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Permanent Residency by Investment in Hungary

Important Notice: Hungarian Residency Bond Program will close on March 31, 2017. The Government of Hungary achieved the aim of attracting foreign investment: more than 1 billion EUR were invested since the introduction of the program. According to news release by the Hungarian Special Debt Fund (the issuer of the HRB) due to the favorable financial situation of the country, the issuing of the Hungarian Residency Bonds will be placed on moratorium. Consequently, the Hungarian Immigration Office will only accept Residency Bond applications submitted before 31st March 2017. Therefore, this is the last chance for any non-EU national to participate in the program and get permanent residency in Hungary (EU) through the program described below.

At the end of 2012, Hungary enacted a new legislation allowing foreign nationals to get permanent residency by investment. Any foreigner can receive a permanent residency permit in Hungary via purchasing a specially issued bond with a value of EUR 300,000 and with a maturity of minimum 5 years. The applicant may purchase the above bond as an individual or via his/her majority-owned company. No language and physical residency requirement are in the program.

The new scheme is considered as one of the best residency programs in the EU because the threshold is significantly lower than in other EU countries. For example, Spain and Portugal expects purchase of real estate valued no less than EUR 500,000. Ireland expects EUR 1,000,000. The UK investor scheme is even more expensive (taking into account the current exchange rate EUR/GBP and minimum threshold of 2,000,000 GBP). Moreover, all the countries mentioned above offer temporary residence permit and not permanent as in the new Hungarian scheme.

The bond can be issued exclusively by a finance company that received permission from the Economics Committee of the Hungarian Parliament. This finance company is legally required to immediately buy a specially-issued government bond from the investment proceeds. Thus, the bonds issued by the finance company are fully backed by the Hungarian Government Bonds. The finance company is also required to file a monthly list of participants in the Residency Bond System to the Immigration and Citizenship Authority.

After investing at least EUR 300,000 under the Investor Residency Bond Program, a permanent residency permit will be issued to the investor and his close family members (wife and kids under 18 years old). In addition, children over 18 years old and parents of the main applicant can be added into the application without additional investment.

Hungarian residency permit enables the applicant to live in Hungary, and visit (to a maximum of 90 days from any 180 days) any Schengen country. At the same time, it should be noted that at present the program has no citizenship incentives. Citizenship of Hungary can be obtained after 8 years of residence in Hungary. In addition to residency, all applicants who want citizenship must demonstrate a good command of Hungarian language. Dual citizenship is recognized in Hungary and applicants will not be expected to renounce their current citizenship unless dual citizenship is not prohibited in their country of origin.

Questions and Answers Regarding Residency and Citizenship by Investment in Hungary:

Question: Can I get back the mentioned 300,000 EUR from the finance company when renewing the PR card (after 5 years)?
Answer: Yes, you get back 300,000 EUR after 5 years. The Hungarian State guarantees the refund.

Question: Can you provide me the details of Hungary?
Answer: In order to get permanent residency in Hungary you will be expected to invest 300,000 EUR into bonds. For five years and without interest paid. Citizenship is possible after 8 years provided you can demonstrate knowledge of the Hungarian language.
Question: Any other formalities like minimum stay or minimum net worth. Once I get PR for my family then will I be able to be employed or I am eligible for business only. Please, also tell me about your fees. Also, enlighten the amount of 300,000 euro to be invested in Government or in private projects.
Answer: There is no minimum stay After you get PR you will be able to be both employed and to do business in Hungary. 300,000 EUR must be invested into government bonds, not in private business. The legal fee charged by the licensed agent we work with is 60,000 EUR. The fee is not negotiable because it is set by the Government.

Question: If the client has adult children (between 18 and 25 years old) can they be included into application for Hungarian PR or they must invest separately 300,000 EUR each?
Answer: Children over 18 years old (as well as parents of the main applicant) can be included into the same residency application without separate or additional investment. The situation in Hungary is the same as in some other programs: Children between 18 and 25 years old can be included into the same application with the investor under the conditions of some citizenship-by-investment programs (e.g., Malta, Cyprus, St. Kitts & Nevis) or residency programs (Portugal).

Question: I am interested in Hungarian bond program. Please, indicate the main stages of the process for TR and PR cards.
Answer: Effective from 01.01.2016 the Hungarian program is amended and now the processing time for PR applications is only 30 days. Moreover, applicants receive PR (permanent residency) cards directly. Before the amendments, applicants were expected to get TR (temporary residence) cards first and apply for PR cards only after 6 months. The validity of the PR card is 5 years. It will be renewed for 5 years each time it is expired. The validity of the card has nothing to do with nature of the status. It is permanent (for the life) from the beginning (from the fist PR card). Now the procedure is simplified and is done in one stage instead of two stages.

Question: I have a Latvian (Schengen) temporary residence permit (the card has 5 years validity). If I want to participate in Hungarian permanent residence program, should I renounce the Latvian card?
Answer: We contacted the Hungarian immigration authority and here is the answer: “in case of a TR card issued in another EU Member State the exact type of the card can and shall be determined only by this EU Member State, Hungarian authorities have no competence in this question”. Furthermore, they informed us that any other TR or PR card could have been a problem only in case the applicant will apply for EU permanent residence or temporary settlement permit. In case of Hungarian Residency Bond Program, a national (not EU) permanent residence permit is issued, so the applicant can maintain his TR card issued in other EU Member State.

Specialists of Elma Global in cooperation with the best immigration lawyers in Budapest will be happy to assist you in your plans to get permanent residency in Hungary (EU). If you have any questions contact us today.


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