Residency By Investment

Hungary Investment Immigration Programs Overview

The provisions of the new Hungarian Immigration Act enter into force in several phases, but several parts of the rules are effective from 1 January 2024.

Based on the new law, third-country investors are encouraged to apply for a guest investor residence permit which can in practice be referred to as a golden visa, which is a common expression in international jargon, although the legislation does not use this term.

The rules regarding the residence permit offered to guest investors will enter into force on the 1st of July 2024. The Immigration Act also delegated the Hungarian government the power to set forth by decree the procedural rules and conditions for applying for a guest investor visa. Currently, this government decree has not yet been adopted. We will update our webpage once the government decree would be published.

The maximum period of validity of a guest investor residence permit is 10 years, renewable for a maximum period of 10 years. The Guest Investor Program is designed for third-country nationals whose stay is of national economic interest of Hungary. The term national economic interest covers one of the below investments that should be performed by the applicant:

  • The acquisition of investment certificates issued by a real estate fund registered by The National Bank of Hungary, in the amount of at least EUR 250 000, or
  • Acquiring ownership of residential property located in Hungary, with a minimum value of EUR 500 000, or
  • Monetary donation of at least EUR 1,000,000 to an institution of higher education operated by a public charity foundation.

The investment certificate of the real estate fund shall be held by the investor for a period of five years. At least 40% of the net asset value of the real estate fund must be invested in residential real estate projects realized in Hungary. In addition, only fund managers that hold a Hungarian site security certificate or are registered with the Constitution Protection Office can qualify for this purpose.

In the case of direct real estate investment, it is important to highlight that only residential property is accepted (commercial or industrial property is not eligible). The residential property shall be non-contested, free of encumbrances and claims. The investor is restricted to sell the real estate within five years which circumscription shall be recorded in the Hungarian land register. The applicable legislation allows the investor to rent out the real estate.

How to apply for Hungary’s Guest Investor Program?

The whole immigration procedure is constituted by two main steps. As a guest investor, the first step towards obtaining a residence permit is to apply for a guest investor visa. Applying for a guest investor residence permit will be possible after obtaining a guest investor visa. A guest investor visa allows for stays of more than 90 days and multiple entries within a period of one hundred and eighty days. The validity period of a guest investor visa cannot exceed two years. The guest investor visa shall become invalid once the guest investor has obtained a residence permit.

When applying for a visa, the applicant shall declare that they hold or plan to hold at least one of the above investments. Thus, at this stage of the procedure, it is not necessary to already possess an investment, it is sufficient to make a commitment. In such a case, three months are available for making the investment reckoned from the date when the applicant entered the territory of Hungary with a guest investor visa.

In accordance with the procedural rules, once the applicant is in possession of a guest investor visa, they are required to travel to Hungary and can only subsequently apply for a guest investor residence permit. No further travel to Hungary is necessary.

In the second phase the applicant shall submit the application for a residence permit for guest investors to the immigration authority no later than 93 days from the date of first entry into the territory of Hungary with a guest investor visa.

The guest investor residence permit can be extended to spouse and minor children.

A person holding a guest investor residence permit shall not be considered a Hungarian tax resident provided that such person spends less than 183 days in Hungary in any 12-month period.

The renewal does not require the applicant and their family members to stay in Hungary in the course of the previous ten-year period. Extension shall be possible for a period of ten years. The renewal of the guest investor residence permit is possible if the applicant holds EUR 250 000 worth of investment certificate in the real estate fund (the legislation does not require the same certificate which was purchased as at the time of the initial application). In the case of renewal based of direct real estate investment, the applicant shall have an investment of at least EUR 500 000 in the real estate. However, if the property has been sold (after the five-year holding period), a new investment of a sufficient value shall be held at the time of application. In the case of grants provided to foundations, an extension can be requested automatically.


Hungary is a member of the Schengen Area, so residents enjoy the right to travel freely across the region. For travel outside the Schengen Area, residents must rely on their own passport.

New Hungarian citizens can look forward to receiving a passport that is among the world’s strongest: it is ranked 9th in the world and offers visa-free travel to 178 countries.



Hungary was hard-hit by the 2008 financial crisis, but returned to stability following a $25 billion EU and IMF bailout, and its economy continues to grow steadily. With a free health service, free university education, and high levels of public investment in infrastructure and innovation, Hungary is an attractive location for businesses, especially those planning to trade with other European Union states. According to the Global Best To Invest 2023 survey Hungary finished first among the countries of the Eastern European region. Hungarian politics has in recent years been dominated by right-wing politicians. 

Updated by Csaba Magyar & Uglobal Staff

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Citizenship By Investment

Hungary offers no citizenship-by-investment program, but successful guest investor applicants can obtain permanent residency after three years, and citizenship after eight. However, before being approved for naturalization, applicants must demonstrate that they have learned to speak Hungarian, and that they have fully assimilated themselves into the country’s culture.

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Residency By Investment

Hungary does not offer residency by-investment program. The guest investor residence permit could be treated as a residency by investment opportunity although there is a “ten + ten years” limitation in this investment scheme.

The Hungarian legislation uses the term 'long-term residence' instead of 'permanent residence' used in international practice. Holders of a guest investor residence permit does not enjoy any special privilege to obtain permanent residence status. They are also required to follow the general immigration rules to reach the long-term residence status by means of a national residence card. Such national residence card can be issued to a person whose accommodation and livelihood in Hungary is guaranteed, and who is insured for the full range of health care services or who can cover the costs of health care services even in the absence of such insurance coverage.

A national residence card can be issued to a person who already holds a residence permit and has resided in Hungary for at least three years without interruption prior to submitting the application. Leaving the territory of Hungary for less than four months at any one time shall not constitute an interruption, provided that the total duration of such leaves does not exceed two hundred and seventy days in any three-year period.

A national residence card can be granted only if the applicant's long-term residence is in line with the interests of Hungary and the applicant fulfils the conditions for social cohabitation.

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