How to Apply for the Hungary Digital Nomad Visa & White Card

The Hungarian Digital Nomad Visa and White Card Residency Permit is designed for remote workers who wish to reside in Hungary for up to one year, with an option for a one-year extension. Introduced in 2021 to attract digital nomads, this visa allows individuals to live and work in Hungary while being employed by a foreign company or conducting freelance work. The benefits include legal residency, flexible work options, access to local services such as healthcare and education, and the ability to travel within the Schengen Area.

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White Card Residency Permit (Hungary Digital Nomad Visa) Summary

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Eligibility Requirements

White Card Permit Overview

Duration: 1 year, renewable for 1 additional year
Minimum Monthly Income: EUR 3,000
Eligibility: Non-EU/EEA nationals, remote work for a foreign company
Application Fee: EUR 110
Health Insurance: Required, EUR 15+ per month
Travel Requirements: Valid passport, necessary permits, sufficient funds or ticket for departure
Family Members: Cannot apply with you, but can apply for separate permits
Work Restrictions: No employment or ownership of a company in Hungary

How to apply

Applying for the Hungarian Digital Nomad Visa

If you are a non-EU/EEA national then you need to apply for the Hungarian digital nomad visa. This visa is an essential entry requirement. It allows you, as a non-EU/EEA national, to travel to Hungary specifically to obtain the White Card. This visa is designed for you if you have a verified employment relationship or own a profitable company outside Hungary and plan to work remotely using digital technology. The digital nomad visa facilitates your initial entry into Hungary, where you can then complete the application process for the White Card residence permit.

Applying Directly for the White Card Permit

If you are from a visa-free country, you can travel directly to Hungary and apply for the White Card permit without needing a digital nomad visa. This streamlined process allows you to bypass the initial visa application and proceed directly to the White Card application upon arrival. The White Card permits you to reside in Hungary while working remotely, ensuring you meet all the necessary criteria for livelihood, accommodation, and comprehensive healthcare.

 Fee Rates for White Card Application:

  • Issuing a residence permit and entry visa (for applications submitted outside Hungary): EUR 110
  • Issuing a residence permit in person (for applications submitted within Hungary): HUF 39,000
  • Issuing a residence permit online via the Enter Hungary platform (for applications submitted within Hungary): HUF 24,000

Step-by-step guide

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Document Checklist

Step 1: Complete the Application Form and Appendix

First things first, you need to fill out the necessary paperwork. This includes the main application form and appendices.

Step 2: Prepare Your Passport

Make sure to provide a full copy of your valid passport. Your passport should be valid for at least three additional months beyond the planned expiration date of your residence permit. If your passport is nearing its expiration, consider renewing it to avoid any potential issues.

Step 3: Get Your ID Photo

You will need an ID picture that is no older than three months. Remember to bring an original picture with you when you go to the consulate in person. This picture will be used for your official documents.

Step 4: Gather Bank Account Activity

Collect your bank account statements showing activity for the last three months. These statements can be from either a Hungarian bank or a foreign bank. If the documents are not in Hungarian or English, you may need to have them translated.

Step 5: Provide Current Bank Account Balance

Show proof of your current bank account balance. Again, this information can come from either a Hungarian or foreign bank.

Step 6: Verify Health Insurance

You must demonstrate that you have adequate health insurance coverage for your stay in Hungary. This can be done by providing:

  • A social insurance card if you have coverage in Hungary.
  • An insurance contract with a Hungarian social insurance company.
  • If neither of these options applies, a bank account balance can suffice to prove you can cover potential healthcare expenses.

Step 7: Secure Accommodation Documents

You’ll need to show you have a place to stay while in Hungary. Here’s how you can do that:

  • Rental Agreement: A signed lease for a place you’ll be renting.
  • Courtesy Accommodation: A document from someone letting you stay with them.
  • Proof of Ownership: If you own a property, provide the ownership documents.
  • Hotel Booking: If you’re staying in a hotel or Airbnb, show the reservation and proof of payment.

Staying in a Hotel or Temporary Accommodation?

  • You can register your hotel or temporary stay now. Later, when you secure a different place, you can update your accommodation details with the authorities.

Step 8 (If Using A Professional Service To Apply): Prepare a Power of Attorney

If someone else is handling the application process for you, ensure you have a power of attorney document prepared and signed. This document authorizes them to act on your behalf.

