Obtaining Hungarian citizenship through simplified naturalization procedure
Foreign citizens who have never been Hungarian citizens before may acquire Hungarian citizenship by naturalisation. Persons who meet the necessary requirements may apply for simplified naturalization procedure.
It is important to know, that when applying for Hungarian citizenship in the simplified naturalization procedure, it is a legal requirement to understand and communicate in Hungarian language on a sufficient level, and to be able to present the application independently and to answer the questions asked by the officer without external assistance. Unfortunately if the applicant’s knowledge of the Hungarian language does not reach a sufficient level, a positive decision on the application cannot be expected.
Persons eligible for naturalization
Article 4, paragraph 3a of Act LV. of 1993 on Hungarian Citizenship states, that
“Upon request, a non-Hungarian citizen may be naturalized on preferential terms if:
- a) he/she
- aa) has lived in lawful marriage for at least ten years with a person holding a Hungarian citizenship at the time the petition for citizenship is submitted, or
- ab) has lived in lawful marriage for at least five years with a person holding a Hungarian citizenship at the time the petition for citizenship is submitted, and they have a child together;
- b) he/she meets the conditions set out in Paragraphs b) and d) of Subsection (1) (see below); and
- c) he/she has provided proof of proficiency in the Hungarian language.”
“According to Hungarian laws, the applicant has a clean criminal record and is not being indicted in any criminal proceedings before the Hungarian court.”
“His/her naturalization is not considered to be a threat to public policy or to the national security of Hungary.”
Submission of the application
Besides the citizenship application, the applicant has to submit his birth certificate and civil status documents. The applicant also has to submit documents proving the former citizenship of the applicant. The application shall include a photograph of the applicant as an attachment of the application. The simplified naturalization process form includes the CV and the request for change of name of the applicant. Unless otherwise required under international agreement and in the absence of reciprocity, foreign documents shall be submitted with authenticated Hungarian translation and diplomatic recertification attached to the application for citizenship.
Several statements are required on the application form for naturalisation. The applicant has to declare that he has a clean criminal record and that he has provided proof of proficiency in the Hungarian language. He also has to declare when he is planning to take the citizenship oath or pledge of allegiance. If the application is based on article 4, (paragraph 3a) of Act LV of 1993, he has to declare that the marriage exists for 10 years. If the application is based on article 4, (paragraph 3b) of Act LV of 1993, he has to declare that the marriage exists for 5 years.
The course of the naturalization process:
The application for naturalisation shall be submitted in person
- to the district (capital district) office of the capital and county government offices,
- to the integrated customer service of the capital and county government offices,
- to the Hungarian consular officials, or
- to the regional directorates of the Office of Immigration and Nationality.
The Office of Immigration and Nationality shall forward the applications for naturalisation to the Minister of Interior within three months. Based on the submission of the Minister, the President is entitled to make a decision on the application. This means that a decision can be expected 4-5 months after the submission of the application.
The naturalized person takes a citizenship oath or pledge of allegiance upon his choice. The naturalized person obtains the Hungarian citizenship on the day when he took the oath or the pledge.
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dr. Dobos István attorney at law (ügyvéd; Budapest)