Legal questions and answers
UNHCR regularly monitors the situation of Ukrainian refugees in Hungary. In recent weeks, we have seen a large number of questions regarding temporary protection status in Hungary and would like to provide some clarifications in this regard. Below you will find answers to these questions. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide up-to-date information for refugees. Please note that the below answers are based on information published by the European Union (https://eu-solidarity-ukraine.ec.europa.eu/information-people-fleeing-war-ukraine_en).
I am registered for temporary protection but I want to go back to Ukraine shortly. Will I lose my rights in the EU?
If you need to go back to Ukraine for reasons for a short time for instance for family visits, to collect papers or to rescue family members, you don’t lose your temporary protection status. Any short visit to Ukraine should not be considered by EU countries as a decision to return voluntarily before the temporary protection ends. This means that a short trip back to Ukraine shouldn’t lead to the revocation of the residence permit and loss of rights attached to the status.
I have now temporary protection in the EU and I want to move back to Ukraine. What happens to my rights in the EU? Will I be able to come back to the EU and benefit from temporary protection?
In case of a voluntary return to Ukraine, meaning you travel back to Ukraine and you plan to stay there, the country where you enjoy temporary protection might revoke the residence permit issued and stop ensuring the rights attached to temporary protection. If you worry that your residence permit might be revoked, you are advised to contact the asylum authority in Hungary (the National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing) to receive more information.
I am registered for temporary protection in one EU country, but I want to move to another because I received a job offer. The country where I want to move refuses to register me for temporary protection because I am already registered somewhere else. What shall I do?
You are free to choose the EU country in which you want to enjoy temporary protection, however, it is essential to know that you can benefit from temporary protection ONLY in one EU Member State at a time. Therefore, if you are registered in one EU country and you move to another, the country where you move to has to provide you with all the rights foreseen under temporary protection status, including registering you and providing you with a residence permit. In parallel, the residence permit issued in the first EU country and the ensuing rights will be withdrawn in the first country. If you decide to move from one EU Member State to another, you should inform the authorities of the country in which you are now registered and are enjoying temporary protection of your decision.
How can I get financial assistance?
Once you have been granted temporary protection status (plastic card), you can apply for a monthly allowance of HUF 22,800 per month per adult and HUF 13,700 per child.
To do this, you need to come in person to the labour office (“foglalkoztatási osztály” in Hungarian) of the Government office (usually belonging to the local/district state administration, “járási/kerületi hivatal”) that serves the area of your address. In order to apply for child benefit, please note that you may have to go to the family support department (“családtámogatási osztály”) of the Government Office.
In order to receive assistance, you must appear at the Government Office by the end of each month. If you have a child under the age of 6, you do not have to bring him/her with you to the Government Office to receive the allowance. If the child is over 6 years old and under 18 years old, you can come to the Government Office instead of him/her as his/her parent.
Please note that in order to be eligible for the allowance, you must be registered as a job seeker at the Government Employment Centre. You are eligible for this financial support only as long as you are unemployed, caring for a child under the age of 3, or cannot receive a pension. If, after 45 days from the first payment, the Government Office offers you a suitable job and you do not accept it, you will not be eligible for subsistence allowance either. This does not relate to childcare allowance, which you will continue to receive regardless of your employment status.
Where can I turn for help?
In case you need any free legal aid and counseling please contact Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC). Their contact details are the following:
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: +361 321 4323 / +361 321 4327 / +361 321 414 (Monday/Thursday 10.00-18.00, Tuesday 10.00-17.00), Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/helsinkibizottsag/
Link to ask questions in Facebook chat: m.me/helsinkibizottsag
Medical services questions and answers
Where and how can I find a doctor in Hungary?
Finding the right doctor in your area can be a challenging process in a foreign system and therefore, we have put together some basic instructions to follow when looking for medical care.
Are you in an emergency?
If you are in urgent need of medical care or in an emergency situation, please contact the toll-free emergency numbers in Hungary.
▸ General number for emergency services: 112
▸ Ambulance: 104
▸ Police: 107
▸ Firefighters: 105
You are not in an emergency and want to access medical care?
