HomeHungary Golden Visa: The Definitive Guide For Global Investors - Lincoln Global Partners

Hungary Golden Visa Guide

The "Guest Investor Residence Permit," also celebrated as the Hungary Golden Visa Program, introduces an avant-garde residency-by-investment scheme tailored for non-EU and non-EEA individuals. This prestigious program offers a golden gateway to securing residency in Hungary, alongside the privilege of visa-free exploration across the Schengen Zone in Europe. It unfolds a spectrum of lucrative investment avenues, ranging from the acquisition of prime residential real estate to investments in real estate funds, as well as the opportunity to contribute to Hungary's growth through donations that support educational, scientific, artistic, or cultural projects. This initiative not only paves the way for a life in Hungary's vibrant landscape but also opens doors to the rich cultural tapestry and boundless mobility within Europe.

History of the Hungary Golden Visa

From 2013 to 2017 there was an official Hungary Golden Visa program, otherwise known as the Residency Bond Program. It was designed to attract foreign investors by offering them and their families the opportunity to obtain permanent residency in Hungary in exchange for a financial investment in government bonds. Investors were required to invest a minimum of €300,000 in Hungarian government bonds, which was supposed to be held for a period of five years, after which the investment would be returned to the investor without interest.

The program was suspended in 2017. The suspension was a decision made by the Hungarian government for various reasons, including achieving the program's initial objectives of attracting foreign capital and considering the changing dynamics of international investment and migration.

Alas, 2024 brings in a new Hungarian investment immigration program, essentially a face lift of the previous golden visa program. Except this time, it's better! Now investors have more investment avenues to choose from and with a lower investment bar set at €250,000.

Read on as we highlight all the fine details of and new program considerations.

Hungary Golden Visa
Hungary Golden Visa

Hungary Golden Visa 2024 - When does it open?

The Hungary Golden Visa Program, inaugurated as a new official initiative under the title "Guest Investor Residence Permit," represents a strategic development in Hungary's immigration policy. This program, which saw its legal framework revised and updated in January, officially rolls out the application process starting in July. This delay between the legal establishment and the operational start allows Hungary to meticulously prepare the necessary infrastructure to efficiently manage and process applications. Designed exclusively for non-EU and non-EEA individuals, this innovative program offers a pathway to Hungarian residency through investment, providing benefits such as visa-free travel within the Schengen Zone. The July commencement of application submissions marks a significant milestone, inviting investors to participate in this fresh and official residency-by-investment scheme.

Why Hungary?

Encapsulating a perfect blend of history and modernity — Hungary — stands out in Europe as a unique travel soot with its unprecedented allure and place of deep cultural significance.

Its capital, Budapest, commonly referred to as the "Paris of the East,” is packed full of stunning Gothic grandeur architecture and a romantic chain bridge spanning across the Danube connecting the two areas of the city — the Buda and the Pest. Beyond the architectural marvels, Hungary’s culinary traditions embodied the rich heritage with dishes like goulash and paprikash giving a taste of the nation's soul. Not to be forgotten are the famous thermal baths, a cornerstone of Hungarian culture. Locals and visitors alike can partake in the centuries-old tradition of relaxation and healing — a reflection of the social and health-conscious aspects of Hungarian life.

Linguistically speaking, Hungary brings another cultural uniqueness setting it apart within the European context. Unlike any of its neighboring languages, Hungarian, or Magyar, belongs to the Finno-Ugric language family, bringing insight into the distinct path the country carved through history. This language carries the essence of the nation’s identity and resilience, encapsulating stories and traditions that have been preserved over centuries. Coupled with a vibrant folk art scene that includes intricate embroidery, pottery, and music, Hungary’s cultural expressions are a testament to the creativity and spirit of its people. From the rolling hills of the Tokaj wine region to the serene banks of Lake Balaton, Hungary’s landscapes are as diverse as its cultural offerings. Here, history, nature and tradition ravel together creating a truly unique place, and a must-see destination.
Hungary Lakes

