Hungary became a member of the Schengen Area on 21 December 2007. Since this date the Schengen legislation governs entry into the territory, including Hungary. As a general rule, citizens of the European Economic Area can travel to Hungary without a visa. For a short-term visit, the full list of countries whose citizens can enter Hungary without a visa is the following:
Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Guatemala, Holy See, Honduras, Hong Kong (the exemption applies only to holders of a "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region"), Iceland, Israel, Japan, Macao (the exemption applies only to holders of a "Regio Administrativa Especial de Macau" passport), Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Romania, Salvador, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela
The competent authority responsible for issuing a visa or residence permit for Hungary is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Third country nationals (i.e. those outside the European Economic Area) will have to apply for a visa and possibly a residence permit, depending on the length of the intended visit.
In Hungary, there are special rules for visa / residence permit application if the purpose of entry is research. This is the so-called scientific visa regulation, in effect since 2007.
Schengen visa applications have to be submitted at the representation of the country which is the main destination of the visit. (In case of visiting several states with stays of approximately the same duration, it is the country of first entry into the Schengen area.)
If Hungary is the main destination, or the country of first entry in a trip covering several Schengen member states, visa applications are to be submitted in person at the applicant's nearest Hungarian representation.
According to the Schengen rules, border posts do not issue visas except for family members of EEA citizens and under extraordinary circumstances for other third country nationals (e.g. entry with a purpose of attending the funeral service of a deceased family member, when it can be proven that there was no possibility to apply for a visa beforehand).
Entry for a short-term stay
Researchers from a third country
If a researcher from a third (i.e. non-EEA member) country wishes to stay in Hungary for up to 90 days, s/he needs to apply for a Type C short-term visa. This visa allows the holder to enter and stay in the so-called Schengen area (with Hungary included). It is valid for an uninterrupted stay of 90 days, or, if the stay is interrupted, for altogether 90 days within 6 months. The Schengen visa application must be submitted to the consulate of the country which is the main destination of the visit. Receiving the visa typically requires one month from the time of the application.
Issuing the short-term visa costs 60 Euro; however, it is free of charge if the purpose of the stay is research.
Entry for long-term stay (exceeding 90 days)
EEA and non-EEA citizens
Regulations on a stay exceeding 90 days fall within the competence of national authorities, so there is no uniform routine among the Schengen member states.
A Residence Permit gives a foreign national the right both to reside in and to travel to and from Hungary. Together with an Address Registration Card, it acts as your documentation for legal residence during your stay in Hungary. If you are moving to Hungary with family, you and your partner, plus any children who will be relocating with you, will need to apply for the Residence Permit.
The application for a residence permit should be submitted to the Hungarian Consulate in the home country and will be judged by the competent Hungarian regional directorate of the Office of Immigration and Nationality. If there is no Hungarian consulate in the country where the applicant has his/her habitual residence the visa application can be handed in at any Hungarian consulate.
For researchers, the application for a residence permit can also be submitted after their arrival in Hungary, at the nearest regional office of the Office of Immigration and Nationality. Issuing the residence permit costs 60 Euro.
In case of a long-term stay with the purpose of research, the applicant will have to submit:
- an Application form for Scientific Research (PDF)
- the hosting agreement with an accredited research institute
How to apply for a visa:
Application forms for visa and residence permit:
Regulations for the scientific visa and approval procedure for host institutions:
General information on the scientific visa (in Hungarian):
Hungarian doctors are famous throughout the world for their expertise. First aid and emergency medical care is free for foreigners, further medical services are charged. State hospitals charge less, than private clinics. If you plan to stay in Hungary your own expense you should purchase the most suitable insurance package at home. EU citizens are recommended to have the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
EU citizens are insured on the basis of the European Health Insurance Card when they are in another member state and are, from the point of view of social security, entitled to the same rights and have the same obligations as citizens of that member state. EHIC bearers are entitled to get emergency medical care and the medically necessary treatments during their stay in Hungary. If the medical treatment is not emergency or necessary, the foreigner has to pay for the medical services unless s/he has a supplementary insurance coverage.