Step 9: Obtain an Income Certificate

You need a certificate that verifies your legal income. This document should show that your monthly income was at least EUR 3,000 for at least six months before your entry into Hungary. Additionally, you must maintain this income level throughout your stay.

Step 10: Verify Employment or Business Ownership

Choose one of the following to prove your employment or business status:

For Employees

Provide a certificate from your employer outside Hungary. This document should include:

  • The employer’s activities
  • Details about your remote work arrangement and its duration
  • Your duties and position
  • Proof that your employer is a legitimate, operating business (tax certificate, company statement)
  • Your job contract
  • A letter from your company confirming the possibility of remote work, if it’s not already mentioned in your contract
  • Payslips from the last six months

For Business Owners

Provide proof that you own a profitable company outside Hungary. This document should include:

  • Information showing the actual operation of your company.
  • Your duties and position in the company.
  • The company’s activities.
  • Official registration documents from public authorities.
  • Tax certificates showing regular income or profit.
  • Any other credible proof that your company is actively operating.

For Freelancers

Provide documents to prove that you run a legitimate, registered business. This can include:

  • Last year’s tax return.
  • Invoices and contracts with clients showing remote work and income.
  • Contracts should clearly show you earn at least EUR 3,000 a month. For example, contracts with three different clients, each paying EUR 1,000 per month, would meet the requirement.

If you are a non-EU/EEA national who requires a visa to enter Hungary, follow steps 11-15 to submit your application. If not, skip to step 16:

Step 11: Submit Your White Card Application

If you are a non-visa-free national, you need to apply for the Digital Nomad Visa at your local Hungarian consulate or embassy in your home country. This process includes submitting your application and all required documents in person.

If you are a visa-free national, you have the convenience of applying online through the Enter Hungary platform. You can do this either from your home country or while you are in Hungary.

Non-visa-free nationals
  • Schedule an Appointment: Contact the Hungarian embassy or consulate in your home country to schedule an appointment. This can often be done online or by phone. If there are no Hungarian consulates or embassies in your country, you may need to contact honorary consuls, trade representations, or external service providers authorized to receive applications. In exceptional cases, you may submit an application in a country where you are staying legally, provided you can prove the reasons for your exceptional application submission.
  • Attend the Appointment: Bring all your documents to the appointment. Ensure you arrive early to avoid any delays. During the appointment, your application for a residence permit will also serve as your visa application.
  • Pay the Application Fee: Be prepared to pay the application fee during your appointment. Check with the embassy or consulate beforehand to confirm the amount and acceptable payment methods.
  • Await Approval: After submitting your application, you will need to wait for the processing to be completed. Processing times can vary and may take up to 30 days. Ensure you respond promptly to any requests for additional information or documentation from the authorities.
  • Receive Your Visa: Once your application is approved, you will receive your Digital Nomad Visa, allowing you to enter Hungary. Your application is valid for 3 months from the date of approval. If you do not travel to Hungary within this 3-month period, your application will become invalid.
  • Visit the Immigration Office for Biometric Data: Once you enter Hungary, you have 30 days to make an appointment and visit the Directorate General for Aliens Policing to submit your biometrics data.
Visa-free nationals

If you are a third-country national holding the citizenship of a visa-free country you can apply for a residence permit online. Here’s how you can proceed:

  • Electronic Submission: Submit your application via the Enter Hungary platform. Ensure that the electronic application form is filled out accurately and completely. Incomplete or incorrect applications can cause delays in processing.

    Important Note: If you are using an attorney-in-fact to submit your application, they must be a legal representative or a legal person to use the Enter Hungary platform.
  • In-Person Submission: If you prefer, you can submit your application in person at the competent regional directorate of the National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing (NDGAP) according to your place of accommodation. The application form must be filled in accurately and signed by the applicant.
  • Pay the Application Fee
    • In-Person Submission: If you submit your application in person at the regional directorate’s client service office, you can pay the fee by credit card. Alternatively, you may pay by postal cheque or bank transfer. Ensure to include the necessary information to identify your case, such as your name, date of birth, EH number, or file/reference number in the comment section. Postal cheques can be requested at Client Service Offices.
    • Electronic Submission via Enter Hungary: When you submit your application electronically through the Enter Hungary platform, the fee must be paid by credit card as part of the electronic application process.
  • Receive Confirmation: After submitting your application and paying the processing fee, you will receive feedback from the immigration

Step 12: Visit the Immigration Office for Biometric Data

Whether you submit your application online via the Enter Hungary platform or in person, you will need to visit the competent regional directorate of the National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing (NDGAP) to provide your biometric data. This includes a facial photograph and fingerprints. Here’s how to proceed:

  • Receive Confirmation: After submitting your application and paying the processing fee, you will receive feedback from the immigration authority, confirming the acceptance of your application.
  • Book an Appointment:
    • If you made your application from your home country, you have 30 days to make an appointment once you enter Hungary.
    • If you submitted your application online, you will have 15 days from the date of confirmation to complete the biometric identification in person.

