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International Travel

English

Country Information

Hungary

Country Information

Hungary
Republic of Hungary
Last Updated: July 21, 2017
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Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Six months validity recommended; three months validity beyond planned departure date from the Schengen area required.

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

1 page per stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

not required for stays under 90 days

VACCINATIONS:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

Amounts over 10,000 Euros or equivalent to declare at customs.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

Amounts over 10,000 Euros or equivalent to declare at customs. 

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Budapest

Szabadság tér 12
H-1054 Budapest
Hungary

Telephone: +(36) (1) 475-4444

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(36) (1) 475-4444

Fax: +(36) (1) 475-4188 or +(36) (1) 475-4133

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Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Hungary for information on U.S.- Hungary relations.

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Hungary is a party to the Schengen Agreement. U.S. citizens may enter Hungary for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. 

  • Your U.S passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay. 
  • You need sufficient funds and a return airline ticket.
  • For additional details about travel into and within Schengen countries please see our Schengen fact sheet.
  • Visit the Embassy of Hungary’s website for the most current visa information.
  • For residence permit information please visit the Hungarian Office of Immigration and Nationality’s website.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Hungary.

 

You may information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our customs information page.

 

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Safety and Security

Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations. 

Although Hungary is generally a safe place to visit, you should use caution and stay alert. Be especially careful in train stations, crowded tourist areas, crowded buses, trams, and metros. You should avoid demonstrations and political rallies. In a few instances where demonstrations have turned violent, authorities have used riot police and water cannons to control crowds.

Extreme ethnic nationalist groups have gained popularity in Hungary in the past years advocating intolerance towards Jews, Roma, and LGBTI persons. Although these groups are not explicitly anti-United States, you should avoid public demonstrations and confrontations with their members. The U.S. Embassy shares information on demonstrations and large gatherings in the demonstration notices section of the U.S. Embassy Budapest website.

Crime:

Passports, cash, and credit cards are favorite targets of thieves.  The Embassy regularly receives reports of pick-pocketing on the trains between Budapest and Vienna. Be especially mindful of your belongings when traveling this route.

General tips to avoid becoming victim of a crime:

  • Do not walk alone at night.
  • Keep your belongings secure at all times.
  • Do not accept food or drink from anyone but a server (there have been reports of foreigners being drugged for robbery or sexual assault).

See the U.S. Embassy’s Consular Section page for more details with common scams and crimes in Hungary. 

See the Department of State and FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime:

Hungarian authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes committed in Hungary. Report crimes to the local police by calling 107 or 112, and contact the U.S. Embassy at (36)(1) 475-4444.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can assist you with a variety of needs, including:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

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Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: U.S. citizens in Hungary are subject to Hungarian law. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. 

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

  • Carry your passport with you at all times. Local police may require you to show documentation to establish your identity upon request.  Hungarian police may take you into custody if you attempt to prove your identity with documents other than a passport.
  • Hungary has a zero tolerance policy for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Penalties are severe, including significant jail time.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, you are entitled to ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Special Circumstances:

  • Travelers’ checks are not universally accepted in Hungary.
  • ATMs are readily available.
  • Western Union is the most prevalent international money transfer company and has many locations throughout Hungary.
  • Visit the National Tax and Customs Administration of Hungary website for information about import and export of potentially restricted items.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex relationships or the organization of LGBTI events in Hungary. Though conditions are improving, entrenched societal LGBTI discrimination continues to make overt LGBTI identity difficult. 

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Persons with Mobility Issues: Hungarian law requires that all government buildings be accessible to persons with disabilities. However, many buildings are still not up to standard. Most bus, trams, and metro stations are not equipped with lifts for travelers with disabilities. 

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers

 

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Health

Hungarian doctors are generally well trained and many speak English. Adequate medical care is available to address most health concerns, but the quality of hospital facilities and nursing support may not be comparable to U.S. standards. 

  • Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas.  See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage
  • We urge you to consider obtaining supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
  • Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.
  • Doctors and hospitals expect payment in cash at the time of service and usually cannot bill your insurer directly, even if you have coverage overseas. Be prepared to pay bills first and claim reimbursement from your insurer later.
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medicines are widely available at pharmacies. 

The Embassy maintains a website with more details about specific medical care providers.

We do not pay medical bills. Medicare does not provide coverage overseas.

Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For further health information, go to:

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Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:

Roadside assistance, including medical and other services, is available. English is usually spoken at the emergency numbers listed below. If you call and the operator does not speak English, dial 112.

