Guidance

Living in Hungary

Information for British citizens moving to or living in Hungary, including guidance on residency, healthcare, and driving.

This guide sets out essential information for British citizens moving to or living in Hungary. Read about how our embassy in Budapest can help.

This information is provided as a guide only. You should get definitive information from the Hungarian authorities. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is not liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Read general guidance on moving or retiring abroad.

To stay up to date:

If you were living in Hungary before 1 January 2021

Some parts of this guide only apply if you have been living in Hungary since before 1 January 2021. You should read these in addition to the rest of the guidance in each section.

You should also read our Living in Europe page for detailed guidance about citizens’ rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

Coronavirus

Follow the advice of the Hungarian Government and your local authority. You should also read the Hungary travel advice.

For information on getting a COVID-19 vaccine as a UK national in Hungary, read coronavirus travel advice.

Visas and residency

You must tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

Check the entry requirements for Hungary and read the Hungarian government’s guidance on applying for visas.

Read the Hungarian government’s guidance on residency permits for third country nationals. A third country national is someone who does not have EU, EEA or Swiss nationality.

You must always carry photo identification (eg. Passport or Hungarian ID card) in case the Hungarian authorities ask you to prove your identity. They will not accept a copy.

If you become a resident in Hungary, you must apply at your local government office (kormányhivatal) for a Hungarian personal identification (ID) card (in Hungarian). You will need to show your permanent residence document (Nemzeti Letelepedési Engedély) and your address card (lakcímkártya), if you have one.

If you move to a different town in Hungary, you must register your new address at the local Government Office (Kormányablak).

Visas and residency if you were living in Hungary before 1 January 2021

If you applied for your new residence card ‘Nemzeti Letelepedési Engedély’ by 31 December 2021, your rights are protected by the Withdrawal Agreement pending a decision on your application. You should continue the process to get your new residence card if you do not have it yet.

You must renew your Nemzeti Letelepedési Engedély residence card when it expires. You will only need to show your Nemzeti Letelepedési Engedély, no other evidence is needed. Read how to extend a residence permit in the Hungarian government permanent residence FAQ.

If you have not had a response to your Nemzeti Letelepedési Engedély application, contact the National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing call center.

Appeal process

If your application is refused, you will be notified about the appeal process. The Hungarian government advice on Brexit includes information on how to appeal a residency decision. If you choose to appeal, you have to do this within 15 days of being notified of your application refusal. The ‘authority of second instance’ then has 30 days to consider your appeal.

If your appeal is refused, you may be able to make an administrative appeal on technical grounds. You must make an administrative appeal within 30 days of the decision by the authority of second instance. The regional court decides on administrative appeals.

If your appeal is refused you may be able to apply for residence under the rules for third country nationals. Read the Hungarian government guidance on residence permits.

Late applications

The deadline for applying for a new residence status was 31 December 2021. You can still apply if you have reasonable grounds for missing it, such as circumstances beyond your control.

You can apply online on the Enter Hungary portal or in person with a paper form at your local branch of the Hungarian Immigration Authority (the National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing). Applications will be considered on an individual basis.

You should apply as soon as possible. The British Embassy cannot get involved in individual applications or provide legal advice.

Family members

Your close family members continue to be able to join you and settle in Hungary at any point in the future. Find more information on who this applies to in the Living in Europe guidance. They can travel to Hungary and then submit a Nemzeti Letelepedési Engedély application as your family member. Find out more in the Hungarian government’s Brexit guidance. Nationals of certain non-EU countries may need a visa before travel. The Hungarian authorities should issue family reunion visas free of charge.

Passports and travel

Coronavirus travel restrictions may affect travel to and from Hungary.

You can apply for or renew your British passport from Hungary.

Check the Hungary travel advice for passport validity requirements.

Always carry your passport when travelling within the Schengen area. If you have citizenship of an EU or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) country, in addition to your British citizenship, you should enter and leave Hungary using your EU or EFTA passport.

If you stay in Hungary with a Hungarian residence permit or long stay visa, this time does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit for the Schengen area.

