The Hungarian White Card, also known as the Digital Nomad Visa, is a visa for individuals who work remotely and wish to reside in Hungary for up to 1 year.
The visa was introduced in 2021 to attract digital nomads to Hungary and promote the country as a destination for remote work.
The Digital Nomad Visa allows individuals to live and work in Hungary while being employed by a foreign company or conducting freelance work.
First, find out if you’re eligible to apply for the Hungary Digital Nomad Visa by taking our quick quiz!
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What are the Benefits of Obtaining the Hungary Digital Nomad Visa?
By acquiring a Hungary Digital Nomad Visa, you can unlock a variety of advantages, such as:
- Legal residency: You gain the right to reside in Hungary for an extended period, typically up to one year, with the possibility of an extension.
- Flexible work options: You can work remotely for your employer or clients, regardless of their location, while enjoying the benefits of living in Hungary.
- Access to local services: As a legal resident, you can access public services, healthcare, and educational facilities available to Hungarian citizens.
- Travel opportunities: The visa allows you to travel within the Schengen Area, giving you the chance to explore Europe while maintaining your professional commitments.
What are the Eligibility Requirements?
If you’re considering applying for the Hungarian digital nomad visa, it’s important to understand the eligibility requirements. This visa is designed for digital nomads in three categories: employees, freelancers, and company managing directors. Here’s what you need to know:
- Nationality: This visa is specifically for individuals who are nationals of countries outside the European Union. So, if you’re from a non-EU country and looking to work remotely from Hungary, this could be a great option for you.
- Remote Work: To qualify, you must be able to work remotely. This could mean that you’re employed by a foreign company and can carry out your duties online, or you run your own business using digital technology. The key point here is that your work doesn’t require a physical location.
- Income: Financial stability is crucial. Applicants must have a minimum monthly income of 2000 euros (or its equivalent in another currency). It’s important to note that this isn’t an average – you need to have earned at least 2000 euros each month for the six months before your application. Plus, you’ll need to show that you can maintain this income level throughout your stay in Hungary.
- No Gainful Activity in Hungary: While you’re in Hungary, you shouldn’t engage in any gainful activity or hold any shares in a Hungarian company. This visa is designed for remote workers whose employment or business activities are based outside of Hungary.
- Long-term Stay: The digital nomad visa is for those planning to stay in Hungary for more than 90 days within a 180-day period. So, if you’re looking for a short-term stay, this might not be the best option.
These criteria are designed to ensure that digital nomads looking to move to Hungary are financially stable and can successfully carry out their work responsibilities from a remote setting. If you meet these requirements, the Hungarian digital nomad visa could be a fantastic opportunity for you!
Take our eligibility quiz to find out if you’re eligible for the Digital Nomad Visa!
What Documents are Required?
The documents you need to apply for a Hungary digital nomad visa are:
The general documents required for the Hungarian digital nomad visa application are as follows:
- the application form
- an appendix form
- a complete photocopy of your passport
- proof of eligibility for accommodation
- an address report form
- health insurance
- bank statements detailing both your account balance and six-month transaction history.
Applying for the Digital Nomad Visa as an Employee
If you’re applying as an employee, you’ll need to provide:
- your job contract
- a letter from your company confirming the possibility of remote work, if it’s not already mentioned in your contract.
- You also need to submit your payslips from the last six months.
Applying for the Digital Nomad Visa as a Freelancer
If you’re applying as a freelancer you’ll need to provide:
- documentation is required to prove that you run a legitimate, registered business. This could include last year’s tax return (optionally), invoices, and contracts with clients that specify remote work and income earned.
- The contracts should clearly show that you earn a minimum of 2000 euros a month while conducting remote work in Hungary. For instance, if you have contracts with three different companies, each paying 700 euros per month for your services for an indefinite duration or a year, you would be eligible for the White Card Resident Permit (WC RP).
Applying for the Digital Nomad Visa as a Managing Director
If you’re applying as a managing director, you’ll need to provide:
- documents that confirm the legitimacy of your registered business and your role in management or ownership. Similar to freelancers, this could include last year’s tax return (optionally), invoices, and contracts with clients.
- As a manager, you can also write a letter stating that you’re capable of remote work.
- Contracts should demonstrate that your company earns at least 2000 euros a month while conducting remote work in Hungary.
- Additionally, documents showcasing your salary or dividend payments and their regularity must be provided.
- If you pay yourself a director’s salary of less than 2000 euros, you should supplement it with monthly dividends.
How Much Does the Hungary Digital Nomad Visa Cost?
