EuropePolicy Updates

Hungary’s New Golden Visa to Start Already Next Month, Rather Than in September


When Hungary’s upcoming Guest Investor Visa – a real estate-focused golden visa program with minimum investments starting at EUR 250,000 – was first introduced in legislation last month, the bill was slated to take effect on September 1st next year.

The purpose of the 9-month wait was to give the Hungarian immigration department a chance to prepare its online application platforms for the bill’s comprehensive changes, which impact the country’s entire immigration system.

In the final draft of the bill, however, the text is updated to state that the law will take effect on January 1st, 2024. While the law will take effect at the beginning of the new year, the program will not open to applications until July 1st. Other migration routes will open for application in March.

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The investment requirements of the program remain unchanged in the final draft of the bill. To qualify, an applicant must:

  • Invest EUR 250,000 in investment certificates issued by a real estate fund registered with the National Bank;
  • Invest EUR 500,000 directly in Hungarian residential real estate (free of encumbrances or claims);
  • Donate EUR 1 million to an institution of higher learning to support educational, scientific, artistic, or creative activities “maintained by a public interest trust foundation performing a public task.”

The bill also clarifies that the government will issue a decree to set forth regulations for the new program already this month.

“The government has indicated that properties will have to meet certain guidelines to be eligible under the program. The nature of these guidelines will be crucial,” says Kiss.

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