In Hungary, persons with protection status do not get a residence permit, but a Hungarian ID. For 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.
There are difficulties regarding the issuance of IDs in practice, notably the fact that it takes at least 1 month to issue a personal identification card. However, pursuant to the law the procedure should take up to 20 days. According to the regulations in force from 1 June 2016, persons with international protection status are able to stay in the reception centres only for 30 days after the delivery of the decision. Therefore, in 2017 it was a common experience that by the time that beneficiaries of international protection had to leave the camp, they had not received their ID and address card, thereby facing greater difficulties in finding a job and accommodation. Since people dominantly leave the reception facilities after receiving international protection, this has been more of a theoretical problem in 2018. In 2019, due to the low number of beneficiaries, the whole issue became negligible.
In 2017, a client of the HHC received his ID card approximately 1.5 months after the delivery of the international protection status. Presumably, the length of the issuance procedure was due to the difficulty as to the communication of the former IAO and the Government Office. In 2016, another person received subsidiary protection after his status had been revoked the same year. Even though the former IAO had sent the notification about the recognition decision to the Government Office, the latter still did not change the status of the beneficiary in the central system so the issuance of the ID card was not possible at first.
According to the experiences of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, cases were mostly prolonged where the beneficiaries of international protection had left the country without waiting for their Hungarian personal documents but were afterwards transferred back to Hungary. In these cases the refugees/beneficiaries of subsidiary protection have to first request the NDGAP to contact the competent (based on the person’s address) local government office and send them the case file of the person. This usually takes at least two weeks but can last even longer. After the local government office received the notification, the person can submit the application for address and ID cards. In 2018 in the case of a refugee the lack of permanent address (he could not register his dormitory address as a permanent one) resulted in the non-delivery of the ID card for two months. In 2019, the Lutheran Church reported no similar case. In contrast to that, the organisation gave an account of cases when the ID cards of beneficiaries of subsidiary protection were not prolonged during the procedure for reviewing their status that amounted to that beneficiaries were without any ID card for months.
In practice children who are beneficiaries of international protection face a great obstacle by obtaining ID cards if only one of their parents resides with him/her in Hungary. According to the law, 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 beneficiary of international protection has to set down his/her consent in writing (either in private document providing full evidence or a statement taken before the Hungarian Consulate) and has to deliver the original copy of it to Hungary. Consequently, it is obvious that in countries of origin such as Syria, Afghanistan or Somalia public service does not function or it functions in a highly limited way, and Hungarian Consulates do not operate. Not to mention the level of public security, which amounts to the fact that such a requirement from refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, is unnecessary and disproportionate. This regulation highlights that the law is not tailored to the situation of beneficiaries of international protection. HHC is aware of 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 afore-mentioned issues.
Between the age of 18 and 65, the ID card is issued for 6 years. Under the age of 18, children are provided with an ID card valid for 3 years. As regards the renewal of ID cards, refugees prior to 2016 did not have problems renewing their Hungarian ID after 10 years, as this was done automatically. However, persons with subsidiary protection could not merely renew their Hungarian ID, but the authorities had to examine ex officio whether the conditions for subsidiary protection were still met. According to the new regulations, 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.
Sections 7/A(1) and 14(1) Asylum Act.
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: https://bit.ly/2SK8waD.
Section 32(1) Asylum Act.
Section 20 Government Decree 414/2015 (XII.23.) on the issuance of ID card and on the uniform image and signature recording rules.