When you’re planning to apply for the Hungary digital nomad visa, it’s essential to be aware of the costs involved. The fees are divided into a few categories, and here’s a breakdown:
- Visa Application Fee: This is the initial cost you’ll need to cover when applying for the visa. You can make this payment at the Hungarian embassy or consulate, or even online. The fee stands at approximately 110 EUR (please check the current exchange rate for the exact amount in your local currency).
- Residence Permit Service Fee (White Card): Once your visa application is approved, you’ll need to pay a service fee for the issuance of the White Card. This fee is also around 110 EUR and can be paid at the National Directorate General for Aliens Policing (NDGAP) office in Hungary, or at the diplomatic or consular mission in EUR or other convertible currency. In some cases, you can also pay in the legal tender of the state where you’re submitting the application.
- Visa Extension Fee: If you decide to extend your stay beyond the initial visa period, there will be an additional service fee for extending your visa at the NDGAP office. The fee for this procedure is approximately HUF 23,000.
- Additional Costs for Certain Nationals: For individuals from third-country nationals holding citizenship of a visa-free country and legally residing in Hungary, there’s an extra fee. The administrative service fee for issuing a residence permit for these individuals is around HUF 24,000. This fee should be paid when the application is lodged electronically via NDGAP’s electronic procedure initiation platform, Enter Hungary.
Please note that these fees are subject to change, and it’s always a good idea to check the latest information. We’ll do our best to keep this guide updated, but please cross-check before making any payments.
How to Apply for the Hungary Digital Nomad Visa
Embarking on your journey to becoming a digital nomad in Hungary involves a two-step process. Here’s a simple breakdown to help you navigate through it:
Step 1: Submitting the Digital Nomad Visa Application and Entry Visa
Your first step is to schedule an appointment with the Hungarian embassy or consulate in your home country. During this appointment, you’ll need to submit your visa application along with all the necessary documents.
Here’s a breakdown of the steps:
- Gather Your Documents: Collect all necessary documents, including those specific to your income type, and any additional supportive documents.
- Complete the Application Forms: Fill out the online application forms, including the Application form for the residence permit and the Appendix 17 form.
- Schedule an Appointment at the Hungarian Consulate or Embassy: Book an appointment at your local Hungarian consulate or embassy to submit your application and documents in person.
- Attend Your Appointment: Bring all your completed forms and documents to your appointment, be prepared for a short interview, and pay the visa application fee.
- Wait for Your Visa: After your interview, patiently wait for the decision on your visa application, which can take up to 30 days.
Once your application is approved, you’ll receive an entry visa. This visa allows you to travel to Hungary with the specific purpose of living as a digital nomad. Keep in mind that you have a 30-day window to travel to Hungary once you receive your entry visa, so it’s essential to plan your travel accordingly.
Step 2: Applying for the White Card in Hungary
The second part of the process is obtaining the White Card, a Type D long-stay visa that serves as a residence permit. This permit gives you the green light to live in Hungary long-term.
Upon your arrival in Hungary with your entry visa, your next step is to apply for the White Card. It’s crucial to do this within one month of your arrival – the sooner, the better.
You’ll need to submit your application for the White Card at the National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing, the authority in Hungary responsible for issuing residence permits. You should visit the local office in the district where you plan to reside.
Here’s a breakdown of the steps:
- Apply for the White Card Residence Permit: Once you’ve received your visa, travel to Hungary and apply for the White Card residence permit within 30 days at the National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing (NDGAP).
- Receive Your White Card: After your application is approved, your White Card, which serves as your residence permit, will be sent to your provided address.
Navigating through this process can seem daunting, but don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to apply for the nomad visa yourself. You can access this guide here.
This guide will provide you with all the details you need to make your transition to a digital nomad lifestyle in Hungary as smooth as possible.
What is the Processing Time?
As of May 2023, the processing time for the Hungarian Digital Nomad Visa is up to 30 days, although the duration of the application process can vary. The quickest instance we’ve seen has been 8 days.
However, on average, the process tends to take around 1 to 1.5 months. This largely depends on whether the applicant submits a complete set of documents initially or if additional documentation needs to be provided during the procedure.
To reduce the processing time here are some helpful tips:
- Start Early: Initiate your application process at least two months prior to your planned trip to account for potential delays or complications.
- Check Your Eligibility: Ensure you meet all the eligibility criteria, including having a valid reason for remote work in Hungary and financial self-sufficiency.
- Prepare Your Documents: Carefully prepare your documents, ensuring they are complete, accurate, and up-to-date, and check if any translations or certifications are required.
- Follow Instructions: Adhere to the guidelines provided by NDGAP and the Hungarian embassy or consulate, and respect their rules during your appointment.
What are the Steps Following a Decision?
- If you applied locally: Wait for your Residence Permit (RP) to arrive by post. If it doesn’t arrive within 3-4 weeks, check the tracking number and inquire about the delivery progress at the immigration office.