If you visit other Schengen area countries outside Hungary, make sure you do not exceed the visa-free 90 days in any 180-day period. You are responsible for counting how long you stay under the Schengen visa waiver, and you must comply with its conditions.

Different rules apply to EU countries that are not part of the Schengen area.

Check each country’s travel advice page for information on entry requirements.

Travelling around Hungary

You may be eligible for travel discounts on public transport in Hungary, including BKV in Budapest. For more information read the Benefits section of this guidance.

If you were living in Hungary before 1 January 2021

When you travel, carry your residence document (Nemzeti Letelepedési Engedély) or frontier worker permit issued under the Withdrawal Agreement, in addition to your valid passport.

You must proactively show your residence document, or other evidence of residence status, if you are asked to show your passport at border control. If you have applied for, but not yet received, your residence document, show your certificate of application.

If you cannot prove that you are a resident in Hungary, you may be asked additional questions at the border to enter the EU. Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. This will not affect your rights in the country or countries where you live or work. If a passport is stamped, the stamp is considered null and void when you can show evidence of lawful residence.

If you have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, you can enter and exit Hungary with a valid passport. You do not need any additional validity on the passport beyond the dates on which you are travelling.

Healthcare

Read our guidance on healthcare in Hungary and make sure you’re correctly registered for your circumstances.

Travel insurance is not intended to cover healthcare costs if you live overseas.

Read the Hungarian government guidance on:

You should also read our guidance on:

Working in Hungary

If you are planning to move to Hungary and work, you may need a visa / work permit.

Read the Hungarian government’s guidance on working in Hungary as a foreign national and how to get a visa or work permit.

To apply for a job you may need to provide a UK police certificate.

Read:

If you were living in Hungary before 1 January 2021

You have the right to work under the Withdrawal Agreement, if you have a Nemzeti Letelepedési Engedély residence document, or have applied for one.

If you live in Hungary and were regularly commuting to work in another EU or EFTA country before 1 January 2021, read our guidance for frontier workers.

Professional qualifications

You may need to get your professional qualification recognised if you want to work in a profession that is regulated in Hungary.

Read guidance on:

If you were living in Hungary before 1 January 2021

If the relevant regulator in Hungary officially recognised your professional qualification before 1 January 2021, or you started the recognition process by this date, make sure you understand the terms of your decision. You should get advice from the relevant regulator.

Studying in Hungary

If you plan to study in Hungary, you must meet all visa requirements before you travel.

Contact the relevant higher education provider in Hungary to check what fees you may have to pay. Some benefits, such as the reciprocal state stipend programme, are only available to Hungarian or EU citizens.

Read guidance on:

If you have a Hungarian student card, you may be eligible for travel discounts on public transport. Check the transport service provider’s website for coach services (Volánbusz), railway services (MÁV) and the Budapest public transport (BKV).

If you were living in Hungary before 1 January 2021

The studying in the European Union guidance includes information if you were already living in Hungary before 1 January 2021. If you are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, some benefits, such as the reciprocal state stipend programme, may not be available to you.

Tax

The UK has a double taxation agreement with Hungary so that you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. Ask the relevant tax authority your questions about double taxation relief.

In order to pay income tax in Hungary you need an income tax card (Adóigazolvány) with your tax number (Adóazonosító) from your local National Tax and Customs office. To receive an income tax number you must register with the National Tax and Customs Administration.

You should get professional advice on paying tax in Hungary. Find an English-speaking lawyer in Hungary.

Read guidance on:

Declaring your assets

All residents must declare assets outside Hungary, including bank accounts, securities, insurance, annuities and property. The declaration is separate to the annual tax return, and there are severe penalties and criminal charges for non-compliance.

National insurance and social security contributions

National Insurance-type contributions(NIC) are called ‘social security contributions’ (SSC) in Hungary. Find out if you need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in Hungary.

You can request proof from HMRC of the time you’ve worked in the UK and your UK National Insurance record.

Read guidance on:

Benefits

UK benefits

Read guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in Hungary.

Check which UK benefits you can claim while abroad and how to claim them.

Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit cannot be paid to you if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.

Hungarian benefits

You may be eligible to claim some Hungarian social security benefits.

