Beyond the Hungarian Golden Visa – The Hungarian Citizenship 


The Hungarian residencies normally require that the applicant have to spend most of their time in Hungary, but this requirement does not apply to guest investors. Thank to this type of residence permit the applicant will have a so-called EU residency.  And they will be able to visa-free travel to the Schengen countries. The period of validity of the permit is a maximum of ten years. Which may be extended by a maximum of ten years for the same purpose only. Family members who base their application on the same investment may also be granted a residence permit for 10 years. 

We have received so many questions in connection with the Hungarian Citizenship. It is clear, that the guest investors do not have to stay in Hungary. But can they obtain citizenship even they do not live here? Briefly: no. 

Basically the acquisition of the Hungarian citizenship by naturalization has the following conditions: 
  • the applicant resided in Hungary continuously for at least 8 years before submitting the application for citizenship, 
  • according to the Hungarian law the applicant has a clean record and there is no on-going criminal proceeding against the applicant before any Hungarian court by the time of adopting the final decision, 
  • subsistence and residence is provided in Hungary, 
  • the naturalization of the applicant does not violate the public order and the national security of Hungary, 
  • the applicant shall prove that he/she took a constitutionality exam in Hungarian language or that he/she is exempted from taking this exam. 

The period of 8 years of continuous residence is calculated from the date of registration of the address (issue of the address card) after the person has obtained one of the statutory statuses (immigrant, settled, refugee, exercising the right of free movement and residence in Hungary). The registration of the address is checked in the national register. 

A national residence card (which is the second step after getting the guest investor residence permit) for permanent residence in Hungary is issued to third-country nationals who hold a residence permit, temporary settlement permit or temporary residence card and has resided legally and uninterruptedly in the territory of Hungary for at least three years immediately prior to the submission of the application.  

The legislation does not include guest investor in the exceptions, so it counts towards the 3 years. 

The applicant stay abroad for up to 270 days in the 3 years. 

This basically means that if someone wants to get Hungarian citizenship with the Golden Visa, they have to be here in Hungary for 3 years continuously (max. 270 days abroad). Then they have to apply for a national residence card. And after that the 8 years period for Hungarian citizenship starts. 

 Good to know: 
  •  If someone gets his/her guest investor residence permit and then does not come to live here, he/she cannot get citizenship. 
  • There is no need to take a separate language test, the Hungarian language test is part of the basic constitutional knowledge test. 
  • You cannot apply for citizenship online. 
  • The Hungarian law acknowledges the dual citizenship. 


The AIRON comprehensive business services, included business immigration services in Hungary. If you need more information about services provided for entreprenuers and business families or you have questions about the citiezship applications in Hungary, please contact us or arrange a meeting with our experts here.