- If you applied outside of Hungary: Wait for the D-type visa to be stamped into your passport, enter Hungary with the visa, and collect your RP there.
- Depending on the circumstances, you can consider appealing the decision.
- If not appealing, work on improving the requirements needed for the application and reapply when ready.
- Always disclose any previous rejections or expulsions from Hungary on future application forms. Failure to disclose this information may result in a refusal due to “misleading the authorities.”
What are the Tax and Social Security Contributions for Digital Nomads in Hungary?
As a digital nomad residing in Hungary for at least 183 days, you’ll be considered a tax resident and will be required to pay taxes, including personal income tax and social contributions.
Hungary’s tax rates are relatively low, with a personal tax rate of 15%, an employee’s social security tax rate of 18.5%, and an employer’s social contribution tax rate of 13%. Other tax rates include a corporate income tax rate of 9%, a value-added tax rate of 27%, and a property tax rate of 4%.
Your obligation to contribute to the Hungarian social security system depends on your work activities, employment status, and other factors.
If you’re self-employed, you may need to pay social security contributions based on your income.
If you’re employed by a Hungarian employer, they may be responsible for withholding social security contributions from your wages and remitting them to the Hungarian social security authorities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below, we’ve compiled answers to frequently asked questions to help clarify any uncertainties you might have about the Hungarian Digital Nomad Visa.
Are there any specific requirements regarding nationality or country of residence?
No specific requirements exist in terms of nationality or country of residence. However, these aspects may affect the ability to apply from within Hungary’s geographical boundaries.
Can self-employed individuals apply for this visa?
Yes, self-employed individuals are eligible to apply for this visa, provided the income is generated from a recognized and lawful business entity.
Is there an age limit or educational requirement for eligibility?
There are no restrictions on age or educational qualifications for eligibility.
Is there a minimum income requirement for the Hungary Digital Nomad Visa or White Card?
Yes, there is a minimum income requirement. An applicant must demonstrate a legal income of at least 2000 euros per month for the six months before the application and maintain this income level throughout their stay in Hungary. It’s important to note that there’s no flexibility regarding income. For instance, if a freelancer meets or exceeds this requirement for five months but fails to meet it in just one month, they would not establish eligibility for the White 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.
Can family members and dependents join as digital nomads?
The White Card (WC) resident permit does not permit dependents to secure Family Reunification resident permits. However, dependents can accompany their primary visa holder with an ‘Other Purpose’ Resident Permit. The required documentation for this is similar to what would be necessary for a Family Reunification resident permit.
Are some documents more important than others?
Financial documents carry the most weight in the application process. While the feasibility of remote work is typically easy to ascertain, demonstrating and validating the mandatory legal income can often pose more challenges, especially for freelancers. Freelancers may face difficulties due to the unpredictable nature of their income and because their work arrangements may not always require formal contracts with clients.
What is the minimum and maximum timeframe for the processing time of the application?
Legally, the decision-making deadline set by the Immigration Office is 30 days. However, the procedure might extend beyond this timeframe if additional documents are required or missing from the initial application.
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.
Where should the visa application be submitted?
The location for submitting your visa application depends on your nationality. If you belong to a nationality that is obliged to have a visa, you should apply from your home country or country of residence. However, if you are eligible for visa-free days in the Schengen Zone, you have the option to apply directly from within Hungary’s territory.
Can the application be submitted online, or is it required to be done in person?
Within Hungary, applicants have the flexibility to submit their applications either online or in person, though online submission tends to be more convenient. However, if you are from a nationality that requires a visa, your application will need to be submitted through a consulate.
If in person, who can apply for it within Hungary and who has to apply within their country of residence?
The specifics depend on nationality. For instance, citizens of countries like the USA, UK, Canada, Israel, South Korea, and Chile can submit their applications in person within Hungary. However, citizens of countries like India, China, and Morocco are required to apply from their country of residence.
How long is the Digital Nomad visa valid?
The Digital Nomad visa holds a maximum validity of one year. However, it offers the possibility of being extended for an additional one-year period once.
Can the visa be extended beyond the initial period?
Yes, the Digital Nomad visa can be extended beyond the initial one-year period for an additional year. However, at present, there’s no legal precedent for what happens after the second year when another extension may be due. As per our understanding, the applicant might have to transition to a different type of Resident Permit if they wish to continue living as a digital nomad in Hungary. The Other Purpose or Gainful Activity Resident Permit could be potential options, especially if they also establish a business in Hungary.
What is the recommended visa to apply for if I would like to continue my stay in Hungary?