Ambulance: 104
Police: 107
Fire: 105
24-hour English language emergency assistance: 112

Highways and urban roads are generally in good condition. As in most European countries, you must pay a toll to use Hungary’s highways. Payments must be made either at a gas station or online.

  • Areas under construction are not always adequately marked or blockaded.
  • Be on the alert when driving in rural areas.  Rural roads are often narrow and poorly lit.
  • Pedestrians, tractors, and farm animals often share the use of rural roads. 
  • Train crossings are not always well-designated.

Additional information on road conditions is available from “Útinform” at (36)(1)336-2400.

Traffic Laws:
Hungary has zero tolerance for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs.  Prison sentences for DUI violations or accidents caused by impaired drivers are severe.   

  • Police often conduct routine roadside checks and administer breath-analysis tests.
  • Police stop vehicles regularly to check documents.
  • Use of hand-held cell phone while driving is not permitted.
  • Car seats are required for infants.
  • Children under age of 12 may not sit in the front seat.
  • Seat belt use is mandatory.
  • You can drive in Hungary with a valid U.S. driver’s license for one year as long as you have a certified Hungarian translation of the license attached. After one year of residence you must obtain a Hungarian driver’s license. More information is on the U.S. Embassy’s website.
  • International driver’s permits (IDP) issued by the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the National Automobile Club are acceptable when used with a valid state driver’s license.

Hungarian police issue traffic violations in the form of a postal check that reflects the amount of the fine. You may pay the fines at any Hungarian post office.  Police will confiscate the passport of a person who chooses to contest the fine and issue the person an “invitation letter” to appear at the police station to resolve the dispute. Police will return the passport after resolution and/or payment of the fine.

Please refer to our road safety page for more information. We suggest that you visit the website of Hungary’s national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety.

Public Transportation:

Public transportation in Budapest is excellent. Budapest’s tram, subway, and bus service is reliable and – for the most part – clean. You may find more information online at Budapest Transport page. Public transportation outside of Budapest is not as  dependable.

Taxis in Budapest are plentiful and generally inexpensive. All taxis are yellow, marked accordingly, and should have meters. The Embassy urges all travelers to insist on using a metered taxi, and to avoid entering into agreements with taxi drivers to an unmetered fare. 

Hungary’s train service is generally reliable. See more information about Hungary’s train system. The Embassy regularly receives reports of pick-pocketing on the trains between Budapest and Vienna. Be especially mindful of your belongings when traveling this route.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Hungary’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Hungary’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

 

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Budapest

Szabadság tér 12
H-1054 Budapest
Hungary

Telephone: +(36) (1) 475-4444

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(36) (1) 475-4444

Fax: +(36) (1) 475-4188 or +(36) (1) 475-4133

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General Information

Hungary and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since July 1, 1988.

For information concerning travel to Hungary, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Hungary.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

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Hague Abduction Convention

The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention.  In this capacity, the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Hungary.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.

Contact information:

U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone: 1-888-407-4747
Fax: 1-202-485-6221
Website: travel.state.gov
Email: AskCI@state.gov

The Hungarian Central Authority (HCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Department of Justice Cooperation and Private International Law, located in the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice.  The Department of Justice Cooperation and Private International Law performs several functions, including processing applications under the Hague Abduction Convention, contacting the alleged abducting parent to inquire about a voluntary resolution, and performing searches for missing children.  The HCA can be reached at:

Ministry of Public Administration and Justice
Department of Justice Cooperation and Private International Law
P.O. Box 2
1357 Budapest
Kossuth tér 2-4.
1055 BUDAPEST
Hungary
tel.: +36 (1) 795-4846
fax: +36 (1) 795-0463
e-mail: nemzm@kim.gov.hu
General website 

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Hungary, the USCA encourages a parent or legal guardian to review the eligibility criteria and instructions for completing the Hague application form located at the Department of State website and contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the HCA.  The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the HCA, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes. 

There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the U.S. or Hungarian central authorities.  The HCA assigns a pro bono (no fee) attorney to represent parents making an application for return or access under the Hague Abduction Convention.  Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.

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Return

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in, Hungary.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

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Visitation/Access

A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Hungary.  The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

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Retaining an Attorney

The HCA will arrange for a pro bono attorney to represent applicant parents who are seeking a child’s return under the Hague Abduction Convention.  A left-behind parent is not required to retain an attorney privately, and if he/she elects to do so, the parent is responsible for all legal costs.  A private attorney should contact the HCA prior to filing a Hague return application directly with the court. 

