Living in Hungary

Rights and obligations of refugees (menekült in Hungarian):

If you have a refugee status in Hungary, you are entitled to the same rights and have the same obligations as Hungarian citizens, with some exceptions:

  • Refugees have the right to vote and to run in local municipal elections, and to vote in local referendums, but not in the national ones.
  • Refugees cannot be employed in a job/position in relation to which the law prescribes Hungarian citizenship as a pre-condition.

Rights:

As a refugee you have the right to:

  • a personal identity card, as defined by law, and a bi-lingual travel document unless national security or public security reasons rule it out.
    • In case your request for a travel document is rejected, you have 3 days to appeal at the immigration authority, which forwards your appeal to the court immediately. The court decides in 8 days and has the right to change the decision of the immigration authority. There is no possibility to appeal against the court decision. For free legal aid, please turn to the Hungarian Helsinki Committee’s site (information in English, Arabic, Farsi, Pashto, Russian, Spanish, Urdu) or email at [email protected].
  • Care, assistance, and accommodation as determined by the Act on Asylum.
  • Accelerated access to citizenship, after 3 years, if you have 3 years of continuous registered address in Hungary (see details under the section “Citizenship”).
  • Stay in the asylum reception facilities and receive care for 30 days after receiving the refugee status.
  • Receive free of charge public health care for 6 months after receiving the status (see details under the section “Health care”).
  • Free of charge kindergarten, primary and secondary education until 21 years of age (see details under the section “Education and training”).
  • Seek partial or full cost-exemption from the costs of an official procedure from the immigration authority in case of certain income conditions are met.

Obligations:

As a refugee you are obliged to:

  • Cooperate with the immigration authority.
  • Agree to go through medical examinations, tests, medical treatment if prescribed by law or ordered by the medical authority; agree to receive (missing) vaccinations if it is compulsory by law or if prescribed by the medical authority.
  • Abide by the laws of Hungary. Not knowing the law does not exempt you from being guilty of not keeping them.
  • Immediately notify the immigration authority about the loss or stealing or destruction of your identity papers or travel documents.

Rights and obligations of beneficiaries of subsidiary protection (oltalmazott in Hungarian):

As a beneficiary of subsidiary protection, you are entitled to the same rights and obligations as refugees, apart for the below exceptions:

  • You have no right to vote.
  • You are only entitled to a travel document (that is different from the ones for refugees). The issuing of the travel document can be denied for national security or public interest reasons. In case of a denial, it can be appealed the same way (in 3 days’ time at the immigration authority) as in the case of refugees.
  • You are not entitled to the accelerated access to citizenship (after three years of residence) as refugees or stateless people. You can normally apply for citizenship after 8 years of residing in Hungary.

For legal aid in relation to the above, please turn to the Hungarian Helsinki Committee at their site (information in English, Arabic, Farsi, Pashto, Russian, Spanish, Urdu) or email at [email protected].

As a beneficiary of subsidiary protection, you have the right to:

  • Stay in the reception facilities and receive care for 30 days after receiving the status.
  • Receive free of charge public health care for 6 months after receiving the status.
  • Free of charge kindergarten, primary and secondary education until 21 years of age.

Rights and obligations for tolerated status holders (humanitarian protection status, befogadott in Hungarian)

You receive tolerated status if you cannot be granted a refugee or subsidiary protection status, but there is a danger that you would face persecution based on racial, religious, nationality grounds, or for belonging to a specific social group in your country of origin or habitual residence, and you are not accepted by a safe third country.

  • The tolerated status is reviewed by the immigration authority on a yearly basis.
  • You are entitled to stay in the reception facilities and receive care for 30 days after receiving the status
  • With tolerated status you have the same rights as residence permit holders. You receive a humanitarian residence permit.
  • If you do not have social security (free public health care) on other grounds, you are entitled to free care by the local practitioner (doctor), and to certain limited health care services, such as emergency care, and pandemic prevention.