Hungary Reintroduces Golden Visa Program for Non-EU Nationals

Hungary has reintroduced its Golden Visa, now known as the Guest Investor Program (GIP), providing a new residency pathway for wealthy non-EU nationals. Starting from July 1, 2024, nationals from countries outside the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) will be eligible to acquire residency in Hungary through this revamped program.

The reintroduction of the Golden Visa Program, which was terminated in March 2017, follows approval from the Hungarian Government at the end of 2023. The Guest Investor Program offers three investment options for foreign nationals:

  1. Purchasing a real estate fund unit for at least €250,000.
  2. Purchasing a residential property worth €500,000.
  3. Donating at least €1,000,000 to a higher educational institution in Hungary.

Unlike other countries such as Spain and Portugal, which have discontinued the real estate investment route in their Golden Visa Programs due to housing crises, Hungary’s program continues to include this option.

 

To be eligible for Hungary’s Golden Visa Program, applicants must be over 18, have a clean police record, and possess a legitimate source of income. Successful applicants will gain visa-free travel access to all EU countries. Additionally, the residency permits extend to the investor’s spouse, minor children, and parents.

Investors must engage an agent to assist with the application process and select an investment option. They must apply for a Golden Visa to enter Hungary, fulfill the investment requirements, and then apply for residency, including submitting biometrics. If all conditions are met, they will receive their residence permit cards by mail or in person.

Between January 1, 2013, and March 31, 2017, Hungary’s previous Golden Visa Program generated €1.4 billion, according to a European Commission survey analyzing the EU’s citizenship and residency programs. During this period, a total of 4,794 residence permits were issued through the program. However, it was closed in 2017 amid arguments that it did not benefit the Hungarian economy.

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