Hungary Golden Visa Benefits

The newly unveiled Hungarian residency program unfolds a plethora of benefits for its participants, encapsulating:
No stay requirements
No obligation to fulfill minimum stay requirements.
Tying as the lowest minimum investment requirement of all the EU Golden Visas
Investments as low as €250,000 are neck-and-neck with the Greece Golden Visa requirements.
Visa free travel across the EU Schengen area
Travel through the entire 26 country Schengen zone and stay for up to 3 months at a time with your Hungarian residency card.
Renewable indefinitely
Permanent Hungarian residency with the option to renew every decade as long as the investment is maintained.
Access to prime real estate investment in the European Union
It can be advantageous to own real estate in a growing European economy!
Little to no tax obligations for individuals who are not residents
You can enjoy your Hungarian permanent residency card with little to no tax obligations. (Dependent upon the chosen investment avenue. Real estate investment may require property tax.)
A fast and effective pathway to European residency
Approval of applications typically within 4 to 8 weeks.
Includes your dependents
Extend the residence permit to the entire family by providing proof of financial dependency.
The option to live in Hungary
You can make Hungary your home-base and all the perks of high quality healthcare, education and a charming Eastern European lifestyle on your Hungarian golden visa.

Hungary's Golden Visa: Investment Options

You might be pondering how one can access this novel and refined pathway to residency. The Hungary Guest Investor Visa, also known as the revamped Hungary Golden Visa, opens doors to residency through a variety of investment options. These include engaging with real estate investment funds, direct investment in property, or contributing to the advancement of higher education through donations.

Let's explore the intricacies of each investment pathway...

To be eligible for Hungary’s new golden visa program, foreign investors are required to meet one of the following three new investment avenues:

  • Make an investment of €250,000 in investment funds, which must be issued by a real estate investment fund accredited by the National Bank.
  • Directly invest €500,000 in residential real estate in Hungary, ensuring the property is free from any liens or claims.
  • Contribute €1 million as a donation to Hungarian public trust. This donation should support activities in education, science, art, or creativity, and must be managed by a public interest trust foundation that carries out a public duty.

Account for additional processing fees such as agent and lawyer fees.

Hungary Golden Visa via Investment Funds

The most cost-effective pathway to residency in Hungary is the golden visa:

An investment of €250,000 into a real estate fund registered by the Central Bank of Hungary

Additional requirements:

  • Investors must retain the investment certificate of the real estate fund for a minimum of five years.
  • Only fund managers with a valid financial license and who adhere to predetermined investment principles in their fund management policy are authorized to establish a real estate fund.
  • Fund managers must either hold a site security clearance or be registered with the Constitution Protection Office to engage with Guest Investor Visas.
  • To align with national economic interests, at least 40% of the net asset value of the real estate fund must be invested in residential real estate projects realized in Hungary.

Hungary Golden Visa - Real Estate Option

In order to qualify for the Hungary Golden Visa via real estate, investors are required to:

Invest a minimum of EUR 500,000 into residential property in Hungary.

The additional requirements are as follows:

  • The investment must be in residential real estate only; investments in commercial or industrial properties are not permissible.
  • The property should be free from any disputes, encumbrances, or claims to ensure it is entirely uncontested.
  • A foreign national must obtain approval from the local government office where the property is located to acquire real estate in Hungary.
  • Upon purchasing the residential property, a restriction against selling or encumbering the property must be registered in the land registry. This restriction is to remain in place for five years from the date the sales contract is finalized.
  • The residential property must remain under the sole or joint ownership of the third-country national applying for the permit and/or their family members (spouse, minor children) for a period of five years.
  • The acquisition of the property is subject to a property transfer tax, which amounts to 4% of the property’s market value.
  • Although the legislation permits investors to utilize the property, such as by renting it out, Hungary imposes a personal income tax on rental income, which is subject to a specific limit.

