Have you ever felt a longing to trace back your family’s footsteps, to journey through the pages of history and rediscover the threads that connect you to a land rich in culture and heritage? Welcome to the ultimate guide on Hungary citizenship by descent – a pathway that beckons you to delve into your past, unlocking the vibrant tapestry of Hungary’s history and securing your place in its future.

From the allure of generations-old traditions to the modern privileges that come with EU membership, each part of this guide is an invitation to embark on a remarkable adventure. Prepare to stand at the crossroads of your heritage and destiny as we unveil the secrets of Hungary’s citizenship by descent, offering you a chance to reconnect, rediscover, and belong.

What does it mean to be a Hungarian citizen?

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Opportunities abound Opportunities abound
Belonging and identity Belonging and identity
  • Cultural heritage: Getting Hungarian citizenship means diving into a cultural heritage with music, food, and traditions rich in history. It’s a chance to join a nation where traditions hold the weight of time.
  • Historical connection: As a Hungarian citizen, you inherit a legacy of stories, a narrative that spans from establishing the Hungarian Kingdom to the struggles and triumphs shaping the nation’s identity. Your citizenship cements your role as a keeper of this history.
  • Active engagement: Hungarian citizens actively shape the country. From democratic processes to opinions on policies, your citizenship empowers you to contribute to Hungary’s ongoing story.
  • Unity in diversity: While celebrating individuality, being a Hungarian citizen also means embracing the unity from shared citizenship. You’re part of a diverse community tied by a common bond, fostering belonging.
  • Opportunities abound: Hungarian citizens access education and healthcare, and as an EU member, the privilege of free movement within the European Union opens doors.
  • Belonging and identity: Hungarian citizenship offers a profound identity beyond legal status. It’s an invitation to be part of an unfolding story, tying past to present and paving your future within Hungary’s dynamic community.

Hungary Citizenship by Descent

The Hungarian citizenship law is based on the principles of jus sanguinis (“right of blood” in English), meaning that a person acquires Hungarian citizenship by birth from a parent who is a Hungarian citizen. This pathway recognizes and acknowledges the heritage and lineage of individuals, helping them acquire Hungarian citizenship along with the rights and privileges associated with being a Hungarian citizen.

To qualify, non-Hungarian nationals typically need to provide the Hungarian consulate with documented evidence of their ancestral link to Hungarian ancestors, meet specific language and character requirements, and navigate the application process outlined by Hungarian authorities. This approach enables individuals who are not born Hungarian citizens to reconnect with their Hungarian origin, immerse themselves in the country’s culture, and become part of its ongoing narrative when they obtain Hungarian citizenship.

Who's eligible for Hungary citizenship by descent?

hungarian citizenship by descentEligibility for Hungary Citizenship is primarily based on one’s familial connection to previous generations of Hungarian citizens. To be eligible, individuals must demonstrate a direct ancestral link to a Hungarian citizen, usually a parent, grandparent, or in some cases, a great-grandparent. This means that if any of these ancestors held Hungarian citizenship, their descendants may be eligible to apply for Hungarian citizenship by descent.

However, eligibility criteria can vary and may involve additional factors, such as language proficiency and character requirements. It’s essential to review the specific guidelines provided by Hungarian authorities to determine if you meet the eligibility criteria for Hungary citizenship by descent.

The citizenship requirements may become stringent if claimed through the grandparents’ lineage rather than parents and in case of a previously lost citizenship.

Hungary Citizenship by Descent Requirements

  • Proof of ancestry: Providing documented evidence of a direct lineage to a Hungarian citizen, typically through birth certificates, marriage certificates, or other official records that establish the familial relationship.
  • Language proficiency: Demonstrating a basic understanding of the Hungarian language, usually at a conversational level. Language tests or other accepted means may be used to assess proficiency.
  • Character prerequisites: Meeting specific character and background requirements, including having a clear criminal record and adhering to specific ethical standards.
  • Residency considerations: In some cases, fulfilling residency requirements may involve spending a certain amount of time in Hungary or establishing a connection to the country.
  • Application process: Following the designated application procedure, which involves submitting the required documents, undergoing background checks, and fulfilling other administrative steps.
  • Financial obligations: Being prepared to cover various costs associated with the application, such as administrative fees, translation expenses, and language proficiency test fees.
  • Legal understanding: Understanding Hungarian citizenship’s legal implications and responsibilities, including rights and obligations as a citizen.
  • Documentation: Ensuring all necessary documents are correctly translated, authenticated, and submitted according to the guidelines provided by Hungarian authorities.

