Residence permit to Hungary – Family Reunification

It is natural that we wish to live with our family and the law respects this instinct. Whether you are a third country national working in Hungary or a Hungarian citizen with third-country national family members, they have an opportunity to join you.

If the intended duration of the stay exceeds ninety days within any one hundred eighty day period, a residence permit may be issued to a third country national who is a family member of someone legally residing in Hungary on the grounds of family reunification.

Spouses of a third country national or a Hungarian citizen, minor children, including adopted and foster children and parents or individuals having parental custody can be considered as family members.

In order to the applicant qualify for this type of residence permit it is clear that the sponsor – aka the family member of the applicant – has to have appropriate legal basis to reside in Hungary, such as being a Hungarian citizen, recognized as refugee or holding a:

  • long-term visa;
  • residence permit;
  • immigration permit;
  • permanent residence permit;
  • interim permanent residence permit;
  • national permanent residence permit;
  • EC permanent residence permit; or
  • residence card

1.General conditions of issuing the residence permit

The applicant shall

  1. be in possession of a valid travel document;
  2. have the necessary permit for return or continued travel;
  3. justify the purpose of entry and stay;
  4. have accommodation;
  5. prove sufficient means of subsistence and financial resources to cover accommodation costs and leaving the country;
  6. have comprehensive health insurance;
  7. and the applicant cannot be subject to expulsion or exclusion and shall not be considered a threat affecting public policy, public security, national security, or public health of Hungary
  8. and cannot be a subject of SIS alert

The third-country national holding a residence permit is not required to certify the requirements 2-6. again at the time of entry since during the application procedure these has been examined and holding the residence permit or the visa for the purpose of collecting the residence permit is proof of fulfilment of those conditions.

In addition to the requirements above a minor third-country national needs to present a permission from a parent or legal representative to stay in Hungary.

2. Special characteristics

Verification of the purpose of residence

In case of application for a residence permit for the purpose of family reunification the purpose of entry and stay can be justified particularly by enclosing:

  • birth certificate;
    • marriage certificate; or
    • adoption document.

In some cases, the existence of family relations can be verified by DNA analysis or other reliable means.

Proof of subsistence

A third-country national is considered to have sufficient resources if the applicant or the family member has lawful income or assets to cover living expenses. The documents suitable as evidence can be:

  • income certificate issued by the employer or the tax authority
  • bank statement

Family members of a third-country national with refugee status

In case of family members of an individual with refugee status in Hungary there are some exceptions regarding the requirements. If the time between getting the refugee status and the request for family reunification is less than three months the applicant is exempt from proving to have accommodation, sufficient financial resources, comprehensive health insurance.

A residence permit to the spouse of a person with refugee status may be issued “if their marriage was contracted before the entry of the person with refugee status into the territory of Hungary”

“A decision rejecting an application for family reunification with a person with refugee status may not be based solely on the fact that documentary evidence of the family relationship is lacking” [Act II of 2007]

3. Credibility of documents issued abroad

According to Hungarian law certain documents issued abroad shall be authenticated and translated to be considered affirmative proof.

In case there is no Hungarian or EU legislation to exonerate from this obligation, authentic certifications, documents issued by a foreign court, administrative body, notary or other person with the authority to issue authentic documents shall be endorsed by the Hungarian authority of foreign missions in the country it was originally issued.

This applies to birth certificates, but in case of marriage certificates domestic registration is necessary.

Non-Hungarian documents shall be attached accompanied by the official Hungarian translation unless otherwise provided by law.

4. Validity and extension

In view of validity the general rule is that the validity period of the residence permit can not exceed the validity period of the sponsors residence permit and with a few exceptions the residence permit can be issued for three years maximum.

The validity period of a residence permit issued for the purpose of family reunification may be four years if the sponsor has an EU Blue Card and five years if the sponsor is a Hungarian citizen or has an EC permanent residence permit.

Extension of the permit is possible if certain legal conditions are met and the actual residence of the third-country national exceeded ninety days within any one hundred eighty day period during the validity of the residence permit. The temporal conditions has to be met prior to submission and the latest date of the submission shall be thirty days before the Immigration and Asylum Office.

5. Working in Hungary

The holder of the residence permit for the purpose of family reunification may perform gainful activity or be employed in the territory of Hungary if this intention has been announced to the regional directorate of the Immigration and Asylum Office.

Do you have any question regarding residency in Hungary? Do not hesitate to contact us!

Disclaimer: We provide our services in accordance with the Hungarian and European laws in effect. We assist our clients only in lawful entry and residency in Hungary and we do not support illegal immigration.

Dobos István attorney at law (ügyvéd; Budapest)/ Kőhidi Ákos attorney at law (ügyvéd; Győr) / Laczó Barbara

Further questions concerning immigration law / residence permit / VISA? You can read further:
How to apply for a VISA to enter the Schengen Zone
Residence permit for the purpose of employment
Overview of immigration procedures in Hungary


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