Hungary is a nation determined to shrug off its “Eastern Bloc” past, embracing its status as a modern democracy, proud of its EU membership status, with a vibrant economy and growing reputation as a global tech hub. It’s clearly a great time for a foreign investor to buy into Hungary, especially if it’s in return for its citizenship and that all-important EU passport!
Hungary is a landlocked Central European nation of more than ten million inhabitants that borders Austria, Croatia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine. In a rapidly evolving world that often shows scant regard for history and tradition, few countries have held on to their proud history and strong sense of tradition quite like Hungary, resulting in an almost timeless quality to many of their country towns and large cities, none more so than the capital Budapest, often named “The Most Beautiful City In Europe”.
And Hungary does indeed have a proud history: In the 19th century, Austria-Hungary was a kingdom, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire was both extremely powerful and highly influential. It was in fact the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914 that sparked the First World War. Austria-Hungary and Germany formed the Central Powers who fought against the Allies (France, Great Britain and the Commonwealth, the US, Russia etc.) during World War I, and their defeat in 1918 spelled the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Like Poland, the former Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and Romania, Hungary was one of several Central and Eastern European countries that were branded “Eastern Bloc” as they fell under the control and the influence of communist Russia – then known as the Soviet Union – in the turmoil following World War II. Hungary itself was invaded by Russia in 1956. As a result of successive communist governments, Hungary’s growth as a country – both economically and creatively – was stifled during that period, going from one of the most influential nations in terms of arts, literature and even sports (their all-conquering national soccer team known as the Marvelous Magyars for example) to virtually a forgotten country.
With the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1989 – 1990 and ensuing collapse of the so-called Eastern bloc, Hungary was free to hold democratic elections, and as a result became a republic. Hungary became a member of NATO in 1999 and in 2004 was accepted into the European Union. Within less than three decades, Hungary has taken great strides in reasserting itself as a nation to be reckoned with, and is now considered very much a valid and important member of the European Union.
Hungarian Citizenship by Investment Program
|Price||€300,000 Government Bonds|
|Required Documents||Medical documentation prove sound health and mind|
|Required Documents||Prove to be of good character and no criminal convictions|
|Visit Required||Not required to visit during the application or during the five-year residency period|
|Bonds||Bonds are 100% guaranteed and will be returned after the 5-year residency period|
|Family||Also qualifies all members of family for Hungarian residency.|
|Visa Free Travel||167 Countries|
The Hungarian Economy
Hungary is an export-based economy, and the OCED (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) describes Hungary as a “high-income, mixed economy with a very high human development index and a skilled labour force.” Despite its relatively small size, Hungary punches well above its weight economically, ranking 35th in terms of global exports. While that may not sound that impressive initially, consider that there are 28 nations in the EU alone, most of them larger than Hungary. In 2016 for example, Hungary’s exports totaled almost $100 billion.
Hungary has a thriving high-tech sector, especially in the fields of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). As a result, Hungary has proved itself a magnet for foreign investors from ICT and electronics manufacturing. Many of the world’s top electronics companies have now established their regional headquarters and manufacturing facilities in Hungary (check out the above infographic), including Bosch, Electrolux, Flextronics, Foxconn.GE, Philips, Samsung, Sony and TDK.
It’s no great surprise that a nation as industrious as Hungary is a target for such foreign investment. In 2016 foreign companies invested over $120 billion into Hungary and its infrastructure. Hungary itself invests an average of $50 billion a year in foreign projects.
How To Become A Hungarian Citizen
Hungary currently does not have a citizenship by investment program, but in 2013 its government launched the Hungarian Investor Residency Bond Program. While nowhere near as swift and “to the point” as a standard EU citizenship by investment program (which is more costly but delivers an investor their citizenship and a passport in a matter of months) the Hungarian Investor Residency Bond Program is nevertheless one of the better value programs of its kind to be found in Europe. Unsurprisingly it has proved to be very popular, especially with investors from China and the Middle-East, with 3,650 programs (worth €1.1 billion in revenue) sold to foreign investors by 2016.
Becoming a Hungarian Resident
Becoming a Hungarian resident is a relatively straightforward process. In order to obtain citizenship, an investor must:
- Provide authorized documentation to prove themselves to be of good character and have no criminal convictions
- Prove via authorized medical documentation that they are of sound health and mind
- Make a purchase €300,000 in Hungarian Government Bonds
These bonds must be retained by the Hungarian government for a minimum of five years, therefore maintaining the investor’s Hungarian residency, even if they choose not to remain in the country for any length of time during this five-year period. Upon completion of five years of residency* an investor can then apply for full Hungarian citizenship and that all-important Hungarian/EU passport.
Hungarian Investor Residency Benefits
- An investor is not required to visit Hungary during the application or during the five-year residency period.
- Hungarian Government Bonds are 100% guaranteed, and will be returned to the investor after the 5-year residency period is completed.
- A Hungarian residency permit grants an investor the right to live and work in Europe’s Schengen Zone for a period of 90 days.
- An application also qualifies all members of an investor’s family for Hungarian residency.
Benefits of Acquiring Hungarian Citizenship
Acquisition of Hungarian citizenship will literally be life-changing for foreign investors hailing from areas such as Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Here’s why:
- Visa-Free Access To 167 Countries
The Hungarian passport delivers visa-free access to 167 countries around the world, including access to all of Western and Central of Europe, North America (USA and Canada), Latin America (including Central America and the Caribbean), a selection of key countries in both Africa and Asia, plus all of Australasia and Southeast Asia.
- World’s 10th Most Powerful Passport
According to 2ndPassports.com’s 2017 World Passport Rankings, its visa-free tally of 167 countries makes Hungary’s passport the tenth most powerful in the world. A passport’s power is measured by the amount of countries it has access to without the need of an additional visa. The Hungarian passport is more powerful than those of Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Malaysia, Monaco, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Bulgaria and Brazil for example.
- Complete EU Freedom
As a Hungarian and therefore EU citizen an investor will have the legal right to live and work in any other European Union country without limits on time, the work they do or size of investment they wish to make. For example, a Hungarian citizen can live in Germany or France for the rest of their lives if they so choose, establish a business and raise a family, using that nation’s education system and healthcare. EU rights are the same in all EU nations.
How 2ndPassports.com Can Help
2ndPassports.com can help to speed up the period of residency normally required, for Hungary’s investor program, often reducing it from five years to one year or less. Contact us today for further details.
For more information on becoming a Hungarian citizen and receiving a Hungarian passport, contact 2ndPassports.com today. If you visit our homepage, you will see our Hungary program, as well as a selection of the best residency and citizenship programs from the EU and Caribbean markets. We can give you all the information you require on Hungary’s program, and explain how we can speed up the residency and citizenship process, and deliver you your Hungarian passport in a fraction of the usual time.
Feel free to contact us via email, WhatsApp or Telegram. If you prefer you can chat to one of our expert representatives directly – you can call us using our encrypted phone and Skype lines. All of our contact details are listed at the top of the 2ndPassports.com homepage.
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