This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages) This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Hungarian nationality law" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (March 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) This article possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. (March 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Hungary Citizenship Act
Parliament of Hungary
  • An Act relating to Hungarian citizenship
Enacted byGovernment of Hungary
Status: Current legislation

Hungarian nationality law is based on the principles of jus sanguinis. Hungarian citizenship can be acquired by descent from a Hungarian parent, or by naturalisation. A person born in Hungary to foreign parents does not generally acquire Hungarian citizenship. A Hungarian citizen is also a citizen of the European Union.

The basic principles for the acquisition of Hungarian citizenship are laid down in Article G) of the Fundamental Law, while the detailed rules are laid down in Act LV of 1993 on Hungarian Citizenship (commonly abbreviated as Ápt.). By changes made in January 2011, every person who was a Hungarian citizen or a descendant of a person who was a Hungarian citizen[1] before 1920 (only the Kingdom of Hungary, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is eligible) or between 1941 and 1945 and speaks Hungarian may apply to become a Hungarian citizen, even if they do not live in Hungary.

Dual citizenship is permitted under Hungarian law.[2]

Citizenship by birth and adoption

A person acquires Hungarian citizenship at birth if at least one parent is a Hungarian citizen. The place of birth is irrelevant.

Children born in Hungary to foreign parents do not acquire Hungarian citizenship at birth unless they would otherwise be stateless.

Minor children adopted by Hungarian citizens may apply and would normally be granted Hungarian citizenship.

Naturalization as a Hungarian citizen

Persons may apply to be naturalized as a Hungarian citizen after 8 years continuous residence in Hungary if they:

Persons may apply to be naturalized after 5 years residence in Hungary if they were:

Persons may apply to be naturalized after 3 years residence in Hungary if they are:

Persons may apply to be naturalized if they are:

Applicants aged 60 or over, those of diminished capacity, and persons holding a Hungarian language diploma (from a Hungarian institution) may be exempted the constitutional studies requirement.

Citizenship by ancestry

The Hungarian citizenship law of 2011 allows ethnic Hungarians to apply for simplified naturalisation if they can speak Hungarian and provide evidence of Hungarian ancestry.[3][4] A person may apply for simplified naturalisation if the applicant is a descendant of a person who was a Hungarian citizen[1] before 1920 (only the Kingdom of Hungary, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is eligible) or between 1941 and 1945 and the applicant speaks Hungarian. They may become a Hungarian citizen even if they do not live in Hungary.

The law has created controversy as some five million ethnic Hungarians living beyond Hungary's borders, mostly in Romania, Slovakia, Serbia and Ukraine, may claim Hungarian citizenship.[5] There are Hungarians living in Slovakia, Serbia, Ukraine, Romania, and Austria whose ancestors lost Hungarian citizenship as a result of the peace treaty ending World War I.[6]

By December 2019, more than 1,100,000 applications had been filed and over 950,000 people had been granted citizenship. The main sources of applicants were 650,000 from Transylvania (Romania), 150,000 from Vojvodina (Serbia) and 120,000 from Ukraine.

Hungarian citizenship by declaration

Declaration is a simplified form of naturalisation. The following people may be eligible to acquire Hungarian citizenship by declaration:

Oath of allegiance

Persons becoming naturalised Hungarian citizens are expected to take an Oath of Allegiance as follows:

"I swear that I regard Hungary as my country. I will be a faithful citizen of the Republic of Hungary. I will respect and obey the Constitution and laws of this country. I defend my country to the utmost of my strength, I serve it to the best of my abilities. So help me God".

Those who prefer may take an equivalent solemn promise instead of an oath.

Loss of Hungarian citizenship

It is not possible for a person to lose Hungarian citizenship involuntarily. The exception concerns fraudulent applications for naturalisation (subject to a 20-year time bar after which action cannot be taken).

Hungarian citizens who hold another nationality and live outside Hungary may renounce their Hungarian citizenship.

Dual citizenship

Hungary allows its citizens to hold foreign citizenship in addition to their Hungarian citizenship. Some countries, however, do not permit multiple citizenship e.g. adults who acquired Hungarian and Japanese citizenship by birth must declare, to the latter's Ministry of Justice, before turning 22, which citizenship they want to keep.

Citizenship of the European Union

Because Hungary forms part of the European Union, Hungarian citizens are also citizens of the European Union under European Union law and thus enjoy rights of free movement and have the right to vote in elections for the European Parliament.[7] When in a non-EU country where there is no Hungarian embassy, Hungarian citizens have the right to get consular protection from the embassy of any other EU country present in that country.[8][9] Hungarian citizens can live and work in any country within the EU as a result of the right of free movement and residence granted in Article 21 of the EU Treaty.[10]

Travel freedom of Hungarian citizens

Main article: Visa requirements for Hungarian citizens

Visa requirements for Hungarian citizens

Visa requirements for Hungarian citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of Hungary. As of May 2018, Hungarian citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 180 countries and territories, ranking the Hungarian passport 9th in terms of travel freedom according to the Henley Passport Index.[11]

In 2017, the Hungarian nationality is ranked eighteenth in Nationality Index (QNI). This index differs from the Visa Restrictions Index, which focuses on external factors including travel freedom. The QNI considers, in addition, to travel freedom on internal factors such as peace & stability, economic strength, and human development as well. [12]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Consulate General of Hungary Los Angeles". Retrieved 2022-04-14.
  2. ^ "Hungary Citizenship Bill Irks Neighbor". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  3. ^ "New Hungary citizenship law fuels passport demand". BBC. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  4. ^ "Slovaks retaliate over Hungarian citizenship law". BBC. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  5. ^ "Controversial Hungarian Citizenship Law Passed". Archived from the original on 2012-02-13. Retrieved 2010-08-18.
  6. ^ "Hungary citizenship law triggers row with Slovakia". Reuters. Retrieved 2012-04-20.
  7. ^ "Hungary". European Union. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  8. ^ Article 20(2)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
  9. ^ Rights abroad: Right to consular protection: a right to protection by the diplomatic or consular authorities of other Member States when in a non-EU Member State, if there are no diplomatic or consular authorities from the citizen's own state (Article 23): this is due to the fact that not all member states maintain embassies in every country in the world (14 countries have only one embassy from an EU state). Antigua and Barbuda (UK), Barbados (UK), Belize (UK), Central African Republic (France), Comoros (France), Gambia (UK), Guyana (UK), Liberia (Germany), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (UK), San Marino (Italy), São Tomé and Príncipe (Portugal), Solomon Islands (UK), Timor-Leste (Portugal), Vanuatu (France)
  10. ^ "Treaty on the Function of the European Union (consolidated version)" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-07-10.
  11. ^ "Global Ranking - Passport Index 2018" (PDF). Henley & Partners. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  12. ^ "The 41 nationalities with the best quality of life". 2016-02-06. Archived from the original on 2018-12-09. Retrieved 2018-09-10.