A major development in Hungarian immigration policy is expected imminently, which would offer permanent Hungarian residency under ‘preferential conditions’ for non-EU national investors willing to buy at least €250,000 (Dh1.18 million) of government bonds.
On October 27, 2012, the ruling party of Hungary submitted a Bill to Parliament, which would offer permanent Hungarian residency under preferential conditions for non-EU national investors willing to buy government bonds worth a quarter of a million euros.
The Bill is currently under consideration and is expected to become law very soon.
Budapest-based law firm VJT & Partners said in a media statement this morning that its Immigration Services Desk has seen significant increase in enquiries from foreign nationals in relation to the new scheme, in particular from China, the Middle East and Russia.
János Tamás Varga, Managing Partner of VJT & Partners, said: “We have not previously had such a seismic change to Hungary’s immigration regulations. There is already clear evidence that real interest exists from international investors. The proposed terms are very attractive compared to other EU countries, which will, I am sure, be advantageous to Hungary.”
The new Bill proposes that private individuals or private companies, in which a private individual is a majority shareholder, that have purchased and hold €250,000 of government bonds (‘residency bonds’) with a maturity period of a minimum of five years will qualify for this new special category and be subject to preferential treatment.
Hungarian Government bonds are considered as low risk investments, while offering favourable interest rates. At maturity, the original capital is returned to the investor with interest.
The ‘preferential treatment’ outlined in the Bill includes exemption from certain existing requirements relating to Hungarian permanent residency. Notably there will be no need for at least three years continuous physical residence in Hungary.
Also, unlike other immigration policies, legal representation will be permitted throughout the entire preferential process, meaning that a petitioner’s personal appearance or involvement in the process is not required and the whole matter can be handled through a Hungarian immigration lawyer.
Hungarian permanent residents are entitled to reside in Hungary for an indefinite period of time. Unlike Hungarian citizens, however, permanent residents cannot hold a Hungarian passport or vote in government elections. But otherwise they enjoy the same benefits in Hungary as citizens do, including eligibility for Hungarian health care, public education, employment and welfare, among others, and they receive a Hungarian ID card. Hungarian permanent residents can travel visa-free to any Schengen state for a maximum stay of up to 90 days.
“An EU-wide work permit is inevitably an asset for anyone. Hungarian permanent residency may ultimately lead to Hungarian citizenship which would allow a successful applicant to work in any EU country,” added Varga.
“In addition, EU citizens can freely travel and relocate within the territory of the EU. A Hungarian passport also allows visa-free travel to a number of countries outside the EU, such as the US and Canada. Hungarian permanent residency can also serve as springboard for a temporary resident permit in another EU country.”
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