Required Documents for Hungarian Citizenship by Descent

  • Birth certificates: Proof of your direct familial connection to the Hungarian ancestor, such as your parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent. This helps establish the basis of your ancestral link.
  • Marriage certificates: If applicable, documents confirming marriages that further strengthen the genealogical connection between you and your Hungarian ancestor.
  • Proof of Hungarian ancestor’s citizenship: Documentation that demonstrates the Hungarian citizenship status of your ancestor, which could be in the form of official citizenship certificates or passports.
  • Proof of identity: Your valid identification documents, such as passports and ID cards, to verify your own identity and nationality.
  • Language proficiency evidence: Documents or certificates proving your proficiency in the Hungarian language, if required, as part of the eligibility criteria.
  • Background check documents: Records demonstrating your good character, Hungarian heritage, and clean criminal history, as required by Hungarian authorities.
  • Residency documentation: If applicable, documents supporting your compliance with any residency requirements set by Hungarian regulations.
  • Application forms: Official application forms provided by Hungarian authorities, correctly filled out and signed.
  • Translations and certifications: If any of the documents are outside of Hungarian, official translations and certificates may be necessary.
  • Passport-sized photographs: Recent photographs that meet the specifications outlined in the application guidelines.

Costs and Fees for Hungarian Citizenship by Descent

  • Administration feeApplication fee: A non-refundable fee that covers the administrative costs of processing your citizenship application.
  • Language proficiency test fee: If required, the cost for taking a language proficiency test to demonstrate your knowledge of the Hungarian language.
  • Translation expenses: Costs for translating documents that are not in Hungarian, ensuring Hungarian authorities officially recognize them.
  • Legalization and certification fees: Fees for obtaining official certifications or legalizations for documents that are not initially issued in Hungary.
  • Background check fees: Expenses related to obtaining the necessary background checks and clearances to meet the character requirements.
  • Travel and accommodation: If you need to travel to Hungary for any part of the application process, you should budget for travel expenses, accommodation, and related costs.
  • Notary fees: Charges for notarizing certain documents, as required by Hungarian immigration regulations.
  • Document issuance fees: Costs associated with obtaining certain documents, such as copies of birth or marriage certificates.
  • Miscellaneous charges: Additional expenses might arise during the application process, such as mailing fees or fees for obtaining documents from other institutions.

How to apply for Hungary citizenship by descent

  • Gather required documents: Collect all necessary documents, including birth certificates, marriage certificates, proof of Hungarian ancestor’s citizenship, language proficiency certificates, school certificates, and other supporting materials.
  • Document translation: If any of your documents are outside of Hungarian, ensure an official translator accurately translates them.
  • Complete application forms: Fill out the official applications provided by Hungarian authorities accurately and thoroughly to prove your Hungarian heritage.
  • Submit application: Send your completed application forms and all supporting documents to the relevant Hungarian authorities. Per the guidelines, this can usually be done in person or through mail.
  • Language proficiency test: If required, take the Hungarian language proficiency test and submit the results with your application. It would be best if you spoke basic Hungarian to inherit Hungarian citizenship. There is no citizenship exam as such.
  • Background checks: Undergo any necessary background checks to meet character requirements, a clean criminal record, or prove your Hungarian descent by providing the relevant documents as needed.
  • Pay applicable fees: Pay the required fees for the application process, including administrative fees, translation fees, and others.
  • Wait for processing: Once your application is submitted, patiently await the processing period, which can vary depending on the volume of applications and other factors.
  • Notification of decision: You will receive a notification regarding the decision on your application. You’ll receive a Hungarian document with instructions on the next steps if approved.
  • Complete any additional requirements: If requested, fulfill any other conditions or provide further information as directed by the authorities.
  • Collect citizenship documentation: If your application is successful, you will be issued the necessary documentation confirming your Hungarian citizenship, and then you can be a part of Hungarian communities.