The first step into the Hungarian Health care system is to consult with the general practitioner assigned to the location where you live. For any further, specific treatment other than emergency services, you will need a prescription from a general practitioner who can also advise you, where to access the right service.
If you are looking for the right health care institution, please consult the following website: http://neak.gov.hu/felso_menu/lakossagnak/szerzodott_szolgaltatok.
You can search for the right place based on your address in the downloadable Excel sheets. You can filter the file by searching for your postcode.
Click here for general practitioners (Háziorvos szolgálatók)
Click here for outpatient institutions (Járóbeteg szakellátó intézmények)
Click here for inpatient institutions (Fekvőbeteg szakellátó intézmények)
Once you have found the right doctor, you can find contact details and address in the file. In some apartment buildings, there is a bulletin board near the entrance; where you can find name, address, and visiting hours of the area GP.
Do you still have questions?
Please contact our UNHCR Refugee Hotline for free: +36 80 984 583, open from Monday – Friday, 08.00 – 17.00.
Which medical and health care services am I entitled to in Hungary if I have Temporary Protection?
You may want to know which medical and health care services you can access in Hungary if you have Temporary Protection. Please find below a list of entitlements.
Reference to different types of health services that are available for Temporary Protection applicants, Temporary Protection holders, and asylum seekers:
▸ general practitioner care
▸ examination, medical treatment, as well as medicine and bandages used in the course of the care, as part of outpatient special care used in case of urgent need
▸ inpatient hospital care used in case of urgent need, as well as medical treatment as prescribed by the doctor – including surgical interventions, as well as the medical materials and prosthetic devices used during it – medical care, medicine, bandages and meals required for the medical treatment
after outpatient specialist care or inpatient hospital treatment, until recovery from the disease or stabilization of the condition
▸ other medical aids ordered by a doctor, as well as for their repair
▸ emergency dental care and tooth-retaining treatment, provided patient treatment belonging to the lowest reimbursement category
▸ pregnancy care and maternity care, or for intervention aimed at terminating the pregnancy under the conditions specified in the Act on the Protection of Fetal Life
▸ mandatory age-related vaccinations
▸ oncology specialist care, other examinations, and medical treatment within the framework of other chronic patient care, as well as condition improvement, condition maintenance or pharmaceuticals that can be used for pain relief.
Which medical and health care services am I entitled to in Hungary if I am a Ukrainian citizen without Temporary Protection and Social Security Number?
Ukrainian citizens without TAJ (social security number) and without TP are also entitled to health care services:
▸ In case of acute illness and urgent need for medical treatment (medical and specialist required treatment, medication supply, hospital and rehabili-tation care, medical aids, their urgent replacement or repair) to the abso-lutely necessary extent can request it from the Hungarian state health ser-vice or from the social security body on the basis of a travel document (passport, etc.)
▸ Entitled to these benefits free of charge/subsidized in the same way as a domestic insured person.
▸ A Ukrainian citizen entitled to the free care is also entitled to the medicine necessary for this care, i.e. to a prescription of medicine. In such a case, the medicine must be ordered (prescribed) with the same subsidy as in the case of a Hungarian insured (according to the agreement). In other cases (services that cannot use for free), medicine can be prescribed at full price without subsidy.
▸ Free care can be used in all publicly funded, i.e., state, local government and church institutions (surgery, specialist surgery, hospital, clinic, institute.
▸ Oncology specialist care, other examination, and medical treatment within the framework of other chronic patient care, as well as condition improve-ment, condition maintenance or pharmaceuticals that can be used for pain relief.
I am a Hungarian citizen, I lived in Ukraine, and I moved to Hungary after the 24th February 2022, which medical and health care services am I entitled to in Hungary?
If you are a Hungarian citizen from Ukraine (arriving in Hungary after 24-02-2022) you are entitled for the same treatment as Temporary Protection holders.
Getting around Hungary and Europe
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE BELOW INFORMATION IS AS OF 29th NOVEMBER 2022 AND MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGES AND AMENDMENTS.
I am a Ukrainian citizen and just arrived at the Zahony train station at the Hungarian – Ukrainian border, can I travel for free to Budapest?
The Hungarian State Railway Company (MAV) published detailed information applicable to Ukrainian citizens traveling across Hungary, please access the Website in Ukrainian and in Hungarian here.