If you are 65 years old and either receive a Hungarian state pension, or you have your National Permanent Residence permit (Nemzeti Letelepedési Engedély), you can travel for free on public transport. You cannot use any other type of residence permit for this.

Children under the age of 6 travel free on public transport.

You may be eligible for travel discounts on public transport in Hungary, including BKV in Budapest, if:

  • you are a child aged between 6 and 14 years old
  • you have a Hungarian student card
  • you receive a pension or disability allowance from the Hungarian government

For further information on prices and travel discounts, check each transport service provider’s website:

Pensions

Read guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in Hungary.

Read State Pension guidance if you have lived in Australia, Canada or New Zealand and you are claiming or waiting to claim your UK State Pension.

If you retire in Hungary you can claim:

Read the Money and Pension Service’s MoneyHelper guidance on pension and retirement for more information on cross-border pensions.

Life certificates for UK State Pensions

If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you need to respond as soon as possible. Your payments may be suspended if you do not.

Money and banking

Whether UK banks can provide services to customers living in the EEA depends on local laws and regulation.

Read the Money and Pension Service’s MoneyHelper guidance on banking, insurance and financial services for more information on cross-border banking.

Accommodation and buying property

Read guidance on buying a property abroad.

Driving in Hungary

You cannot renew or replace your UK, Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man licence if you live in Hungary. Read the guidance on what you must do to drive legally in Hungary:

Exchanging your UK, Gibraltar, Jersey and Guernsey licence

If you live in Hungary, you must exchange your licence for a Hungarian licence within 1 year of moving to Hungary. You do not need to take a driving test.

To exchange your licence, you need to provide:

  • photo identification eg. passport
  • address card (lakcímkártya) or an official document from the immigration authorities proving your right of residence in Hungary (residence permit)
  • proof of health assessment from your doctor
  • UK driving licence
  • proof of payment of the administration fee (this may vary between £4 to £15 depending on your individual circumstances)

You do not need to provide a translation of your UK licence.

You must go to the following Budapest government office (Budapest Főváros Kormányhivatala) (in Hungarian) to exchange your licence:

XIII. district, Budapest Főváros Kormányhivatala
Központi Okmányirodai Főosztály
1133 Budapest
Visegrádi utca 110

Read the Hungarian government’s guidance on how to exchange your licence (in Hungarian).

You cannot use an International Driving Permit (IDP) instead of exchanging your licence.

Exchanging your Isle of Man licence

If you have a licence from the Isle of Man you need to take a test.

Disabled drivers

If you have a UK Blue Badge and live in Hungary, you must return it to the original UK issuing authority. You can apply for a new Hungarian disabled parking card (in Hungarian).

Read the EU guidance on the EU parking card for people with disabilities.

Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to Hungary

Read our guidance on taking a vehicle out of the UK.

Read the Hungarian government guidance on:

Driving outside Hungary with a Hungarian licence

You can use your Hungarian licence when visiting the UK. Keep up-to-date with the UK Highway Code.

If you go to live in the UK, you can exchange your Hungarian licence for a UK one without taking a test.

To drive in another country, in addition to your Hungarian licence, you may need to apply for an IDP (in Hungarian).

Read the EU guidance on:

Voting

If you are a permanent resident in Hungary you can vote in local municipal elections.

You cannot vote in European Parliament elections.

You may be able to vote in some UK elections. You can:

Births, deaths, marriage and civil partnerships

If your child is born in Hungary, you can register the birth with the UK authorities in addition to registering locally. If your child has British nationality, you do not need to register the birth with the UK authorities to apply for a British passport.

If someone dies in Hungary, read our guidance on:

Find out how you can get married or get a civil partnership abroad.

You may also need notarial and documentary services for UK nationals in Hungary.

Pets

If you’re moving to Hungary with your pet, read the guidance and ensure you comply with the regulations:

To visit other countries with your pet, check the rules for the country you’re travelling to. Contact your vet to get the travel documents your pet needs. Read guidance on:

Emergencies

Dial the European emergency number 112 in Hungary for the police, ambulance or fire brigade, or dial:

  • 104 - ambulance and emergency medical services
  • 105 - fire-brigade, rescue services and civil protection
  • 107 - police

Dial the EU 116 000 hotline to report a missing child in the EU country where you live or in another EU country.