If you come to Hungary for work, before travelling please, get information from your local social security authority about your coverage status while you are in another country. Also ask your Hungarian employer before about the possibility to get a social security number/card (TAJ number/card) in Hungary. If you have this number, you are entitled for full medical care and sick-pay in Hungary and will not need a supplementary insurance during your work time in the country (over the European Health Insurance Card).
If you need necessary medically treatment, it is advised to see a general practitioner (GP) first. The GP decides whether further specialised out, or inpatient treatment is necessary and will issue a referral.The specialised outpatient care, typically available at outpatient centres, is rendered generally upon referral. However, you may seek outpatient care without referral if the treatment relates to dermatology, gynaecology, urology, otolaryngology, ophthalmology, oncology or general surgery. Hospital treatment is normally provided through a referral from a GP, in urgent cases no referral is necessary.
Where a doctor or dentist issues a prescription, it should be taken to the pharmacy, where the EHIC shall be submitted as well. Subsidies on medicines can vary according to disease and type of product. The subsidy is provided directly to the pharmacy, so the amount you will have to pay at the purchase of the prescribed medicine is a “co-payment” and therefore it is not refundable.
Citizens and/or residents of countries, which are not part of the European Economic Area and which don’t have bilateral agreements with Hungary on the provision of health care, have to pay full price for the health care services rendered in Hungary. The citizens of the following states have bilateral agreement with Hungary and will be charged for health care services accordingly: Croatia, Switzerland, Angola, North-Korea, Irak, Jordania, Cuba, Kuvait, Mongolia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Montenegro, Kazahstan, Kirgizistan, Kosovo, Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
According to the Hungarian legislation, the health care provider can set the fee basically freely; therefore the Hungarian National Health Insurance has no influence on the amount of fee charged. However, in order to avoid discrimination, it is important that the health care provider applies consequently the same fee for same service. For this purpose, most health care providers have established price lists that can be consulted before the treatment.
Heath/medical care EU information line (available Monday – Thursday 8am-4pm, Friday: 8-12am): from abroad 00-36-1-412-0431, from Hungary (free) 06-40-200-347
In respect of European Economic Area citizens social security EC Regulation 883/2004 is ruling. This defines the social security status of the international employees in the EU countries. This regulation changes the earlier system, based on ’E’ documents (certificate of the social security coverage in a country). The new system is valid for medical care, sick-pay and pensions and defines an internationally mobile worker’s social security contribution position within the EU. There are new requirements for remaining insured in the home country for social security purposes, notably where an individual works simultaneously in two or more member states. Before travelling please get information from your local social security authority about your coverage status while you are working in another country. Also ask your Hungarian employer before about the possibility to get a social security number/card (TAJ number/card) in Hungary. If you have this number, you are entitled for full medical care and sick-pay in Hungary and will not need a supplementary insurance (over the European Health Insurance Card). The regulation is available here.
In case of other, non-EEA country citizens working in EU also the EC Regulation 883/2004 is ruling. If you are arriving from countries with which Hungary has a bilaterial social security agreement - Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo – you do not need to pay social security contribution in Hungary, but you can get a Hungarian health insurance number/card and therefore are entitled for full medical care and sick-pay. In case of all other non EEA country citizens social security contribution must be paid in Hungary in order to get the Hungarian health insurance number/card
You can find detailed information on the social security rights avaliable to you in Hungary, along with other EU member states, at the portal of the European Union.
Researchers coming to Hungary on the basis of international agreements (e.g. EU Framework Programme, Bilateral Science and Technology Agreements), or coming to work at the Hungarian Academy of Science or any Hungarian research or higher education institution do not need a work permit. Teachers and trainees officially employed in Hungary (with regular income) will need a work permit in order have to apply for a D-3 working visa. Work permits are issued by the local Labour Office. The work permit (original document) signed by the Hungarian employer must be attached to the visa application form.
You can find information about the handling of intellectual property, patents, and inventions in Hungary at the website of the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office, which is the administrative authority for the protection of intellectual property with country-wide competence.