time of submitting the request, and if their place of residence or accommodation is outside of Hungary, may request a residence permit for employment without the investigation of the following conditions:

  • accommodation in Hungary
  • financial cover
  • health insurance/cover

The above is applicable to those, who had been conducting a private enterprise in Hungary, allowing them a residence permit for gainful purposes.

The above two types of requests may be submitted until 31st March 2021.

For further information please, contact us at the following
Phone number: +36 1 278 5680
Email address: [email protected]
or contact your local Inter Relocation consultant.

Brexit Update – The United Kingdom left the EU at 00:00 CET on Saturday 1st February 2020. We take a look at what that means for UK citizens who are already in Hungary and for any Brits that may still plan to relocate to Hungary this year.

Many believed this day would never come. It did though and all UK citizens in Hungary who have not yet managed to establish Hungarian or perhaps Irish citizenship, ceased to be EU citizens on Saturday. There have been many articles over the last year or more, communicating what Brexit will mean for UK citizens living in Hungary and here we seek to provide clear guidance as to what to do, if anything, now that Brexit day has indeed arrived.

Brexit and Immigration

If you’re a UK citizen and already hold a registration card (Regisztrációs Igazolás) and address card (Lakcímkártya­) then the good news is that your residence status in Hungary is guaranteed, for life. You do not need to do anything right now, your existing cards will remain valid until the end of the transition period, which forms an important part of the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and EU.

The transition period is currently set to expire on 31st December 2020, after which time one of the following options will apply:

  1. If you have already legally resided in Hungary for three years on 1st January 2021 then you will immediately be allowed to apply for a national permanent residence permit on preferential terms
  2. If you have not yet legally resided in Hungary for three years you will be allowed to retain your current cards and then once the three years has been completed, then apply for the aforementioned national permanent residence permit.

More information on Brexit and how it affects existing residents can be found by following this link.

Not yet established residence?

If you either plan to relocate to Hungary this year or already arrived but have not yet got around to registering, the good news is that during the transition period set out in the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and EU, UK citizens may continue to establish their right to reside in Hungary, as if they were still EU citizens. However, the clock is ticking and unless the transition period is extended, there are now less than 11 months until this window of opportunity closes.

On 1st January 2021, current legislation states that newly arriving UK citizens will be treated as the non-EU citizens they are and will need to apply for a combined work and residence permit if they wish to engage in work for a Hungarian company. However, there is always the possible that a bi-lateral agreement will be signed between the UK and Hungary, allowing for a more simplified process.

If you are in any doubt as to what to do, or would like more information on the process of establishing or retaining legal residence in Hungary, post-Brexit, please contact us here or at [email protected].

UK citizens with non-EU spouses

More positive news here. Any non-EU spouse of a UK citizen who is currently legally resident as the dependent of an EU citizen, retains the right to reside, post-Brexit. When the UK citizen attains the right to apply for permanent residence on preferential terms, the spouse and any other dependents also qualify, subject to some terms and conditions.

This also applies to any UK citizen who applies for residence during the transition period.

Public transport

One key issue that UK retirees to Hungary have always enjoyed is the majorly discounted national travel and the right to use the Budapest public transport system, free of charge.

Whilst it is reasonable to assume that this right will be lost after the transition period, our opinion is that as the transition period allows for all rights and benefits of EU membership to be retained by UK citizens, this right to discounted or free travel should be retained, at least for the rest of 2020.

In conclusion

Although the UK has now left the EU, in reality the transition period means that not much has changed. Watch this space for more information.

The British Embassy hosted a second Brexit Town Hall meeting last Wednesday, 20th March at the Budapest Marriott Hotel. Again, more than 200 UK citizens and other interested parties attended what this time was a more understated meeting. Significantly, the panel included senior figures from all the relevant ministries of the Hungarian government, while the United Kingdom government was represented by Her Majesty’s Ambassador, Iain Lindsay and Tom Whitehead.

Her Majesty’s Ambassador commenced the meeting by re-stating that it is critical all UK citizens register for legal residence before 29th March. Ambassador Lindsay also stated that the UK government’s aim remains to depart the EU with a deal.

The UK government continues to work with the Hungarian government to ensure that UK citizens can continue to live their lives exactly as they have done as EU members.

Pál Péter Schmidt, deputy secretary of state at the Hungarian Prime Minister’s office stated that the Hungarian government welcomes the vote of the UK parliament on 14th March stating that a no-deal Brexit should not take place under any circumstances. The Hungarian government has already passed a law covering many issues, intended to protect the rights of UK citizens in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

One key statement was to confirm that there would be no visa requirements for UK citizens within the EU, regardless of whether there is a Brexit with a deal or not. However there is likely to be a requirement in the future and certainly under a no-deal Brexit, for UK citizens travelling as tourists or on business to the EU, to pay the planned ETIAS electronic visa waiver fee.

