Entry conditions for foreigners under visa obligation for up to 90 days
Visa free entry depends on the citizenship of the applicant. Citizens of many countries do not need a visa to visit Hungary for stays up to 90 days. Please check the country list if you are not sure whether you need a visa.
A visa is only a preliminary permission for entry, which does not authorize its bearer automatically to enter the country. The traveller may be requested to provide proof of the existence of the conditions of his entry and stay in Hungary and, if he is not able to fulfil this, he may be returned from the border.
The types of Schengen visas
- Short stay visa (C): authorizes the bearer to a single, double or multiple entries and, in case of an uninterrupted stay, to a stay of maximum 90 days, while in case of an interrupted stay, to a stay of altogether maximum 90 days within the 6 months counted from the date of the first entry.
Where to submit a visa application?
Schengen visa applications have to be submitted at the representation of the country which is the main destination of the visit. (If visiting several states with stays of approximately the same duration the consulate responsible for issuing the visa is that of the country of the first entry into the Schengen area.) Thus, according to the above described Schengen regulations applicants having Hungary as the main destination, or the country of first entry in case of a trip stretching through several Schengen Member States can submit their visa applications at the Hungarian representations.
Practical example: If you wish to travel around Europe for three weeks, spending two weeks in Austria and one in Hungary, you should apply for the Schengen visa at the Austrian Consulate. It is sometimes difficult to determine the main destination, for example, where the traveller intends to make several consecutive short stays of approximately the same length in various Schengen States. In this case, you should go to the consulate of the first country you intend to visit.
Practical example: A businessman plans a trip to Europe to meet business partners in various European capitals, in each of which he will stay for one or two days. He has booked a trip to Frankfurt, from which he will continue on his journey. In this case, the appropriate consulate is the German Consulate.
Attention! According to the Schengen rules border posts do normally not issue visas, except for family members of EEA citizens and only under extraordinary circumstances for other third country nationals (e.g. entry with a purpose of attending the funeral service of a deceased family member, when it can be proved that there has not been any possibility to apply for a visa beforehand).
Which of the Hungarian Consulates is responsible for issuing a visa?
Once it has been established that a Hungarian Consulate is responsible for issuing a Schengen visa, it has to be chosen which one of them. The general rule is that the application must be handed in at the consulate of where the applicant has a habitual residence.
If there is no Hungarian Consulate in the country where the applicant has his/her habitual residence the visa application can be handed in at any Hungarian Consulate or no other Schengen country is representing Hungary.
In the United States, the visa application shall be submitted to the Hungarian representation competent according to the permanent or usual place of residence of the foreigner.
The visa application needs to be submitted in person!
Who can submit a visa application?
As a general rule, the applicant can submit personally his/her own or his/her family member’s visa application.
In case of organized tourist trips, an accredited travel agency may submit the visa application.
In case of group travel – other than organized tourist trip - , the application may be submitted by a representative sufficiently authorized.
The exceptions to submit an application in person are listed above. Please be advised that even if your case falls into one of the listed exceptions, you still might be called for a personal interview if the consul deems it necessary.
The authorization is only valid for submitting the application and for collecting the issued visa; however the application form has to be signed by each applicant personally.
Consulates may receive visa applications at the earliest 6 months before the beginning of the visit.
- The visa fee is to be paid when the application is submitted.
- The consulate does not charge any additional fees other than the above for is!
- In case of a refusal of the visa, the visa processing fee cannot be refunded.
- The fee is to be paid in US dollars by debit or credit card only.
- All documents to be presented in connection with the visa application shall be original! No copies, notarized or not, shall be accepted! Any request for waiving this requirement shall be rejected without further consideration!
- Those applying through mail shall enclose a prepaid and self addressed, envelope for certified mail. The Embassy or Consulate General can arrange for pickup of passport/visa by express mail services if the necessary envelope, fee, stamp, account number, etc. are provided. We don't accept UPS envelopes since they charge the Embassy or Consulate General for mail pickup!
- By handing in the demand for visa and by allowing the passport with visa to be mailed, you release and hold the Hungarian foreign mission and its employees, as well as the Hungarian Foreign Ministry, harmless from any and all damage claims resulting from a possible loss or damage of any documents while in custody or during transport!
- As of April 5, 2010 we no longer accept visa applications through visa agencies!
Attention! If you are planning to visit more Schengen States, then the documents submitted must also contain information on your stay in the other Schengen States (e.g. if you plan to visit Hungary and the Czech Republic, you must not only hand in proof of hotel reservation in Hungary, but also in the Czech Republic, the same applies to ticket reservations and so on...)
1) General requirements:
- Fully comleted visa application (signed by the applicant, only Hungarian and English version accepted). You can find visa application form here.
- Valid passport (which must be valid for at least 3 months after returning from Hungary, issued within the last 10 years and containing 2 empty pages).
