If you are planning to stay in Hungary for a longer period, you may want to apply for asylum status. By reading this article, you will know:
- who can apply for asylum
- how the application process works
- what benefits you can have by being an asylum seeker
- what obligations you will have
What is Asylum?
Asylum is a legal status that allows you, as a non-Hungarian citizen, to have access to basic rights equal to Hungarian citizens.
Who can apply?
- Any non-Hungarian citizen who is forced to flee his or her country because of an armed conflict or a gross violation of human rights has the right to asylum.
- Any non-Hungarian citizen who is persecuted in his or her country because of her or his nationality, race, sexuality, religious or political beliefs.
In case you are coming from Ukraine, you can seek asylum if you are:
- Ukrainian citizen and stayed in Ukraine before February 24, 2022
- a stateless person who stayed in Ukraine before February 24, 2022
- a non-Ukrainian third-country national who stayed in Ukraine before February 24, 2022
- a family member of the above-mentioned person (those living in Ukraine before February 24, 2022). Family members are considered a spouse (husband or wife), partner, unmarried children of the spouse, and persons previously living with and financially supported by the person claiming the right to asylum.
Can dual (Hungarian-Ukrainian) citizens apply for asylum?
No, because dual citizen status gives all the benefits of asylum with having Hungarian citizenship.
How long can I have asylum?
The right to asylum can be granted until 4/3/2024, no matter what the date on your card is.
How can I apply?
You can apply for asylum at any customer service office of the National Directorate General of Immigration or at the government office. You can schedule an appointment in advance online. This will reduce the time of administration.
You would need to prove that you meet one of the conditions required for the application by showing one of your identity documents (identity card, passport).
What benefits does asylum status give?
A person with a status of asylum can:
- have a document proving identity and residence permit
- get a job in Hungary
- live in a reception center maintained by the Hungarian asylum authority during the period of protection and to receive care there
- receive healthcare
- use nursery care, kindergarten education, dormitory care, and pedagogical specialist services.
- If the children reach compulsory school age according to Hungarian law, they are entitled to school education until compulsory schooling exists, and before reaching the age of eighteen.
- until the completion of the studies they have started, minors can request the services of the Biztos Kezdet Gyerekházak. This is a Lutheran help center for children with difficulties with integration to school or kidergarten ;
- children are entitled to get institutional and holiday meals for 6 months from the date of submission of the application (on the basis of Government Decree 106/2022. (III. 12.)). This means that they can get free meals at school for this period automatically.
- to haver regular subsistence support: this is a monthly support paid by the state. It can be applied for at any government office by the time you already have the asylum-card.
IMPORTANT: You can access many rights that asylum status give in the moment when you apply for asylum, before the procedure ends.
What obligations do I have as someone with asylum status?
Those with asylum status are obliged
- to notify the asylum authority of their accommodation and its change
- to cooperate with the asylum authority: when an authority person turns to them, to answer his/her questions, to submit the necessary documents
- to follow the orders of a health instructor who may require examinations, vaccination or treatment
- to obey the laws of Hungary
- to immediately report to the asylum authority the loss, theft or destruction of their travel documents, identity, or other documents proving the legality of their stay in Hungary.
How long does it take to obtain asylum status?
The procedure takes 45 days, but when the application is submitted, the applicant receives a document valid for 60 days. This is called: "Humanitarian residence permit for asylum seekers". This is a photo ID that can be used to prove that the application has been initiated, so applicants can access a significant part of the rights based on this.