You can apply to be a volunteer in Hungary if you take part in a voluntary service on the basis of a voluntary service agreement concluded with a host entity provided for in special law (Act LXXXVIII of 2005 on Voluntary Activities of Public Concern) for providing voluntary services in the public interest, furthermore, to volunteers participating in the European Voluntary Service.
If you fulfil the conditions, you will be issued a residence permit.
Where and how to apply
Visa entitling you to a residence permit
You have to apply for a visa, which entitles you to receive the residence permit before admission to the country at the embassy or consulate in your country of origin or, in certain cases, in the country of legal residence.
Upon your arrival, you have to obtain your residence permit for the purpose of traineeship at the competent regional directorate of the immigration authority of your place of residence.
The administrative service fee charged for the procedure for issuing a residence permit is EUR 60, payable at the diplomatic mission of Hungary primarily in EUR or other convertible currency, or in exceptional cases in the legal tender of the State where the application is submitted. The administrative service fee charged for the procedure is HUF 18,000 if submitted in Hungary. The fee charged for the extension of a residence permit is HUF 10,000.
You need to:
You must not be subject to an entry ban or an alert in the Schengen Information System for the purposes of refusing entry, nor must your entry and stay threaten public policy, public health or public security in Hungary.
Duration of validity of permits
The validity period of a residence permit issued for the purpose of voluntary service activities is at least one year, and at most two years. If the validity period of the voluntary service agreement is less than one year, it shall correspond to the validity period of the hosting agreement. Residence permits for the purpose of voluntary service activities are not renewable.
The period of stay fixed in the residence permit is to be determined ascertaining that the travel document must be valid for at least 3 additional months beyond the date of expiry of the residence permit.
Conditions for renewal
The application for extension of the residence permit shall be submitted in person at the regional directorate of the immigration authority responsible for the place where the place of accommodation is located 30 days before it expires at the latest, with the necessary documents attached. You can find the competent regional directorate on the website of the immigration authority (www.bevandorlas.hu).
As of 1 January 2019, natural persons or their authorised legal representatives may submit an application for a residence permit (issue or extension) electronically via Enter Hungary, available at https://enterhungary.gov.hu/.
Appeals against decisions of regional offices regarding residence permits can be brought within 8 days of delivery to the immigration authority, or to the Hungarian diplomatic or consular mission where the application was submitted.
More on Residence Permit for the Purpose of Voluntary Service Activities
|Change of status|
Change of status may be possible depending on the purpose of stay and your personal circumstances.
A residence permit for the purpose of family reunification may be issued to a third-country national who is a family member of a third-country national in possession of a residence permit.
More on family reunification.
Hungarian law distinguishes between three different regimes for permanent residence, and for each of them you need to have:
You cannot be subject to any ground for refusal set out in the law, e.g. threat to public or national security, being the subject of an expulsion order, entry ban or alert in the Schengen Information system.
National permanent residence permit
You are entitled to hold a national permanent residence permit if you have legally and continuously resided for at least three years in Hungary.
You will also be able to obtain a national permanent residence permit if you have not yet resided legally in Hungary for three years but you hold a residence permit or an interim permanent residence permit and:
Your establishment has to be in accordance with the interest of Hungary. You need to present a clean criminal record. General conditions for residence permits apply.
This permit authorises you to reside in Hungary for an indefinite period of time. The national permanent residence permit is issued for five years and is renewed for five years at a time.
EC long-term residence permit
You are entitled to hold an EC long-term resident status if you lived continuously and legally in Hungary for five years.
General conditions for residence permits apply.
This permit authorises you to reside in Hungary for an indefinite period of time and also grants the right of intra-EU mobility under certain conditions. The EC long-term residence permit is issued for five years and is renewed for five years at a time.
Interim permanent residence permit
If you are a non-EU citizen holding an EC long-term residence permit issued in another EU Member State, you can obtain an interim permanent residence permit:
Family members of non-EU nationals arriving for the purposes stated above (i.e. gainful employment, pursuit of studies and other justified reasons), apply for an interim permanent residence permit. The family members of non-EU nationals holding an interim permanent residence permit may be issued an interim permanent residence permit if their family relationship already existed in the Member State of the European Union where the EC residence permit certifying permanent residence status was issued.
This status is valid for a maximum period of five years and may be extended once by a maximum of five additional years.