If you just arrived at the Hungarian-Ukrainian border you can travel for free on the following routes in a second-class carriage:
- Departure can only be from the Záhony – Nyíregyháza section, Hidasnémeti/ Nyírábrány/ Biharkeresztes /Lőkösháza stations and Budapest-Keleti/ Budapest-Nyugati/ Budapest-Déli/Kőbánya-Kispest/ Budapest-Kelenföld.
- Destination can be only Budapest-Keleti/ Budapest-Nyugati/Zugló/Kőbánya-Kispest/Budapest-Kelenföld/Hegyeshalom/Szob stations.
- Solidarity ticket for journey from a Budapest departure location to a Budapest destination cannot be purchased.
The Solidarity ticket can only be obtained at the cash desks at the departure stations listed above upon departure from the station or, in the case of crossing the border by train, on board the relevant trains, upon presentation of the appropriate ID.
I am a Ukrainian citizen, and I would like to travel to another EU country, is it for free?
If you are planning to travel to other countries in the EU as a non-EU citizen, please make sure that you have the necessary travel document (a biometric passport in case of Ukrainian citizenship or necessary visa in case of other nationalities).
Please note that not all EU countries are offering free travel for Ukrainian citizens. To leave Hungary, you need to buy an international ticket to countries that do NOT offer free travel. We recommend that you buy your international ticket at the major railway stations in Budapest. Trains to Vienna and Munich depart from Budapest-Keleti. Trains to Bratislava, Prague, Berlin and Poland from Budapest-Nyugati railway station.
More information on travel and stay in other EU countries can be found on this website: https://eu-solidarity-ukraine.ec.europa.eu/information-people-fleeing-war-ukraine_uk.
Also you can find Information for Ukrainian refugees about entering and travelling within Germany on this website: https://www.newwomenconnectors.com/post/communication-coordinator.
Is public transportation in Hungary free for Ukrainian citizens?
Trips other than the ones where solidarity can be obtained are NOT free for Ukrainian citizens in Hungary. However, discounts in accordance with Government Decree 85/2007 and the tariff of the Railway Company are available, the most important of which are:
|Who is eligible for the discount?||What is needed for the discount?||% of travel discount?|
|Refugee or beneficiary of subsidiary protection above 65 yo||ID and document certifying legal status (residence permit and certificate and ID document issued for foreigners, all together)||100% discount on 2nd class|
|Child, younger than 6 yo, with adult accompanying her/him||Can travel without certificate||100% discount on 1st or 2nd class|
|Child from 6 to 14 yo||ID or any other document suitable for identification or any document / certificate clearly showing the age of the child||50% discount on 2nd class|
|Person younger than 26 yo||ID or any other document suitable for identification||33% discount 2nd class as of Friday 10:00 until Sunday 24:00, except for some national holidays|
|Smaller families: one or more children under 18 yo with one or two adult (group discount). Children are eligible for discount based on their age or discount certificate.||Document suitable for identification or document, certificate clearly showing the age of the child||33% discount on 2nd class|
|Bigger families with at least 3 children and their parent(s) traveling together (group discount).|
Members of the family in terms of travel discount: Parent(s), Children under 18 yo, Child under 26 yo having a valid student card while being in full-time education Child, regardless of age, if higher amount of family allowance is due in her/his relation and this is confirmed by the place of payment.
|Document suitable for identification (student card or card issued by MAK – Hungarian State Treasury – on higher amount of family allowance due to disability or chronic illness)||90% discount on 2nd class|
I would like to plan my journey from Ukraine to Hungary and across Hungary, where can I find up to date information?
To plan your journey, see departure times and get more information, please visit the website of the Hungarian State Railway Company here. Please note that the Hungarian State Railway Company announced potential delays or cancelations of cross-border trains due to increased travel and necessary inspections by border authorities.
Tickets can be purchased in the MÁV app, on the www.jegy.mav.hu website, at any ticket machine and at the cash desk.
Do you still have questions on entitlements or other issues?
Please contact our UNHCR Refugee Hotline for free: +36 80 984 583, open from Monday – Friday, 08.00 – 17.00.