Asylum

How to apply for asylum in Hungary?

Hungary is one of the countries most in demand by people who have been affected by the internal and external conflicts of their nations and require international protection. For this reason, the number of immigrants in its territory is increasingly increasing, with the figure for 2021 being more than 512 thousand citizens, which represents 6% of its population. Read on and find out how to be part of social migration in Hungary.

Currently, Hungary receives approximately 1,200 refugees per year, a figure considered high in relation to the European Union (EU) average. This is despite the fact that since the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has banned immigration procedures at its authorized borders, which is a barrier that prevents overcrowding and protects its nationals.

Currently, Hungary receives approximately 1,200 refugees per year, a figure considered high in relation to the European Union (EU) average. This is despite the fact that since the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has banned immigration procedures at its authorized borders, which is a barrier that prevents overcrowding and protects its nationals.

First considerations for applying for aid in Hungary

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Please note that if you intend to apply for asylum in Hungary you can do so in two ways:

Outside of Hungary

You must present the so-called declaration of intent, with the available format here, which you will send to any of the two Hungarian embassies designated for this purpose. They are located in Serbia and Ukraine and work with appointments for the reception of said document.

  • Embassy in Serbia. Go to the following address: 11000 Belgrade, 72 Krunska Str. in Serbia or call the following telephone numbers: +381 11 244 3739, +381 11 244 0472, +381 11 244 7479. Languages available are English or Hungarian only.
  • Embassy in Ukraine. Request an appointment at the following address: 01901 Kiev, 33 Rejtarszka Str., Ukraine. You can also call: +38 044 230 8001, +38 044 230 8002. The languages spoken by the staff are Hungarian and English.

The first asylum application appointment you are scheduled for is for you to verbally communicate your need for international protection. Depending on the information you provide to the authorities, they will approve your submission of the declaration of intent and give you a date. Then when you submit your declaration of intent, the officials will issue you a travel passport for you to travel to Hungary to complete the asylum process.

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Within Hungary

If you are in Hungary, you will only be able to submit an asylum application to the National Directorate General of Aliens Police (NDGAP) if:

  • You have been granted subsidiary protection in Hungary and want to be recognized as a refugee.
  • You are a family member of recognized refugees or beneficiaries of subsidiary protection who are located on Hungarian soil.
  • You are detained by Hungarian authorities, except when the deprivation of liberty is associated with illegal entry into the country.

It should be noted that the current Hungarian laws state that illegal immigration is grounds for detention and expulsion. Regardless of whether they need to apply for international protection.

Procedure for making an asylum request in Hungary

Once the above mentioned embassies or the NDGAP successfully register your data, it means that you have been considered as a potential candidate to receive help from Hungary. The process takes about three months in the hands of immigration and the steps that will be pointed out to you are:

Step 1. Interview

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You will be summoned to an interview with the immigration officer. Here you will have to explain the critical situation that you lived in your country of origin and that forced you to flee it. The language in which the conversation will take place will be the one you speak, as you have the right to a qualified interpreter.

The statement and the interrogation carried out will be recorded and written in a report. It is essential that you review the official letter issued at the end of the meeting, because if it does not coincide with your message, you can ask the officer to correct it, so that you can proceed to sign it. Remember to ask for a photocopy of the document so that you can include it in your personal file.

Step 2. hosting

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At the end of the previous step, the authorities will assign you to an open reception center, where you will remain for the entire period of the application process. In these centers you will be provided with food and cash allowances depending on your vulnerability. Medical assistance and education for children under 16 years of age are also available.

You must respect the rules of the place where you will reside, one of the most important of which is that you must request authorization to stay outside the assigned address for more than 24 hours. If you do not comply with this, the immigration agencies may close your asylum procedure and you will be expelled from the country.

On the other hand, if you do not wish to stay in the reception centers, you must prove that you have sufficient financial resources to pay for private accommodation. If so, you must request an authorization from the National Directorate General of Immigration Police (NDGAP). The most important thing here is to keep the officials informed of your address of residence, and in case of any change, to notify them as soon as possible.

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Step 3. Decision

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After the NDGAP thoroughly reviews your application and the information provided, the immigration staff will determine whether or not to grant you refugee status. However, there are other types of decisions that can derive from said interview, such as:

  • Subsidiary protection. You will have the right to remain in the country for the time established in the decision. Such benefit will be reviewed every three years, in order to determine whether it is still necessary to maintain it. The foreigner has all the rights and duties of a citizen of Hungary.
  • Humanitarian protection, tolerated status. It is only valid for one year and has some important restrictions. Some of them are that it is not possible for you to bring your family to the country and that you cannot engage in gainful employment.
  • Rejection decision. If you are not granted any relief then you can appeal to the court within eight days of being served with the notice. This period has no extension or exceptions, so it is essential that you seek advice from an immigration lawyer free of charge, so that you can file your appeal within the established time period. The court will then make a decision on the appeal in approximately two months. If its analysis coincides with the verdict of the immigration department, it will order you to leave the territory, but if it differs, then the NDGAP has to resume the study of the petition.

Rights and duties as an asylum seeker

Although Hungary has established new criteria in the form in which you can apply for international protection, it continues to extend its hand of friendship and solidarity, as it continues to open its doors to the great number of immigrants who are experiencing great difficulties in their countries. But for there to be a control, it has defined the duties and rights of the petitioners, which are:

Rights Duties
Remain in Hungary for the duration of the procedure. You will be granted a temporary residence permit. Respect and abide by the laws of Hungary.
Be housed in a shelter, with bed and food. Cooperate at all times with the Hungarian immigration authorities.
Receive medical attention. Say the reasons why you fled your country
Work in reception centers or in a public employment position in the state. This during the first 90 days. Stay in the reception center to which you were assigned and respect its rules. Or in the private place approved by the immigration authorities.
Work in the private sector after the 90 days established by law for the resolution of the request have expired. To be examined by doctors, and to be vaccinated if necessary.

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Hungary belongs to the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees of 1951, since 1967 and, therefore, is one of the countries with more trajectory in international protection issues. Therefore, it is an excellent option to apply for asylum, always respecting its laws and protocols.

Maya Martinez

Legal advisor for immigration processes. In addition to providing support in the legal procedures, I offer integral and informative support in relation to the obligations that are acquired when arriving to a new country.

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