Since January 2011, the rules on Hungarian citizenship have changed. People who can demonstrate a Hungarian ancestry and show knowledge of the Hungarian language can now become citizens, regardless of location. More traditional citizenship roots, such as qualification by residency and by passing citizenship exams are possible. Hungary, as an EU state, automatically confers EU citizenship on its people, meaning that a Hungarian citizen has the right to live and work in any of the other European Union member states.
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Become a citizen by proving a Hungarian ancestry. Even if you were not born in Hungary, if you can show the birth certificate of a grandparent who was born in Hungary, and you are familiar with the Hungarian language, you are eligible to become a Hungarian citizen. Take your documentation to your local Hungarian consulate or embassy to apply for citizenship. If one of your parents is Hungarian, you also qualify for Hungarian citizenship, regardless of birthplace or even familiarity with Hungarian.
Become naturalised as a Hungarian citizen through residency. If you have lived in Hungary for eight years, do not have a criminal record and can demonstrate acceptable earnings, you will need to pass a constitutional studies test, and then you will be granted citizenship.
Apply for a reduced residency qualification if you were born in Hungary or if you arrived in Hungary before you were 18. If either of these apply to you, then you need to have only resided in Hungary for five years. You will still need to pass a constitutional studies test, although if you hold a Hungarian language diploma from a Hungarian institution you may be exempt.
Tips and warnings
- Hungary permits dual citizenship, meaning that you can retain your original citizenship parallel to your Hungarian one.
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