Make sure to book an appointment online promptly.

Documents to Bring to Biometrics Appointment

  • Your passport
  • An ID picture
  • Your case number (provided in the confirmation)
  • The signed application form
  • The appendix

Step 13: Receive Your White Card Residence Permit

Once your application is approved, you will receive the residence permit document. Here’s how the process works:

  • Mail Delivery: The residence permit document will be mailed to the address you provided in your application.
  • In-Person Collection: If you cannot receive the document by post, you may collect it in person at the NDGAP’s regional directorate, provided you can prove your inability to receive it at your indicated address.

Ensure that you remain in Hungary with a valid visa or temporary certificate while your application is being processed and until you receive your residence permit document.

Important Note

The processing time at the Immigration Office is usually 21 days, but it can sometimes take longer. The National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing (NDGAP) may ask for additional documents to clarify your case, and this time is not included in the 21-day period. Also, if you need to fix any issues with your application (like submitting missing documents), that time is not counted either.

If it doesn’t arrive within 3-4 weeks, check the tracking number and inquire about the delivery progress at the immigration office.

The authority aims to make a final decision on your application within 30 days from the submission date. Make sure you plan accordingly and stay in Hungary with a valid visa during this process.

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Who can get a White Card?

You can get a White Card if you work for a company outside Hungary and do your job from Hungary using digital technology, or if you own a share in a profitable company outside Hungary and manage it from Hungary using digital technology. You can’t apply if you work in Hungary or own a share in a Hungarian company.

What documents do I need for the White Card application?

You need proof of your job or business outside Hungary, proof of income showing at least EUR 3,000 per month for at least 6 months before you apply, proof of a place to stay in Hungary, proof of health insurance, proof of exit plans like a valid passport and travel tickets or enough money for travel, and a facial photo.

Who can’t get a White Card?

You can’t get a White Card if you meet the conditions for other residence permits (like for self-employment or investment), have a student residence permit, are posted in Hungary, have applied for or been granted refugee status or protection, have tolerated status or a suspended expulsion, hold an EC residence permit or EU residence card, or are in the EU for an intra-corporate transfer or as a highly qualified worker.

What does “third-country nationals” mean?

Third-country nationals are people who are not from Hungary and do not have the right to move and live freely in Hungary, like EEA nationals or their family members, and also include stateless persons.

Where do I apply for a White Card?

Apply at a Hungarian embassy or consulate in your home country or where you live. Visa-free nationals can apply online through Enter Hungary or in person at the NDGAP office in Hungary.

How long does it take to process the White Card application?

It usually takes 21 days to process the White Card application, but it can take longer if more documents are needed. The final decision is usually made within 30 days from when you submit your application.

How long is the validity period of the White Card residence permit?

The White Card residence permit is valid for up to 1 year. It can be extended once for an additional year. Note that the expiry date of the residence permit is set so that your travel document is valid for at least 3 months beyond the permit’s expiry date.

Can the White Card residence permit be extended more than once?

No, the White Card residence permit can only be extended once for the same purpose.

How do I extend my White Card?

You can extend your White Card once, using the Enter Hungary platform. You must have a valid permit when you apply and have lived in Hungary for at least 90 days in any 180-day period before applying. Apply no later than 30 days before your current permit expires.

What could cause the withdrawal of my White Card residence permit?

The NDGAP will withdraw your White Card residence permit if you work for or on behalf of an employer in Hungary or if you acquire a share in a Hungarian company.

Can I apply for a different type of residence permit while holding a White Card?

No, during the validity of the White Card and even after it expires, you cannot apply for a different type of residence permit for another purpose.

Can my family members join me in Hungary if I hold a White Card?

Family members of a White Card holder or applicant cannot be granted a residence permit for family reunification. The exception is if a White Card holder gives birth to a child in Hungary during the permit’s validity. In this case, the child will receive a residence permit for family reunification.

Can I obtain a long-term residence card with a White Card?

