Residence permit


Country Report: Residence permit Last updated: 15/04/21


Hungarian Helsinki Committee Visit Website

In Hungary, persons with protection status do not get a residence permit, but a Hungarian IDFor refugees the duration of the status used to be 10 years, while for persons with subsidiary protection 5 years. However, on 1 June 2016 both were reduced to 3 years. According to the Asylum Act, refugee and subsidiary protection statuses shall be reviewed at least every 3 years.[1]

According to the law the issuance of ID and address cards should take up to 20 days.[2] However, in practice it takes at least 1 month. Persons with international protection status are able to stay in the reception centres only for 30 days after the delivery of the decision on the status.[3]

Between the age of 18 and 65, the ID card is issued for a period of 6 years. Under the age of 18, children are provided with an ID card valid for 3 years. Both refugee and subsidiary protection status have to be examined by the NDGAP ex officio after at least 3 years counted from the day the status was granted. If the status is withdrawn as a result of the procedure, the ID card should be also invalidated. However, until the end of the procedure the beneficiary of international protection is still entitled for the ID card. The Lutheran Church reported though in 2019 that the ID cards of beneficiaries of subsidiary protection were not prolonged during their status review procedure, therefore beneficiaries were without ID card for months. The same incident was reported by the Lutheran Church in 2020, when the ID cards of the older children of a family, having a pending procedure before the court on the revocation of their subsidiary protection, was not renewed, while their new-born baby was not provided by an ID card at all. Long waiting time for the issuance of the ID cards was also reported in the case of a woman and her children arriving in Hungary as a result of family reunification procedure. They were granted subsidiary protection status in September 2020, nonetheless their ID cards were issued only in November which prevented them from arranging an address and health insurance card. Due to the absence of official documents, they could not receive official mails, obtain family financial aid and kindergarten placement.

In practice those refugee children or children with subsidiary protection who reside in Hungary only with one of their parents face obstacles upon the obtainment of ID cards. According to the law,[4] in order to issue an ID card to children with no legal capacity (below the age of fourteen) both parents’ consent is required. Thus, the parent of the child not staying in Hungary has to give his/her consent in writing (either in a private document providing full evidence or a statement taken before the Hungarian Consulate) and has to deliver the original copy of it to Hungary. In countries of origin such as Syria, Afghanistan or Somalia where public service does not function or it does in a limited way, and Hungarian Consulates do not operate this requirement amounts to difficulties for the parent to comply with. Not to mention the level of public security, which makes the compliance with the law for a single mother even more difficult. As per HHC such requirement for refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection is unnecessary and disproportionate. Furthermore, the regulation highlights that the law is not tailored to the situation of beneficiaries of international protection. HHC is aware of such a case from 2017 where it took approximately one year to obtain an ID card for a 10-year-old boy as a result of the aforementioned issue. There have been no changes in the law, nonetheless, since then though HHC is not aware of any similar cases.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the government office responsible for the arrangement of official documents require a prior online appointment booking.[5] As the website is run exclusively in Hungarian, beneficiaries of international protection face language barriers and necessarily need help. Additionally, the offices are overburdened, therefore appointments are only available with quite long waiting time. During the state of danger introduced in March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the regulation according to which expired ID documents and passports were deemed to be valid was not applicable to non-Hungarian (or EU) citizens amounting to a clear discriminatory situation.[6] This restriction was not introduced again in the autumn.




[1]        Sections 7/A(1) and 14(1) Asylum Act.

[2]        See more information regarding the requirements and procedures to obtain an ID card int he report issued by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada,Hungary: Identity cards and address cards for nationals and non-nationals, including requirements and procedures to obtain the cards; description of the cards, including information on the cards (2016-July 2018), [HUN106146.E], 10 August 2018, available at:

[3]        Section 32(1) Asylum Act.

[4]        Section 20 Government Decree 414/2015 (XII.23.) on the issuance of ID card and on the uniform image and signature recording rules.

[5]        See:

[6]        This was confirmed by the Interior Ministry upon the inquiry of the Menedék Association.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation