What is a permanent residence permit in Hungary?
Legal backround of the national permanent residence permit
Who amongst us has not whimsically daydreamed about the Permanent Residence Permit? I’ve heard countless rumors about the ease with which TCNs should be able to attain this coveted permit, yet I can count on one hand how many I know who’ve actually (1) applied for it, and (2) been successful in their efforts.
So, let’s start by going back to the basics: what is the permanent residence permit?
According to Act II of 2007 on the Admission and Right of Residence of Third-Country Nationals” (RRTN Section 35)
(1) National permanent residence permits may be issued – with the exception set out in Subsection (4) – to third-country nationals holding a residence permit or an interim permanent residence permit for establishing residence in the territory of Hungary, if:
- a) having lawfully resided in the territory of Hungary continuously for at least the preceding three years before the application was submitted;
- b) a family member of dependent direct relatives in the ascending line – other than the spouse – of a third-country national with immigrant or permanent resident status or who has been granted asylum, and living in the same household for at least the preceding one year before the application was submitted;
- c) the spouse of a third-country national with immigrant or permanent resident status or who has been granted asylum, provided that the marriage was contracted at least two years before the application was submitted;
- d) the applicant was formerly a Hungarian citizen and whose citizenship was terminated, or whose ascendant is or was a Hungarian citizen.
(2) Temporary absence from the territory of Hungary of less than four consecutive months shall not be deemed as discontinuity of residence, if the combined duration of absence does not exceed two hundred and seventy days during the preceding three years before the application was submitted.
(3) The immigration authority may authorize a third-country national to establish permanent residence in the territory of Hungary in the event if any discontinuity of residence for a period longer than that described in Subsection (2), if residence was discontinued for a substantial reason, such as medical treatment of foreign assignment of the third-country national in connection with his/her gainful employment.
(4) The third-country nationals recognized by the refugee authority as refugees may apply for a national permanent residence permit in the absence of a long-term visa or residence permit.
(5) A national residence permit shall not be issued to third country nationals who have a criminal record, and who are not exempted from the inherent disadvantages.
RRTN Section 36.
(1) Under special circumstances the third-country national who is unable to satisfy the conditions set out in Paragraph a) of Subsection (1) of Section 13, Subsection (1) of Section 33 and Subsection (1) of Section 35 may be granted a national permanent residence permit by decision of the minister in charge of immigration.
(2) Within the meaning of Subsection (1), the minister in charge of immigration shall take into account the applicant’s particular circumstances, family relations and health condition as special and equitable considerations, as well as the interests of Hungary.
(3) The decision of the minister in charge of immigration cannot be appealed.
RRTN Section 37.
(1) The immigration authority may withdraw any authority to reside, a national permanent residence permit or immigration permit in the following cases:
a) the circumstances based on which they were issued have changed to an extent that the criteria for authorization is no longer satisfied, and if a period of five years has not elapsed from the date of issue of the permit;
b) it was issued on the grounds of family reunification, and the marriage was dissolved within three years from receipt of the permit for reasons other than the spouse’s death, or if the third-country national no longer has parental custody, unless the third-country national in question has resided in Hungary for at least four years under permanent resident or immigrant status;
c) the third-country national has departed from the territory of Hungary and remained absent for a period of over six months.
(2) The immigration authority shall withdraw the permit if:
a) the third-country national in question has disclosed false information or untrue facts to the competent authority in the interest of obtaining the permit;
b) the immigration authority has withdrawn the authority to reside in the territory of Hungary of the third-country national exercising parental custody over a minor child who is a third-country national, and the continued residence of the minor with the other parent with parental custody is not ensured in the territory of Hungary;
c) it was granted to a third-country national on the grounds of family reunification and his/her spouse with Hungarian citizenship has departed from the territory of Hungary with a view to establish residence elsewhere, or the lawful residence of the third-country national spouse in the territory of Hungary has been terminated;
d) the third-country national to whom it was issued is expelled or excluded.
The Permanent Residence Permit is issued for 3-5 years, and the holder can be legally employed without a need for a working permit. The status of permanent residency can be renewed much easier than the temporary residence permit. The Office for Immigration and Asylum in Hungary will process the application for permanent status in a 3 months period, but it is also common that the decision is held for many months. The documents and cover letters that you provide for your case are very important and should be officiant.
Presenting your recent tax statement will serve as your main advantage, proving you have been paying taxes in Hungary for at least a year prior to application. In case you are not officially employed in Hungary or work remotely as a freelancer, you can register as the legal entity and pay a fixed income tax of 160 Euros a month. Knowledge of Hungarian language is not required, but it is advisable that you show your intention to learn the language. You can choose from a variety of language courses or take a few private lessons prior to your interview at the Immigration Office. Few polite sentences in Hungarian will provide you with a friendly attitude and soften the judgement of the governmental officials.
[TCN TIP] If you’re hesitating between the EC permit and the National Permanent Resident Permit, we recommend you this article of nVisa.
[TCN TIP2] If you want to learn the main eligibility criteria and advantages of the EC and the National Permanent Residence Permit immigration documents, as well as the differences between them, take a look at the article.