No, third-country nationals holding a White Card cannot be granted a national residence card.

Can the Hungary Digital Nomad Visa lead to permanent residency or citizenship?

No, the Hungary digital nomad visa does not directly lead to permanent residency or citizenship. It’s primarily designed for temporary remote work and doesn’t establish the continuous residency required for these longer-term statuses.

What can I do if my residence permit application is refused?

If your residence permit application is refused, you can appeal the decision within 8 days of notification. The appeal should be submitted to the authority of first instance or at the Hungarian diplomatic or consular mission where the application was submitted.

Under what conditions can an appeal be dismissed without examination?

An appeal can be dismissed without examination if it is received after the deadline, not submitted by an authorized person, introduces new facts that were known before the decision was taken, or is submitted without indicating its grounds or cause.

Are there any avoidable issues that would slow down my application?

Yes, one common issue that could delay your application is the need to supply the Immigration Office with additional documents after the application process has already begun. Ensuring all necessary documents are provided promptly can expedite the decision-making process.

It’s been months since I applied for the White Card v, but I haven’t received any response yet. What can I do?

To expedite the process, you can submit an “Urgency Request Letter” with an explanation and documentation verifying an important reason for the expedited decision. To get updates on your application status, you can visit the Immigration Office if you applied locally, send emails (fruitless for the most part), or authorize someone to track the case on your behalf (They can write info request letters and visit the office to ask about your case in your stead). If you have used the EH (Electronic Handling) system for the application, you can check for updates such as letters requesting more documents, your case being moved to the “Closed Cases” section, or the issuance of your QR-code based address card, which indicates an approved procedure.

What documents need to be provided as proof of financial stability?

To prove financial stability, applicants should provide bank statements and history, showcasing continuous and stable financial conditions. If you have multiple bank accounts or services like Revolut and Transferwise, you can include those as well. Documents verifying high-value assets, such as bonds or stocks, can also be submitted. Cryptocurrency is a grey area, but it has been accepted in some cases when paired with more traditional savings.

Are there any non-mandatory documents that I could submit to bolster my application?

Non-mandatory documents that can strengthen the application include ID documents and proof of cohabitation if the applicant has a local partner (not marital, as that would create eligibility for the Family Reunification Residence Permit), documents verifying Hungarian language skills, or evidence of investments in Hungary.

How can I get health insurance if I work as a digital nomad?

To obtain health insurance as a digital nomad, you can explore private insurance options if your employment abroad does not provide coverage. One option is the TESTŐR insurance package from Generali Zrt, which includes hospital stay and accident insurance for approximately 46,000 Ft per year. More extensive private options are also available, but the aforementioned are chosen for the sake of the application. Some popular providers include Medicover and Generali.

Any recommendations on which is the best health insurance?

Medicover and Generali are commonly used, providers. The TESTŐR package from Generali is a good option for minimal investment and can be arranged online.

Can digital nomads establish their businesses in Hungary?

Yes, digital nomads can establish a sole trader business or a company in Hungary, which makes them eligible for a Gainful Activity Residence Permit.

Can I open a bank account in Hungary if I work as a digital nomad?

Yes, you can open a bank account in Hungary as a digital nomad. However, the process may be easier at some banks than others.

How long should my proof of accommodation last for the White Card application? Does it need to cover the entire year or just the application process duration?

It’s recommended to provide proof of accommodation that covers as much of your stay in Hungary as possible, ideally for the entire year. However, providing accommodation proof for the duration of the application process (a few months) can also be acceptable. It’s important to demonstrate a commitment to residing in Hungary.

How can you get proof of accommodation for a 1-year stay – before you enter the country?

To obtain proof of accommodation for a 1-year stay on a Digital Nomad visa, you can secure a long-term rental agreement or lease contract before entering the country. Alternatively, you can provide documentation for a series of short-term rentals that cover the entire year. Make sure the documents are clear and legitimate, and include the necessary details such as the property address, rental dates, and contact information for the property owner or manager.

Do I need to buy an airplane ticket as proof of my departure to Hungary and when I will be leaving?

Consulates typically require a booking for the application from abroad. No ticket is necessary for showing the intention to leave Hungary, as a declaration is part of the application form.

How can I prove that I would not be overstaying?

It is not possible to verify that one will not overstay. The declaration in the application form serves this purpose.

Is a one-way ticket acceptable?

Yes, a one-way ticket is acceptable for an embassy application.

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