Hungary relaunches Golden Visa as Guest Investor Program.

June 10, 2024
Hungary

Discover the Benefits: Hungary's Guest Investor Program Returns with Golden Visa

Hungary is reviving its Golden Visa Program that the government renamed to Guest Investor Program (GIP) from July 1, 2024. This program was suspended in March 2017 but aims at making residency through investment available for wealthy nationals from countries outside EU/EEA. The Hungarian Government assured the restart of the program by the end of 2023.

Investment Opportunities of Hungary to Avail Golden Visa

Purchase a Real Estate Fund Unit: Invest at least €250, 000 in a real estate fund.
Purchase Residential Property: Purchasing of house amounting to €500,000.
Make a Donation: Contribute at least €1,000,000 to a higher educational institution in Hungary.
This reintroduction comes at a significant time as some other European countries like Spain and Portugal have had to cancel their programs for residency through investment in real estate because of the housing market.

Requirements and Procedure for Hungary Visa

Non-EU and Non-EEA Nationals: It is open to all but only those from outside the European Union and the European Economic Area.
Age Requirement: The applicants must be above the age of 18 years.
Clean Police Record: No criminal record is also desirable.
Legitimate Source of Income: Candidates must prove that they have a valid source of income.
The program provides visa-free travel in all countries of the European Union and allows the investor to obtain residence permits for spouse, minor children, and parents.

The application process involves several steps:

Hire an Agent: The applicants have to engage the services of an agent to help them with the exercise.
Select an Investment Option: Select one of the three investment alternatives.
Apply for a Golden Visa: Send an application to get into Hungary.
Meet Investment Requirements: Meet the investment criteria.
Apply for Residency and Submit Biometrics: Finalize the residency application and get your biometric data taken.
If all conditions are met, you can receive the residency permit cards by mail or in person.

Changes in Hungary’s Immigration Law

The new immigration law of Hungary came into force on March 1, 2024, that brought a number of changes, out of which, the number of residence permit has been increased from 18 to 24 where eight permits are for employment only. The category of “residence permit for other purposes has recently been canceled, which may be attributed to the rationalization of immigration policy.

Key updates include:

Separate Work Permits: New different single permits for highly qualified and low qualified guest workers.
New Permit for Investors: Issuance of a special permit for investors.
But the effective functioning of the new law has been hindered by the lack of certain executive decrees and details. Therefore, the applications for third-country nationals are stopped, while those on residence permits of national interest are allowed with approval of the minister.
The old rules apply to the applications submitted before December 31, 2023, and the decision should be made by March 1, 2024. Residence permits that will expire between January 1, 2024, and February 29, 2024, will be considered valid until April 30, 2024.

Key updates include:

Separate Work Permits: New different single permits for highly qualified and low qualified guest workers.
New Permit for Investors: Issuance of a special permit for investors.
But the effective functioning of the new law has been hindered by the lack of certain executive decrees and details. Therefore, the applications for third-country nationals are stopped, while those on residence permits of national interest are allowed with approval of the minister.
The old rules apply to the applications submitted before December 31, 2023, and the decision should be made by March 1, 2024. Residence permits that will expire between January 1, 2024, and February 29, 2024, will be considered valid until April 30, 2024.

Restrictions on the Guest Worker Residence Permit

Designated Employers: Available only to employees working for specified companies only.
Specified Countries and Occupations: Applicable for some of the countries and specific professions only.
Maximum Duration: Valid for up to three years but can be renewed after that a new application is required.
This permit does not allow guest workers to apply for permanent residence or family reunification.

Conclusion

The return of Hungary’s Golden Visa or the Guest Investor Program presents a new chance for wealthy individuals from outside the EU and EEA to gain residency through investment. Because of the freedom and flexibility in investment as well as the advantage of visa-free movement within the EU the program will generate a lot of attention. With Hungary continuously changing its immigration laws, the GIP remains as one of the best options in the changing European residency laws.

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