This structured approach ensures that the investment not only adheres to regulatory requirements but also opens up potential avenues for generating income through the property, thereby adding an attractive dimension to the investment.

For investors who are looking to make a real estate investment, Lincoln Global Partners has snagged some of the best properties on the market in Budapest. These golden visa eligible properties will certainly secure a successful foreign investment journey.

Eligible Real Estate Investments from €500,000

Hungary Golden Visa Real Estate Investments

Hungary Golden Visa Real Estate

Millenium Residences, Budapest

Millennium Residence in Budapest: Luxurious 1-5 bedroom apartments starting from 56,900,000 HUF. Modern amenities, prime location, and unparalleled lifestyle.

Public Trust Donation

The most costly investment avenue entails making a donation of €1,000,000 to a public trust as specified by the Hungarian government. Unlike direct property investments, this method supports public initiatives and projects within Hungary.

A Hungarian public trust is a legal entity established to manage assets for specific public purposes, such as education, scientific research, cultural projects, and other initiatives that benefit the public. These trusts are often designated by the government to oversee and implement projects that contribute to the public good and societal development.

Hungary Golden Visa Application Process

The application process to obtain a Hungary Golden Visa follows a relatively simple procedure. Initially, applicants are required to apply for the 2-year Guest Investor Visa, allowing them to stay in Hungary for 90 days within any 180-day period. To secure the golden visa card along with a 10-year residence permit, investors with golden visas must finalize their investment within the initial 93 days of their stay in Hungary.

The entire application and residency process is anticipated to last up to two months. It’s important for prospective applicants to be aware of the various fees associated with the application, including legal, application, and processing charges, which depend on the chosen investment type and the number of family members included. Most of which can be sorted from the comfort of the main applicants home country.


Interested in a free consultation with one of our specialist residency & citizenship by investment advisors?

Comparing Hungary Golden Visa to other European programs

Hungary presents a solid golden visa option in comparison to other golden visas. Budapest is becoming a more and more favored European destination and it’s likely to see upwards growth in the property market and international investments.

The costs of this program are slightly lower or equivalent to competitor golden visa options in Europe such as Greece, Spain, Malta and Portugal. The ease of acquiring a residency is exceptionally high. Although, getting Hungary citizenship is only viable for those willing to live in the country.

Still, for those who choose to call Hungary home, there are options to work and study in the country with very little additional hassle under this long term residency permit. The main applicant can prove financial dependency to add the entire family to their application. In essence by renewing every decade this program grants life long residency to Hungary. Resulting in an open pathway to Europe. By our predictions, it certainly has the potential to become a highly sought after European golden visa program.

Hungary Residency By Investment

Living in Hungary

Living in Budapest offers both historical charm and vibrant city life, making it an increasingly popular permanent residence choice among digital nomads from around the globe. The city glimmers with architectural marvels, from the imposing Buda Castle to the picturesque Fisherman’s Bastion. Sprawling green spaces like Margaret Island provide a serene escape within the heart of the city. Budapest is also celebrated for its thermal baths, a tradition dating back to Roman times, offering residents and visitors alike a unique way to relax and unwind. The cost of living in Budapest is relatively low compared to other European capitals, allowing for a comfortable lifestyle that includes enjoying the city’s bustling café culture, diverse cuisine, and lively nightlife.

The recent emergence of digital nomads in Budapest testifies to the city’s adaptability and appeal to a global workforce seeking flexibility and adventure. Budapest’s appeal lies in its high-speed internet, coworking spaces, and an international community fostering networking and creativity. Districts such as the Jewish Quarter have become hubs of activity, where historic buildings now house modern apartments, trendy bars and eclectic eateries to cater to a cosmopolitan crowd. The city’s central location in Europe makes it an ideal base for those looking to explore the continent, with numerous travel options for weekend getaways, catch a train or Wiz away (on cheap flights via Hungarian budget airline Wiz), to popular European spots.