If you wish to extend your stay in Hungary beyond the duration of the Digital Nomad visa, it’s advisable to consider other types of Resident Permits, such as the Other Purpose or Gainful Activity Resident Permit. Particularly, if you have registered a business in Hungary, these could be suitable options.
How long does it usually take to receive a decision on the visa application?
Typically, the decision on the visa application is reached within a month. However, applications submitted through a consulate may take a bit longer.
How will I be notified?
You will be notified either through EnterHungary, which is an online platform, or by traditional mail. If you are outside of Hungary, the notification will be sent by the Embassy, and the means of communication can vary.
Is there a maximum duration limit for staying in Hungary on a digital nomad visa?
The maximum duration for staying in Hungary on a digital nomad visa, also known as a White Card visa, is 2 years. However, switching to different permit types can extend this duration based on the purpose of your stay.
It has been 5 months since I applied for the White Card visa, but I haven’t received any response yet. Is there any way to expedite the process or get an update on the current status?
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 they have multiple bank accounts or services like Revolut and Transferwise, they 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.
Is health insurance a requirement for the Hungarian digital nomad visa?
Yes, health insurance is a requirement for the Hungarian digital nomad visa.
What types of health insurance are accepted?
Accepted health insurance types must be valid in Hungary and the EU, covering at least hospital stay and accident insurance.
How long does health insurance need to be valid?
The health insurance must be valid for the entire duration of the requested stay.
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.
Are there any specific coverage requirements for the insurance policy?
The mentioned TESTŐR insurance package is generally sufficient for application purposes, but you can also opt for more comprehensive coverage based on your needs.
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 work for Hungarian companies or clients while on a digital nomad visa?
No, digital nomads should not work for Hungarian companies or clients, as it may require a Work Permit or Gainful Activity Residence Permit. However, there is no strict control, so freelancers with a few local clients may not face issues. This remains a grey area, and further clarification from the Immigration Office may be helpful.
Are there any restrictions on the type of work that can be done while on the visa?
There are no restrictions on the type of work, as long as it is legal and does not involve Hungarian businesses.
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.
What types of accommodation proof are considered valid for the visa application?
Valid accommodation proofs include booking confirmation, lease agreement, property deed – if you own the real estate, document for courtesy use along with the accommodation reporting form signed by the property owner(s). Accommodation changes must be reported to the Immigration Office via the Accommodation Change Report Procedure. Authority is rather lenient with accommodation, though, so the White Card could be obtained for a year even with a short-term (2-3 months) accommodation construction.
How can I get proof of accommodation before staying there?
You can try reaching out to local friends or family who own real estate for a courtesy use document or explore the market for booking or renting options before arriving.
How recent should the accommodation proof be?
There are no specific rules, but the accommodation proof should be recent and valid. An old or expired document will not be accepted.
What are some places where I can find accommodation aside from AirBnB?
You can search for rentals on Marketplace or ask homeowner friends for a courtesy use document. Note that the provided information does not cover arranging accommodation for clients.
Are there any specific requirements for accommodation duration or type?
Technically, you should have at least 8 m2 of living space per person. While there are no strict duration requirements for the White Card visa, long-term accommodation is preferred. In general, applicants must verify their eligibility for accommodation for the entire duration of their stay in Hungary.
I am applying for the White Card (digital nomad) visa in Hungary and have been asked for proof of accommodation. Does anyone have any advice on how long that proof of accommodation should last? Does it have to be the whole year or for the duration of the application process (i.e. a few months?)
The duration of the proof of accommodation may vary, but it is generally recommended to provide it for the entire year or at least for a significant portion of your stay. It should cover the duration of the application process and potentially a few months beyond that to demonstrate your commitment to residing in Hungary.
For a Digital Nomad visa, 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.
What must I do if I get rejected even after providing accommodation?
In case of rejection after providing accommodation, if you are a local, use your temporary permit or rejection decision to legally leave the country and the Schengen Zone, unless you have grounds for appeal by presenting alternative accommodation details. If you are abroad, there’s no further action needed.
Can family members or dependents accompany the digital nomad on the visa?
Yes, family members can accompany the digital nomad on the Other Purpose RP visa, not the Family Reunification visa.
What are the requirements and procedures for bringing family members if they’re not digital nomads?
The applicant must provide OFFI-translated and diplomatically authenticated documents such as birth or marriage certificates to verify family relations. If the applicant is the supporter, they need to write a Support Letter and attach financial documents to show their capacity for support. Cohabitation is required.
How will my potential residency in Hungary impact their application?
Your residency in Hungary may positively impact your application, especially if you are approved. If your application is rejected, their application might also be rejected, unless they can demonstrate financial support.
Do I need to buy an airplane ticket as proof of my departure to Hungary and when I would 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.