Registration Card and Address Card

The critical information for UK citizens who are existing legal residents in Hungary, is that anyone holding a Registration Card and Address Card on Brexit Day (whenever that might occur), will be allowed to continue to hold those documents and use them as proof of legal residence for up to 3 years. Any UK citizen that has held legal residence 3 years or more, they will be allowed to transfer to a national permanent residence permit immediately after Brexit, with preferential terms. This provides lifelong equal treatment for work, residence, social security etc. If a UK citizen that has held legal residence 5 years or more, they will be allowed to transfer to an EU permanent residence permit, which also affords some rights to work in other EU member states.

Permanent residence

The preferential terms under which UK citizens would be able to apply for permanent residence are as follows: The normal requirement for non-EU/EEA citizens to prove that they have held significant savings for at least a year would not be imposed on UK citizens, neither would the requirement to prove that their being awarded permanent residence would be in the best interests of the Hungarian state.

Finally, if a UK citizen can only prove that they have applied for Hungarian residence or started the process of applying but has not yet got the required cards, they will still be allowed to continue to reside as if they had applied before the deadline. The indication here was that flexibility would be given to UK citizens in the event of any issue in the short-term after Brexit day.

Questions & Answers from the participants

Q: How would this offer of permanent residence work in a no-deal scenario?

A: It’s important to hold a registration card or residence card at the time of Brexit. The cards UK citizens hold can be retained for up to 3 years, by which time they should apply for a national settlement permit.

Q: What documentation would a person need if they travel from London to Budapest on 30th March and then return to London on 2nd April [this question was asked before the Brexit extension to 11th April was granted by the EU].

A: There are two scenarios that must be addressed here, if you hold a registration card and re-enter the EU via any border and you will be recognised as an EU resident. If you don’t hold a residence card you can travel to and from Hungary with a passport, as a non-EU tourist.

Q: I hold a valid residence card and address card, do I need to do anything now?:

A: You do not need to do anything, just wait to see what happens with Brexit

Q: My registration card shows a different address to where I currently live. I have changed my address card, do I need to change my registration card too?

A: No, so long as your address card is updated you do not need to modify your registration card.

Q: If Brexit day is delayed, can a UK citizen apply for registration as an EU citizen between 29th March and, for example, the end of June?

A: If Brexit is delayed then UK citizens would continue to be EU citizens and would retain their existing rights to apply for residence as EU citizens.

Q: I have only been resident for 1.5 years. Until I have the 3 years needed, post-Brexit, for permanent residence, what are my intra EU travel rights, post Brexit?

A: The registration card will be registered with all EU borders, so you will be allowed to prove your residence in Hungary with that card.

Q: If the UK finally does not leave the EU, is the deal on permanent residence still on offer?

A: The EU registration card is of itself valid permanently, so EU citizens do not qualify for the national permanent residence permit.

Q: I hold a green ID card, can I travel freely?

A: You will need your passport to travel within the EU but the green ID card combined with passport will allow you to travel, post-Brexit.

Q: EIHC – will this card continue to be valid in the event of a no deal Brexit?

A: According to the law passed by the Hungarian government, these cards will remain in force until 31st Dec 2020. Whether the UK government will then accept the EIHC for a UK citizen resident in Hungary, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, is not yet clear.

Q: I am a UK pensioner and I have a Hungarian social security card, funded by the UK government. Will this status remain in the event of a deal or no-deal Brexit?

A: Either way you will continue to have full access to the Hungarian state healthcare system in the same way that Hungarian pensioners have this right.

More information:

The Hungarian government published a new website about Brexit in English:

Information for British nationals and their family members

UK in Hungary (British Embassy Facebook page)


Calling all British citizens in Hungary!

Unless you’ve been hiding out in a cave for the last few months, you’ll know that on 23rd June the United Kingdom votes whether to leave the European Union or not.

Expatriate Brits in Hungary may register to vote by post if they have legally resided abroad less than 15 years. 

This is extremely relevant for anyone enjoying the simplified immigration benefits that membership of the EU brings.

We’d like to encourage any eligible UK citizens who have not yet done so to register for a postal vote from Hungary HERE.

NOTE: You must register by 7 June if you want to vote in the EU referendum on 23 June.

The process is easy. Our very own Stuart McAlister successfully registered and he assures it takes no more than 10 minutes!