Our website uses  cookies for statistical purposes.

  • 1134 Budapest, Róbert Károly krt. 59.
  • clients(at)lawyershungary.com
  • +36 1 200 3447
Our Articles

Citizenship by Descent in Hungary

Citizenship by Descent in Hungary

Hungarian citizenship by descent is provided to the eligible individuals under jus sanguinis. It is a legal term that means the right of blood. So, the descendants of Hungarian citizens can apply for citizenship in Hungary by providing the tracks of their ancestors in this country. Your birth country or the number of generations living abroad does not matter under this principle. You are most likely Hungarian if your parents or ancestors are or were Hungarian, and you also do not need to speak the Hungarian language in this case.

You can trust the legal services of our lawyers if you think that you are eligible for Hungarian citizenship by descent. Our lawyers in Hungary will provide you with legal assistance throughout the process.

Who can acquire Hungarian citizenship by descent?

Citizenship by descent is also called simplified naturalization. The main point of this procedure is that in order to obtain citizenship by descent in Hungary, the law does not require the applicant to prove that his/her livelihood is ensured in this country. The law also does not oblige such applicants to live for a longer period of time, or habitually in Hungary to obtain citizenship. For obtaining citizenship by descent, the applicant does not need to have a bank account or employment in this country. So, acquiring Hungarian citizenship by simplified naturalization is not a complicated process, it only requires some proofs.

 Quick Facts  
 Means to acquire citizenship in Hungary 

– descent,

– naturalization, 

– marriage 

Special requirements to get citizenship by descent  

Yes, the applicant must have a Hungarian relative. 

  Access to citizenship based on the relation with Hungarian parents (YES/NO)

 Yes

  Access to citizenship based on the relation with other Hungarian ancestors (YES/NO)  Yes, other ancestors, such as great-grandparents, are also accepted.
  Authorities in charge of the issuance of Hungarian documents

Ministry of Interior Affairs (Citizenship Department)  

 Permanent residence requirement (YES/NO)

 No, there is no need to be a permanent resident of Hungary to secure citizenship by descent.

  Option to search for Hungarian ancestors (YES/NO)

Yes, with Local Registers in city halls 

  Special procedure to complete to gain citizenship by ancestry

 Yes, proving the ties to Hungary and good knowledge of the Hungarian language and culture

 Degree of difficulty in obtaining citizenship 

 This is one of the simplest ways to acquire Hungarian citizenship.

  Option to apply for citizenship by other means (YES/NO)  Yes, naturalization is also available for those who do not want to use descent as a means of acquisition of a Hungarian passport.
  Requirement to live in Hungary (YES/NO)

 No

  Possibility to pass on citizenship to descendants (YES/NO)

 Yes, citizenship can be passed on to descendants.

 Citizenship application processing timeframe (approx.)

 5 – 6 weeks

  Support in applying for citizenship by descent (YES/NO)

Yes, our lawyers can assist with the application. 

 Other immigration services (if any)

– support in applying for residency (temporary or permanent),

– assistance in renewing stay documents,

– support in obtaining citizenship by other means

An individual will get the Hungary citizenship by descent if:

  • His/her ancestor was a Hungarian citizen;
  • He/she can demonstrate their Hungarian origin and can prove their knowledge of the Hungarian language;
  • His/her naturalization does not interrupt the national and public security of Hungary;
  • He/she must not have a criminal record under Hungarian law.

If you meet the above criteria, you can get in touch with our Hungarian lawyers. They will help you acquire Hungary citizenship by descent. In addition to this service, you can also rely on the legal backing of our lawyers; if you want to start a company in this country, our lawyers will help you understand the business structure in Hungary and assist you in acquiring the necessary licenses and the permits.

Application procedure for Hungarian citizenship by ancestry

Obtaining Hungarian citizenship through ancestry consists of the following steps:

  • schedule an appointment with the Hungarian Consulate/Embassy before submitting your application;
  • file the application for Hungarian citizenship by heritage in person;
  • attach all essential documents to your citizenship application form;
  • the Consulate or Embassy will contact you for an interview to ask about your plans and circumstances;
  • wait for the Consulate or Embassy to contact you about your application for Hungarian citizenship by lineage.

Please note that the application for Hungarian citizenship by origin may take several months to process.

Our lawyers in Hungary can help you make sure you have enclosed all relevant documents in your application.

Residency requirements when obtaining Hungarian citizenship through ancestry

You should note that in some cases, Hungarian residency is also required. This may be the case for people who do not have connections to the country. This will act as proof when you will be invited to an interview to demonstrate your language abilities. The interviewer may ask questions about your life, stay, past schooling, employment, etc. You will also be asked questions on Hungary’s history and culture. Which is why living here can become a mandatory condition.

Feel free to get in touch with our law firm if you are interested in applying for citizenship in Hungary and need to know if you also require a residence permit.

