Frequently Asked Questions For UK Nationals Living In Hungary Answered

  • 24 Feb 2021 5:04 PM
Frequently Asked Questions For UK Nationals Living In Hungary Answered
Summary of the most frequently asked questions can be found below.

Q: Are there any arrangements for British nationals resident in Hungary to get the Covid-19 vaccination?

Wherever possible British nationals should aim to be vaccinated in the country where they live. The Hungarian authorities have asked people to register their interest in receiving a vaccine on the vakcinainfo.gov.hu website. Once registered, the authorities will invite people for vaccination based on the order of priority determined by the national vaccination programme.

You will need your health insurance number (TAJ number) to register on vakcinainfo.gov.hu. If you do not have a TAJ number, please see our Living in Hungary guide for details of how to apply.

If you are unable to register for a TAJ number for any reason, the Hungarian authorities have confirmed that all people resident in Hungary will be eligible for vaccination. Those without a TAJ number will become entitled to vaccination once the population group they belong to (e.g. on the basis of age or primary disease) becomes eligible for vaccination AND the individuals of the group that hold a TAJ number have already been vaccinated. The authorities have not yet confirmed the process for registering for vaccination without a TAJ number.

As further information is available about the national vaccination programme, the Embassy will update Travel Advice for Hungary. Sign up to get email notifications.

Q: I came to Hungary before the end of the UK-EU Transition Period (31 December 2020) and I would like to continue living here. What do I need to do to secure my rights?

A: If you were living in Hungary before 1 January 2021, the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement protects your rights.  This means that you need to apply for a new National Permanent Residence Permit in Hungary by the end of 2021 even if you already have a pre-transition period EU residency document. 

All UK nationals and their family members who want to continue living in Hungary must apply before 31 December 2021.  You can find further information on the scheme at the website of the Hungarian immigration authority: http://www.bmbah.hu/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&layout=item&id=1314&Itemid=1853&lang=en.

Under the new preferential scheme there is no minimum period requirement for residency. You just need to present your existing residency documents or show you were in Hungary before 1 January by submitting documents such as a work contract or a house rental agreement.

The Hungarian immigration authority is working on a separate platform on the Enter Hungary online application portal for UK nationals eligible under the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement. We will let you know as soon as it is available.

Until then, you can submit your application on Enter Hungary (https://enterhungary.gov.hu/eh/?en), following the steps set out in the following guidance: http://www.bmbah.hu/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1630:information-on-the-preferential-procedure-application-for-citizens-of-the-united-kingdom&Itemid=2062&lang=en.

You can also submit your application in person at the relevant regional immigration office, using a paper form. Please note that due to the coronavirus pandemic some restrictions have been introduced in in-person appointments at government offices. This means that you need to book an appointment if you would like to apply in person. You can do this at the website of the immigration authority:http://www.bmbah.hu/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=395:appointment-booking&lang=en.

Please note that personal appearance is required for the collection of biometric data within 15 days of the submission of the application, even if it was submitted electronically. The Enter Hungary platform will send a notification about the need of your attendance.

Q: I already have a residence permit/residence certificate and an address card. Do I still need to apply for a new document?

A: Yes. If you were living in Hungary before 1 January 2021, the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement protects your rights. This means that you need to apply for a new National Permanent Residence Permit in Hungary by the end of 2021 even if you already have a pre-transition period EU residency document.  All UK nationals and their family members who want to continue living in Hungary must apply before 31 December 2021. Your existing residency documents will only remain valid until the end of 2021.

Q: What is the validity of the new National Permanent Residence Permit?

A: The newly issued National Permanent Residence Permit will provide permanent resident status and the right to reside in the territory of Hungary indefinitely. The validity period of the National Permanent Residence Permit itself is 5 years, which can be extended by an additional 5 years upon request. But this will not affect your right to stay in Hungary.

Until you receive your new document, your existing residency document will remain valid (until the end of 2021). You can find further information about the process at the website of the Hungarian immigration authority: http://www.bmbah.hu/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&layout=item&id=1314&Itemid=1853&lang=en.

Q: How will entry to Hungary work with the new National Permanent Residence Permit? Will I be able to use the EU lanes at the border and do I need any additional document to enter Hungary?

A: The UK-EU Transition Period ended on 31 December 2020. This means that from 1 January 2021 you will need to use the "All Passport" lane rather than the EU lane at the airport.  When entering, you should show your residency document alongside your passport.  This means the border police should not stamp your passport on entry.

Q: I am a British national resident in Hungary. Can I travel freely in the Schengen zone with my Hungarian residence permit and address card?

A: You can travel to other Schengen area countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa for purposes such as tourism or some business trips.  To stay longer than 90 days in any 180-day period, you must meet the entry requirements set out by the country you are travelling to.

