Family reunification

If you are a refugee, your direct family member can apply for family reunification with simpler conditions within 3 months of receiving your status.

The protection of family unity is an important human right. If you were separated from your family before or during you fled your country, you may apply for them to join you in Hungary under specific conditions. Whether your family can join you depends on the type of legal status you are granted, the procedure you are undergoing, and the nature of your relationship.   

Who can help you in family reunification process?  

To seek free of charge legal counselling and representation in family re-unification, please turn to the Hungarian Helsinki Committee’s site (information is available in English, Arabic, Farsi, Pashto, Russian, Spanish, Urdu) or call them at 📞+36 1 321 4323 / 📞+36 1 321 4327 / 📞 +36 1 321 4141.  

Who is eligible for family reunification? 

If you received protection (refugee status or subsidiary protection) and would like to bring your family members to Hungary, or if you would like to join your family members in another EU member state, it may be possible, but you will need legal assistance and counselling.

➡ As a refugee, you can bring the following family members:

  • Wife or husband
  • Minor children (below the age of 18) including adopted children
  • Parent if the refugee living in Hungary is a minor
  • Parent, who is not able to provide for him/herself meaning that his/her livelihood and well-being depends on you (if you are an adult refugee living in Hungary), if you support the parent financially, socially and emotionally
  • Adult child who is not able to provide for him/herself and has a serious health problem
  • Brother or sister who is not able to provide for him/herself and has a serious health problem
  • Grandparent or grandchild who is not able to provide for him/herself and has a serious health problem.

➡ As a beneficiary of subsidiary protection, you can bring the following family members:

  • Wife or husband
  • Minor children (below the age of 18) including adopted children.

➡ As an asylum-seeker:

Family re-unification is also possible in certain special cases if you are an asylum-seeker in Hungary and your close family member (child under the age of 18 years, spouse, or in case you are an unaccompanied child your close adult relative) is in another EU Member State as an asylum-seeker or as a refugee.

How to apply for family reunification? 

➡ Family reunification for recognized refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection

Under Hungarian law, it is the family members of refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection who can start the family reunification procedure.

If your family members wish to come to Hungary, they need to travel to the closest Consulate of Hungary to submit their application in person. The family reunification applications are not decided by the Consulate, they only forward them to the immigration authority (NDGAP) in Budapest, who will take the decision.

To start the family reunification procedure, your family members should submit the following documents to the Consulate:

  • Filled in standardized residence permit application form;
  • Valid passport of your family member (at the time of submission it is valid for at least six more months);
  • One passport photo for each family member (taken not more than three months ago);
  • Proof of payment of procedural fee of 60 EUR for each family member;
  • Documents proving the family links between you and your family member (birth and marriage certificate);
  • Other supporting documents (proving health problems, dependency).

If your family member starts the family reunification procedure within three months after you receive the refugee status, then a simplified/facilitated procedure applies meaning that they only need to prove the existence of family connection or the dependence of family members. If you are a beneficiary of subsidiary protection, you do not have this possibility.

If you are a refugee and your family members cannot start the family reunification procedure within the first three months of you receiving your status, then the same rules apply to them, as to the family members of beneficiaries of subsidiary protection (see below).

Beneficiaries of subsidiary protection and refugees, whose family members could not submit their application for family reunification during the first three months, need to comply with the following requirements:

  • Show proof of accommodation for themselves in Hungary;
  • Show proof of livelihood for themselves in Hungary;
  • Show proof of health insurance for themselves in Hungary.

In addition, if you are an adult refugee, your parents can only be reunited with you, if they depend on your support in Hungary, including your financial, emotional, social and psychological support. If you are a refugee your siblings (brother or sister) can only be reunited with you if they are not able to provide for themselves and have a serious health problem and they need your support living in Hungary.

If the immigration authority issues a positive decision, they will inform the Hungarian Consulate, where your family members applied for family reunification. The Consul will then provide your family members with a single-entry visa (called D visa) with which your family members can travel to Hungary and within 30 days after their arrival they can collect their residence permit from the immigration authority (address: 1117 Budapest, Budafoki út 60.).

➡ Family reunification for asylum-seekers (under the so-called Dublin procedure)

If your family members been separated while fleeing and they apply for asylum in different European Union Member States, family reunification may take place and the family members’ applications for asylum will be examined together. In addition, if the asylum procedure of your close family member is already in progress in a State, or the family member legally resides or has been granted refugee status in such State, that State will be the one responsible to process the applications.

If you have family members in other European Union Member States, you should inform the asylum authority about this during your first asylum interview. In order to have your asylum application joined together with the applications submitted by your family members, relatives in other Member States, you will need to submit a written consent.

Further information on family reunification 

For further practical information related to the family reunification procedure, you can consult Hungarian Helsinki Committee’s short information leaflet on family reunification in Hungary (in English).