- 1 passport-size color photo (not older than 6 months).
- Original of valid US alien registration card (residence permit, aka: green card) or valid US resident visa (type A, E, F, G, H, I, J, L, O, R).
- Roundtrip airplane ticket reservation.
- Hotel reservation or official letter of invitation signed by the Hungarian Immigration and Naturalization Office or proof of group travel.
- Confirmation letter from your health insurance company stating that you will be covered for at least 50.000 USD for any medical and repatriation expenses, for the whole period of stay and for the territory of every Schengen State.
- Confirmation of financial resources (the last 3 months of bank statements).
- Pre-paid and self-addressed USPS label.
2) Additional requierements:
- Visa/s - if necessary - obtained for the country/ies where applicant intends to go after leaving Hungary.
- In case of an entry with an educational or other scientific or professional training purpose: the certificate of the receiving institution, the certificate of the envisaged place of accommodation in Hungary.
- In case of visiting friends, acquaintances: the letter of invitation issued and endorsed by the Office of Immigration and Nationality or the letter of invitation in the form of a public notarial document and a photocopy of the personal identification document/passport of the inviting party in Hungary.
- For the purpose of the cultivation of family relations: an invitation letter as described in the previous indent or a letter signed by the applicant in full awareness of his/her criminal liability describing the degree of the family relation, giving the name, address and phone number of the family member and the purpose of the entry and stay.
- In case of an entry for business purposes: a letter of invitation from the business partner, proof of the existence of commercial business relations; or the certificate of the local chamber of commerce on the existence of business relations, and the certification of the address of the envisaged place of accommodation in Hungary.
- In case of an entry with the purpose of medical treatment: the certificate of the receiving health institution, including reference to the fact that the expected coverage of the medical treatment is available, and other certification of the coverage of the medical treatment, as well as the certification of the address of the expected place of accommodation in Hungary.
- In case of carriers: the certification or request of the carrier firm.
- For the purpose of visiting the grave of a deceased relative buried in the territory of Hungary: a document certifying the existence of the grave and the degree of relationship.
- For the purpose of cultural activities: agency contract with the Hungarian service provider, invitation letter issued by the host organization.
- For the purpose of sport: accreditation proving the participation in the sports event or contract with the Hungarian sport club, or the certificate issued by the delegating sport club / Olympic committee / Ministry of Sport, etc.
- For the purpose of attending a conference: invitation letter issued by the host organization, confirmation on participation issued by the host organization, and/or a certification issued by the delegating organization; receipt on payment of the registration fee.
The consul may request the presentation of further documents in addition to the ones outlined above.
Documents shall be submitted in original. The original documents will be sent back. They may be asked for when crossing the Hungarian border.
The consulate reserves the right to examine the authenticity of the communicated data and the submitted documents. The communication of false data in itself will lead to the refusal of the visa application.
The time limit for examining visa applications
- According to law decision upon the visa application decision making process must not exceed: (can be extended by 30 days) 15 days
- In case of countries with a visa facilitation agreement with the EU this time period is: 10 days
Attention! We recommend to submit the visa application in due time, especially in periods preceding the summer holidays. The consulate may receive visa applications at the earliest 3 months before the beginning of the visit.
Decision making upon visa applications
Decision upon visa applications falls within the competence of the consuls, neither Hungarian nor local administrators may take decisions on applications.
In order to check visa applications the consul
- consults in every case the entry ban list (SIS)
- inspects former visas issued to the applicant
- is liable to consult with competent authorities of other Member States in particular cases - may consult with the Office of Immigration and Nationality and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- may consult with foreign representations of other Schengen States
- may request an interview with the applicant
- may request the presentation of further documents or certificates in addition to the ones already attached to the application.
Rejection of the visa application
In case of entry ban or doubts concerning the application the consulate will refuse the visa application. Presentation of counterfeit documents is a reason for refusal in itself. Notification on the reason for refusal can be obtained at the consulate only by the applicant in person. In case of refusal the consulate will not reimburse the visa fee.
In case of refusal a new application may be submitted at any time. In case of a new application the visa fee has to be paid again.
Crossing the external borders
The Community Code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders (published in OJ L 105 of 13 April 2006) sets out the conditions for entry into the territory of the Member States.
Holding a valid passport and visa (in the case of citizens of third countries where a visa is needed) are only two of the conditions of entry. The conditions of entry are initially checked by the consulates which examine visa applications. The conditions of entry are checked a second time when the person presents himself/herself at the external border (land, sea or airport) of the Member States.
If the border police decide that a person holding a visa does not fulfill the conditions of entry (for example: the person does not have the necessary means of subsistence for the duration of his/her stay), he/she will be refused entry, even if there is a visa in his/her passport.
Attention! Visa holders should carry with them supporting documents to demonstrate that they fulfill the conditions of entry, so that they can present them if need be during the checks at the EU border.