This could mean applying for a visa or work permit.  We do not yet have full details of the upcoming online visa waiver system (ETIAS) and how it relates to those protected by the Withdrawal Agreement; please keep an eye on our social media for any updates.

There is also an option to apply for an EC Permanent Residence Permit. This is open to all third-country nationals and would allow you to travel freely in the Schengen zone without limitations. You can find more information about the eligibility criteria here: http://www.bmbah.hu/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&layout=item&id=73&Itemid=714&lang=en.

Q: I am a British national resident in Hungary. Can I still access public transport free of charge if I am above the age of 65?

A: If you are a resident in Hungary and you are above the age of 65, you remain entitled to free public transport. You need to present your residency documents to show that you are eligible. But please note that your existing residency documents remain valid only until 31 December 2021.

If you want to continue living in Hungary after 31 December 2021, you need to apply for a new National Permanent Residence Permit by the end of 2021. This is in line with the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement that protects your rights in Hungary. You can find more information on this at the website of the Hungarian immigration authority: http://www.bmbah.hu/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1314:information-on-brexit&Itemid=1853&lang=en.

Q: I have a UK issued driving licence. Where and how can I exchange it for a Hungarian one?

A: From 1 January 2021, UK nationals need to go to Budapest to exchange their driving licences (XIII. district, Budapest Főváros Kormányhivatala, Központi  Okmányirodai Főosztály, 1133 Budapest, Visegrádi utca 110.). We appreciate this is an inconvenience.

For more details, please visit the Hungarian government's webpage (in Hungarian) here: https://nyilvantarto.hu/hu/vezetoiengedely_honositas. You will need the following documents for the process: ID or passport; address card or any certificate of a Hungarian address; health assessment from GP; original driving licence. You do not need to take a driving test or exam to exchange your licence, nor do you need to provide a translation of the licence. 

Q: I am a long term UK resident in Hungary and I periodically make a longer trip back to the UK, usually about 4 months. What are the changes I may encounter driving my Hungarian plate car into the UK?

A: You can usually use a vehicle with foreign number plates without registering or taxing it in the UK if all of the following apply:

  • you are visiting and do not plan to live in the UK;
  • the vehicle is registered and taxed in its home country (so in Hungary in this case);
  • you only use the vehicle for up to 6 months in total - this can be a single visit, or several shorter visits over 12 months.
     

If you have further questions about bringing a vehicle from the EU for less than 6 months, you can call the imports and exports helpline: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/customs-international-trade-and-excise-enquiries.

Please note that if you become a resident in the UK or stay for longer than 6 months you must register and tax your vehicle in the UK.

Q: I am a UK state pensioner with a registered S1 form in Hungary. I also have a TAJ card. Am I covered for healthcare outside of Hungary?

A: If you have access to healthcare in Hungary because you are a UK state pensioner with a registered S1 in Hungary, it means that you remain insured by the UK.  In this situation, you can apply for a new EHIC (called GHIC) from the UK, which covers you for necessary and emergency healthcare when visiting other parts of the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. 

If you already have an EHIC, and it's still in date, you do not need to apply for a new one for travel in the EU, though an old EHIC does not cover Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.  You can find more information here: https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/apply-for-a-free-uk-global-health-insurance-card-ghic/.

EHICs are only valid for the countries mentioned, so if you're travelling further afield you need travel insurance.  Even within Europe, EHICs are not an alternative to travel insurance. They do not cover any private medical healthcare or costs, such as mountain rescue in ski resorts or being flown back home.  Make sure you have both an EHIC and a travel insurance policy that includes healthcare in place before you travel.

Q: My son is a UK national married to a Hungarian citizen and living in Hungary. As his mother, can I apply for residency if I visit and stay with them for more than 90 days in a year?

A: Unless you were living in Hungary before 1 January 2021, you will probably need to apply for residency through the "normal" route for non-EU citizens, though you may not be eligible if you only visit occasionally. 

You can find more general information on the different residence statuses here: http://www.bmbah.hu/index.php?lang=en.

One option is to apply through the Hungarian Consulate in London, on which there is more information here: https://london.mfa.gov.hu/eng/page/special-visa-information-in-the-uk. We strongly recommend you discuss your exact circumstances with the Hungarian authorities, as they can advise on your options and whether any special considerations apply (such as Family Reunification). 

The Withdrawal Agreement means that UK nationals who were living in Hungary before 1 January 2021 and who obtain a new Hungarian National Permanent Resident Permit before the end of 2021 can be joined by close family members in Hungary at any point in the future, on the basis of pre-transition period EU rules, where the relationship existed before 1 January 2021.

The definition of a close family member includes: spouses or registered partners, unmarried partners, dependent children and grandchildren, and dependent parents and grandparents.

More information about family reunification rules under the Withdrawal Agreement can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-europe

Source: UK in Hungary

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