The Hungarian capital’s allure is not just in its physical beauty and amenities but also in the warmth of its people and the depth of its culture. Expats and digital nomads in Budapest find themselves immersed in a city that celebrates its rich history while embracing the dynamism of modern urban life. Festivals, concerts and exhibitions are regular occurrences, ensuring that there is always something new to discover. Budapest offers not just a place to work, but a place to live fully/ Where work and productivity effortlessly blends with leisure and exploration, in a city with continuously unfolding opportunities.

A typical day of Hungarian life unfolds against a backdrop of scenic landscapes and historical grandeur. Traditional and contemporary merge together. Morning light filters through the leafy avenues of Budapest, casting a warm glow on the cobblestone streets lined with Art Nouveau and Baroque buildings. Inhale the aroma of freshly baked kifli from local bakeries, mingling with the scent of strong, black coffee from the numerous cafés where people gather for morning discussions or solitary contemplation over a newspaper. In the countryside, the day starts with the pastoral symphony of clucking chickens and the distant tolling of church bells. Early rising farmers tend to their vineyards on the rolling hillsides, and small towns come to life with the opening of markets filled with fresh produce and colorful handicrafts.

As the day progresses, city squares buzz with activity; street vendors sell fragrant lángos, and the melodic Hungarian language fills the air, punctuated by laughter and lively conversations. Public transport trams, adorned with advertisements and graffiti, crisscross the city, their tracks echoing the rhythm of urban life. By the Danube, tourists and locals stroll along the promenade, taking in the panoramic views of the river that bisects the city. The setting sun bathes the historic buildings in golden hues, signaling the end of the workday and the beginning of the evening’s pleasures. Friends and families gather in the bustling ruin bars or along the riverbanks to enjoy the vibrant nightlife and the communal spirit that is the essence of life in Hungary.

It is safe to say Hungary Golden Visa investors have a lot to look forward to!

Hungary Chain Bridge

Apply for the Hungary Golden Visa with Lincoln Global Partners

The Hungary Golden Visa is an exceptional opportunity for individuals to gain EU residency in historical Eastern Europe. The Hungary Guest Investor visa offers many benefits such as economic and investment opportunities, enhanced global mobility and the ability to live, work and study in Hungary.

Lincoln Global Partners is a specialist international investment migration firm with offices in the UK, UAE and Brazil. Our professionals are experts in the field of citizenship by investment and we are ready to assist you every step of the way with your Greece Golden Visa application.
Frequently Asked Questions

Your Journey with Lincoln Global Partners

What is Citizenship by Investment (CBI)?

Citizenship by Investment (CBI) is a program that allows wealthy individuals to obtain a second citizenship by investing in a particular country. These programs are becoming increasingly popular as they offer a number of benefits, including visa-free travel, tax reduction, and a second home.

What are the benefits of obtaining a second citizenship?

There are many benefits to obtaining a second citizenship, including:

  • Visa-free travel: A second passport can give you visa-free access to a number of countries, making it easier to travel the world.
  • Tax reduction: Some countries offer citizenship by investment programs with attractive tax benefits, such as no income tax or inheritance tax.
  • A second home: Citizenship by investment can give you the right to live and work in another country. This can be a great option for those who are looking to retire abroad or who want to have a backup plan in case of political or economic instability in their home country.
Which countries offer Citizenship by Investment programs?

Lincoln Global Partners offers citizenship by investment programs in a number of Caribbean and European countries. Some of the most popular programs include those offered by Grenada, St. Lucia, Dominica, Portugal, and Spain.

How much does it cost to obtain citizenship by investment?

The cost of obtaining citizenship by investment varies depending on the country and the specific program. However, it is generally necessary to make a significant investment, such as in real estate or government bonds.

How can Lincoln Global Partners help me obtain citizenship by investment?

Lincoln Global Partners is a leading provider of citizenship by investment programs. They have a team of experienced professionals who can help you choose the right program for your needs and guide you through the application process.

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