Statelessness

Being stateless means that you do not have any nationality (you are not a citizen of any country in the world). If you are stateless, you should first ask the Hungarian immigration authority to officially recognize you as a stateless person.

Statelessness procedure

You should apply for stateless status at the immigration authority (National Directorate-General for Alien Policing). There is no template for the application, you can apply either in writing or by telling it verbally to a case officer there.

You can find the National Directorate-General for Alien Policing here:

  • Address: 1117 Budapest, Budafoki út 60., Hungary
  • Phone: +36 1 463 9100
  • E-mail: [email protected]
  • Call Centre: +36 1 463 9292 (Monday-Thursday: 8.00-16.00, Friday: 8.00-13.30)
  • Client service: Monday-Thursday 8.00-14.00, Friday 8.00-12.00

You are not required to have a valid residence permit in Hungary to apply for statelessness status. In this case, the immigration authority will give you a “temporary residence certificate”. With this document, you can legally stay in Hungary during the procedure until the authority decides on your application. The procedure is free of charge, you do not have to pay anything.

You can find further information about the procedure at the website of the immigration authority in English.

To seek free legal assistance, please turn to:

  • Hungarian Helsinki Committee site (information in English, Arabic, Farsi, Pashto, Russian, Spanish, Urdu) or email at [email protected]. You can find HHC’s user-friendly information leaflet about the statelessness application procedure at this site in English, Arabic, Hungarian and Russian.

Rights of stateless persons in Hungary

If you are recognized as stateless, you have the right to get a humanitarian residence permit in Hungary.

  • This is not automatic, you first have to ask for this permit at the immigration authority (National Directorate-General for Alien Policing, see the address above).
  • The residence permit is first valid for three years, and after that you can ask for extension every year.
  • With this residence permit you can work, but you need to request a work permit as well. For counselling and assistance, please contact Menedék at their site in English or at this email address [email protected].
  • With this residence permit you can study in Hungary.

As a recognized stateless person, you have the right to reunite with your family, for which you need to demonstrate sufficient livelihood, accommodation, and health insurance in Hungary, as well as proof of the family link.

Recognized stateless children in Hungary are entitled to state-funded preschool care (kindergarten) and public primary and secondary education, similarly to Hungarian nationals. As a recognized stateless person, you have the right to enrol in state-funded, partly state-funded, or self-financed higher education studies, similarly to Hungarian nationals.

Please note that acquiring stateless status does not create an entitlement to social security, or to all-round free public health care, unless you are employed or otherwise have social security entitlement (e.g. through private entrepreneurship or on the basis of social need).

As a stateless person, you also have the right to get a special travel document. This is similar to a passport. You can use it to travel abroad and then come back to Hungary. It is valid for one year. With a valid residence permit a stateless person can travel to and stay in another EU Member State for up to 90 days within a 180 days period. If you wish to travel to countries located outside of the European Union and the Schengen area, please check prior to your planned travel whether the country of destination accepts travel documents issued under the 1954 UN Convention and whether there is any visa requirement.