On December 21, 2023, Act XC of 2023 on General Rules for Admission and Right of Residence of Third-Country Nationals (hereinafter: “New Immigration Act”) was published in the Hungarian Gazette, introducing significant changes to the regulatory background of immigration cases.
Although the implementation decree containing the detailed legal requirements has not been published yet, two crucial pieces of information can already be gleaned from the New Immigration Act:
- The processing of any application submitted before December 31, 2023, is currently suspended and will resume on March 1, 2024;
- No new application can be submitted between January 1, 2024, and February 29, 2024, the only exception being an application for a residence permit or a national residence card if their issuance is requested on the grounds of national interest.
From January 1, 2024, to February 29, 2024, the administration will only be available in a few cases, such as taking biometric data for applications submitted electronically by December 31, 2023, replacing or substituting documents, or extending an expiring temporary residence certificate.
Therefore, those persons whose residence in Hungary is currently based on a temporary residence certificate should pay attention to the extension of their certificate: unlike residence permits, the validity of which is automatically extended until April 30, 2024, if they would otherwise expire within the suspension period, temporary residence certificates will lose their validity in all cases according to the expiry date determined at the time of issuance.
Based on the provisions in the New Immigration Act, as a general rule, a currently pending application submitted before December 31, 2023, will be processed under the previous immigration regulations. However, this may vary in each exact case subject to special rules of the New Immigration Act and the new provisions yet to be published. All new applications submitted after December 31, 2023, will be processed under the New Immigration Act, subject to certain exceptions.
Those who already received a residence permit before January 1, 2024, will be entitled to stay in Hungary within the period of validity of their permit. Still, afterward, they will also have to comply with the new regulations. As the implementing regulations are still being prepared, the exact scope of the changes cannot be fully assessed. As additional information is published, we will be sure to provide updates.