If you need guidance on child abduction, read the guidance on international parental child abduction; the EU guidance on child abduction and EU guidance on child abduction to another EU country.

If you have been the victim of a rape or sexual assault in Hungary, read the guidance on what to do and where to get support in cases of rape and sexual assault.

If you’re the victim of a crime, have been arrested, or are affected by a crisis, contact the British Embassy Budapest.

Returning to the UK

Check the COVID-19 travel guidance for entering the UK.

Tell the Hungarian and UK authorities if you are returning to the UK permanently.

Before you leave the country, you must return your residence document to your local immigration office and your address card (lakcímkártya) to any Kormányablak (in Hungarian).

If you get healthcare in Hungary through the S1 form, you must contact the Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 (0)191 218 1999 to make sure your S1 is cancelled at the right time.

To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre.

Read the guidance on returning to the UK permanently which includes information on, amongst other things, bringing family members, tax, and access to services.

Useful information

Support for British nationals abroad: a guide sets out how to stay safe abroad, and explains how the FCDO can support you if you get into difficulty.

Published 27 November 2013
Last updated 13 January 2022 + show all updates
  1. Updated information in the Studying and Benefits sections about travel discounts.

  2. Visas and residency guidance updated, following the 31 December 2021 residency deadline for people with rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

  3. Guidance reviewed for money, tax and banking, benefits and births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships, sections.

  4. Guidance reviewed and updated for passports and travel, healthcare and working and studying in Hungary sections

  5. Updated links in the residence section including to guidance on how to make a residence application; update in passports and travel on overstay penalties, professional qualifications section updated, update in benefits about free travel on public transport.

  6. Working in Hungary section updated: new guidance for frontier workers

  7. Change Note:  Guidance updated on exchanging a UK driving licence for a Hungarian one. Healthcare section updated including guidance on the S1 form and applying for EHIC and GHIC cards; working in Hungary section updated with link to Department for International Trade (DIT) guidance on working or providing services; and education section updated with link to DIT guidance on recognition of professional qualifications.

  8. Coronavirus section updated with a link to guidance on vaccines

  9. Visas and residency section updated with latest information on registration

  10. Updated as the transition period ends with new information on residency, pet travel and moving to Hungary.

  11. Passports and travel section updated on carrying proof of residence when travelling.

  12. Healthcare section updated on how to apply for a new UK EHIC as a student or S1 holder. Working section updated with information on frontier workers.

  13. Passports and travel section updated to include information on passport validity and entry requirements when travelling to other European countries from January 2021

  14. Brexit update: includes further details on passport validity, healthcare rights and State Pension uprating if the UK leaves the EU with a deal.

  15. Education and professional qualifications information added.

  16. Brexit update: healthcare section updated to reflect transitional arrangements announcement

  17. Brexit update: Pensions section updated to include further details on State Pension uprating. 

  18. EU Exit update: We have added information to 'Passports and travel after the UK leaves the EU' section

  19. EU Exit update: New information added into passports and travel, pensions and returning to the UK sections.

  20. EU Exit update: updated information on EU Exit added to healthcare, visas and residency, driving and money and taxes section

  21. We have updated the contact details you need to apply for an S1 form.

  22. Updated information on passports: you must use the checker tool to see if your passport is still valid for your trip

  23. Double taxation section updated.

  24. EU Exit update: new outreach events added to EU Exit section.

  25. EU Exit update: added latest information for UK nationals living in Hungary under the visas and residency section.

  26. EU Exit update - Updated information on access to healthcare

  27. EU Exit update: updated information on pensions and driving.

  28. EU exit update: added in link to information about new outreach events in Hungary

  29. EU Exit update: New information in residency and visa section on draft withdrawal agreement in principle between the UK and EU. Plus information on travelling with pets in Europe in pet section.

  30. Complete revision of guidance to ensure it's up to date and accurate.

  31. Amended April 2017

  32. First published.