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Hungary’s Golden Visa Program: An Overview

Mark Damsgaard

Mark Damsgaard

Founder of Global Residence Index

Last updated: December 29, 2023

Introduction

Hungary has introduced a new Golden Visa option for those seeking residency in Europe through real estate investment. This initiative follows the closure of Hungary’s previous permanent residency program in 2017.

The Old and the New

Previously, Hungary offered a straightforward permanent residency program, requiring a €300,000 investment in bonds. However, this program was discontinued.

Despite this, Hungary has maintained a Golden Visa program where investing in real estate through a Hungarian company granted residency. This involved purchasing two apartments totaling €240,000 and earning rental income, thereby granting residency under favorable tax conditions.

The New Golden Visa: Guest Investor Program (GIP)

The Guest Investor Program (GIP) is Hungary’s latest offering. It includes:

  • Investing €250,000 in a real estate fund,
  • Purchasing €500,000 worth of real estate directly, or
  • A less popular option of a €1 million donation.

The details regarding the type of real estate and location restrictions are yet to be finalized, with more information expected in the coming months. This program is set to activate in late 2024.

The previously outlined €240,000 investment pathway offers a viable alternative if you are eager to secure European residency sooner. Additionally, other attractive residency programs across Europe can be explored.

Additional Residency Options

Besides GIP, Hungary offers other residency routes:

  • Purchasing an apartment over €100,000 in Budapest,
  • Starting a company with active business operations, or
  • Purchasing two apartments totaling €240,000 and earning rental income.

These options highlight Hungary’s openness to high-value immigration while maintaining strict policies against free-entry refugees.

Hungary’s Attractive Tax and Lifestyle Benefits

Hungary is appealing due to its:

  • Low corporate tax rate of 9%.
  • Absence of inheritance and wealth taxes.
  • Crypto-friendly policies.
  • Beautiful cities like Budapest and a vibrant expat community.

Political and Economic Context

Hungary, under Viktor Orban’s leadership, has been assertive in its economic and immigration policies, often clashing with EU norms. This stance includes maintaining low taxes and attracting high-value immigrants while opposing minimum corporate taxes.

The Future of Hungary’s Golden Visa

The GIP is expected to be a streamlined and more accessible version of Hungary’s residency options. It’s designed to be less subjective than previous programs and to attract a broader range of applicants, especially from China and the USA.

Conclusion

Hungary’s new Golden Visa program, along with its other residency options, presents an attractive opportunity for those looking to invest in Europe. The country’s low tax rates and strategic location within the Schengen area make it an appealing destination for investors and high-net-worth individuals.

Next Steps

For more information on European residency by investment, feel free to explore other sections of our website. Should you require personalized advice or wish to discuss specific opportunities, please don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule a consultation with our expert team of advisors.

 

Need help?

Navigating through golden visa & citizenship by investment programs can be complex and overwhelming, regardless of the country or program you’re interested in. If you’re struggling to find clear, accurate information, you’re not alone. Our team is here to offer you clarity and reliable advice across a wide range of immigration programs.

By scheduling a consultation, you’ll receive personalized guidance tailored to your unique situation. We’re dedicated to helping you understand the details of various immigration programs, making them more straightforward so you can proceed with confidence.

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Here is what to expect from a call with our advisory team:

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We’ll answer your questions about the program and the application process, providing you with the clarity you need.

2

We’ll break down each stage of the immigration process, ensuring you know exactly what to expect.

3

We’ll help you determine if the chosen program is the right fit for you or suggest alternatives that may better align with your goals.

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Gain access to our network of recommended local lawyers in the respective country, as well as trusted providers of eligible investment options.