Here is also an infographic on this subject:

Exceptions from the general rule in Hungary

You can obtain citizenship by descent by demonstrating your ancestor’s presence in this country. However, there are a few exceptions to this general rule, which are described below:

  • If a Hungarian woman married a foreign citizen before October 1, 1957, she has lost her citizenship;
  • Before October 1, 1957, if a child is born from a Hungarian mother and a foreign father, he/she does not automatically qualify as a citizen of Hungary. Although he/she can be a citizen by a statement, his/her descendants have to be naturalized;
  • If a child was born out of wedlock before October 1, 1957, and had a Hungarian mother, that child also became a citizen of this country. But if the foreign father recognized the child later, he/she could have lost his/her citizenship;
  • If any Hungarian emigrated from his/her country before September 1, 1929, then his/her descendants were not born as citizens of Hungary. But those descendants can be naturalized if they speak Hungarian.

If you cannot qualify for citizenship by descent in Hungary, you can be naturalized. Get in touch with our lawyers in Hungary to learn more about citizenship criteria in this country.

Documents necessary for simplified naturalization

The lawyers at our law firm in Hungary can provide you with legal assistance and can help you know if you are eligible for this kind of citizenship. Once it is confirmed that you are eligible for Hungary citizenship by descent, you need to carry out your paperwork process. You must fill in your application in the Hungarian language and provide your birth certificate, marriage certificate of your parents, birth or death certificate of relevant great-grandparents, grandparents, or your parents. You can also present any other relevant document that could help you acquire Hungarian citizenship by descent such as civil or military records, ID booklets, or old passports, etc. Our Hungarian lawyers will assist you in putting together all the documents in a way that will show your connection with the country. After completing the paperwork, the application for citizenship by descent is submitted at the nearest Hungarian consulate with the assistance of our lawyers.

When providing for citizenship by descent, you must note that birth and marriage certificates are not accepted. Please find below the list of documents that can act as proof of your Hungarian citizenship, and please note that these documents should be valid:

  • Hungarian ID card;
  • A Hungarian passport. However, there is an exception, if your passport is not valid, you can still use it as proof of Hungarian citizenship for one year following the date of its expiry;
  • Certificate of naturalization until proven otherwise;
  • Citizenship certificate;
  • Registry of personal data and address.

If you do not have any of the documents mentioned above, you need to verify your Hungarian citizenship application. For this purpose, you must apply in person, and a prior appointment must be booked. The related authorities will check the forms and supporting documents at the time of your appointment. You can trust the legal services of our experienced attorneys in this regard. Besides acquiring Hungary citizenship by descent, they can further assist you in applying for verification. The application is free of charge.

If you need any legal guidance regarding residence permits in Hungary, you can interact with our lawyers. They can not only assist you with the procedure but also provide you with legal support if necessary.

Is it necessary to learn the Hungarian language to obtain citizenship?

It is a legal requirement to learn the Hungarian language at least at the minimum basic level for obtaining Hungary citizenship by descent. The language proficiency will be checked by the officer receiving the application at the time of submission. The applicants who have reached the age of 14 or will reach the age of 14 by the date of oath, are obliged to learn the Hungarian language and also bound to prove their language skills. But there are some situations in which the knowledge of the Hungarian language may be waived off. In the case of an incapacitated person, such as an adult who has been placed under guardianship by a court, or any individual who has not yet reached the age of 14, the Hungarian language is not a requirement. Our lawyers in Hungary will guide you in the matter of whether you are obliged to learn the Hungarian language or not.

What is a citizenship oath?

An applicant obtains Hungary citizenship by descent on the day of taking the citizenship oath. He/she can take this oath before the head of the Hungarian Delegation or if he/she has a residency in Hungary, then they can take an oath before the competent mayor as per their place of residence. The applicant will also receive an identity card on the day of the oath, but the passport will not be issued at the time of acquiring citizenship in Hungary. The applicant receives a Hungarian passport in another procedure initiated on the application.

You can rely on the services of our lawyers in Hungary if you want to obtain a Hungarian passport.

You can reach out to our Hungarian attorneys for details about their legal services in this country. They can provide you with legal support in obtaining citizenship by descent in Hungary and several other matters that require legal resolution.

Dual citizenship in Hungary

One of the dilemmas of people who manage to obtain Hungarian citizenship through ancestry is whether they can keep both nationalities. The good news is that they can. Hungary allows dual citizenship. Hungary enables its citizens to hold foreign citizenship in addition to their Hungarian citizenship. However, there are countries that do not allow dual citizenship, and you have to check whether your home country allows dual citizenship or not.

You can obtain more information about this form of immigration to Hungary from our lawyers.

We also have a video on this subject:

If you successfully obtain citizenship by descent you can further rely on our lawyers to obtain a work permit in this country.

Foreign citizens in Hungary

Along with citizenship by descent, Hungary also offers other kinds of citizenship programs that individuals can obtain. Here is some recent information on the population of this country:

  • the population of Hungary is 9.6 million according to the 2022 Census;
  • approximately 2 million of them live in the capital Budapest;
  • nearly 100,000 of those who live in Budapest are of foreign origin.

Contact our lawyers without any hesitation if you are eligible for citizenship by descent in Hungary. You can also get legal assistance from our lawyers if you are planning to open a company in Hungary.