Benefits of Becoming Hungarian Citizens

Obtaining Hungarian citizenship through a Hungarian citizen parent brings forth a range of compelling benefits:

European Union membership: As a Hungarian citizen, you gain membership in the European Union or even European Union Citizenship, allowing you to enjoy the privileges of free movement, work, and residence within EU countrie, like citizens with Hungarian birth certificates.

Cultural connection: Embrace your ancestral heritage and immerse yourself in Hungary's rich cultural traditions, festivals, and historical sites.

Democracy participation: Exercise your right to participate in Hungary's democratic processes, including voting in elections and having a say in the country's governance.

Dual citizenship: Hungary embraces dual citizenship, permitting individuals to uphold their current citizenship while simultaneously accessing the advantages of being a Hungarian citizen. This duality grants flexibility, broader prospects, and the capacity to nurture ties with multiple nations.

Family benefits: The Hungarian official citizenship document can extend to your immediate family members, allowing them to reap the advantages of citizenship.

Business and work opportunities: Gain the ability to work, start a business, or invest more efficiently in Hungary and the broader EU market.

Strong legal protection: Access the legal rights and protections offered to Hungarian citizens by the Hungarian court, ensuring your rights are upheld within the country.

National identity: Develop a sense of belonging and pride in being part of Hungary's history, culture, and ongoing narrative.

Alternative Pathways to Hungarian Citizenship

Apart from acquiring Hungarian citizenship through Hungarian ancestors, there are other ways to acquire a valid Hungarian citizenship certificate:

Naturalization after eight years of residency: Hungarian citizenship law

If you don’t have Hungarian ancestry from a Hungarian mother, father, or grandparent but have been residing in Hungary, you can obtain citizenship through naturalization. This procedure by Hungarian citizenship law involves living in Hungary for eight years while holding a valid residency permit. During this time, you should also demonstrate good character, knowledge of the Hungarian language, and cultural integration into Hungarian society.

New residency program: Investment route

Hungarian law also offers an innovative pathway to a valid Hungarian passport through its new residency program, which allows for an expedited and simplified naturalization process based on investment. This simplified naturalization is particularly appealing for individuals who wish to establish a presence in Hungary without waiting for eight years.

Under this program, you can apply for Hungarian residency by investing at least €155,000 in government bonds issued by the Hungarian State Debt Management Agency. After holding the residency permit for a specified period, often a few years, you may become eligible to apply for Hungarian citizenship through the simplified naturalization process.


In conclusion, Hungary’s citizenship by descent is not merely a legal process; it’s a journey that intertwines your past with your present, bridging generations and cultures. Through this pathway or any other simplified naturalization procedure, you can honor your lineage, embrace your Hungarian identity, and forge a connection to a nation with a rich history and a vibrant future.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Hungary Citizenship by Descent

How do I get Hungarian citizenship through descent?

To get Hungarian citizenship through descent, you need to prove your direct lineage to Hungarian parents, typically a Hungarian mother or father, grandparent, or great-grandparent. Then, follow the application process outlined by Hungarian authorities. This is the jus sanguinis citizenship law of Hungary.

How do I prove my Hungarian ancestry?

You prove Hungarian ancestry by providing official documents like birth certificates, marriage certificates, and proof of your Hungarian parents’ citizenship. These documents establish your familial connection and prove that you are children born of Hungarian ancestors.

Can I get a Hungarian passport if my grandmother was Hungarian?

Yes. Luckily, it’s pretty easy as Hungary’s national strategy follows the jus sanguinis citizenship law. This means that children born of Hungarian citizens become Hungarian citizens by birth, no matter where Hungarian birth took place. You just need to provide a valid Hungarian identity document of your grandparents.

Do you have to speak Hungarian to get Hungarian citizenship?

Hungarian citizenship procedures often require demonstrating basic language knowledge, usually through a language proficiency test or other accepted means for citizenship claims.

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