The U.S. Embassy in Budapest, Hungary, posts a list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

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Mediation

The HCA does not provide mediation services directly, although the HCA is available to provide referrals and information about the mediation process.  Mediation costs are borne by the parents and mediation can occur at any stage of the Hague process.  The Hungarian legal system allows for mediation on issues related to access and relocation, but not on custody, guardianship, or paternity.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country.  It is important for parents to understand that, although a left behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.   For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney when planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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Hague Convention Information

Hungary is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention).  Intercountry adoption processing in Hague countries is done in accordance with the requirements of the Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Hungary.

Note: Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008. Read about Transition Cases.

U.S. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Hungary you must meet eligibility and suitability requirements. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), determines who can adopt under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of Convention adoptee under U.S. law in order to immigrate to the United States on an IH-3 immigrant visa.

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Who Can Adopt

In addition to the U.S. requirements, prospective adoptive parents need to meet Hungary’s requirements to adopt a child from Hungary:

  • RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: There are no residency requirements for Hungary.
  • AGE REQUIREMENTS: According to Hungarian law, adoptive parents must be at least 16 years older than their adoptive child, but no more than 45 years older.  The age difference is calculated based on the age of the younger adoptive parent. If the adoptive children are siblings, the age of the older sibling is taken into consideration.
  • MARRIAGE REQUIREMENTS:Hungarian law allows single people to adopt. However, Hungarian authorities may not encourage these adoptions based on the strongly held opinion that a child should be raised by a heterosexual and married couple. According to information from the Hungarian Ministry of Human Resources, adoptions are approved based on the submitted documents and a detailed study of the particular case.
  • INCOME REQUIREMENTS: There are no income requirements for adoptive parents in Hungary; however, parents must submit proof of their income to the Ministry of Human resources.
  • OTHER REQUIRMENTS: Hungarian law requires both adoptive parents to meet the child prior to the adoption.
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Who Can Be Adopted

Because Hungary is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Hungary must meet the requirements of the Convention to be eligible for adoption. For example, the adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of Hungary have determined that placement of the child within Hungary has been given due consideration, and that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests. In addition to Hungarian requirements, a child must meet the definition of Convention adoptee to be eligible for an immigrant visa that will allow you to bring him or her to the United States.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

  • Relinquishment: According to Hungarian Family Law, only children whose parents are deceased, have abandoned their children, or who have had their parental rights terminated by the Hungarian Government may be adopted.
  • Age of Adoptive Child: There are no age requirements for adoptive children.
  • Sibling Adoptions:  Hungarian adoption authorities try to place siblings together if they determine that it is in the best interest of the siblings.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions: Some of the children adopted from Hungary are children with special needs or they may have minor, correctable medical conditions.
  • Waiting Period or Foster Care: There is no waiting period. Children on the registry list are available for adoption and may be matched with their future adoptive parents without any mandatory waiting period or transition through foster care.
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How to Adopt

WARNING: Hungary is party to the Hague Adoption Convention. Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Hungary before a U.S. consular officer issues an “Article 5 Letter” in the case. Read on for more information.

Hungarian Adoption Authority
Ministry of Human Resources, Department of Protection and Guardianship of Children (Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma, Gyermekvédelmi és Gyámügyi Föosztály).

1054 Budapest
Akadémia u. 3.
Tel: 011-36-1-795-3153
Internet: www.emmi.gov.hu

Note: If any of the following occurred prior to April 1, 2008 (the date on which the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force with respect to the United States), the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption: 1) you filed a Form I-600A identifying Hungary as the country where you intended to adopt; 2) you filed a Form I-600; or 3) the adoption was completed. Under these circumstances, your adopted child’s visa application could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions. For more information, read about Transition Cases.

THE PROCESS

Because Hungary is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Hungary must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order so that your adoption meets all necessary legal requirements. Adoptions completed out of order may result in the child not being eligible for an immigrant visa to the United States.

  1. Choose a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider
  2. Apply to USCIS to be found eligible to adopt
  3. Be matched with a child by authorities in Hungary
  4. Apply to USCIS for the child to be found eligible for immigration to the United States and receive U.S. agreement to proceed with the adoption
  5. Adopt the Child in Hungary
  6. Obtain a U.S. immigrant visa for your child and bring your child home
  1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider: 

    The recommended first step in adopting a child from Hungary is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited or approved to provide services to U.S. citizens in Convention cases. Only accredited or approved adoption services providers may provide adoption services between the United States and Hungary.  The U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider will act as the primary provider in your case. The primary adoption service provider is responsible for ensuring that all adoption services in the case are done in accordance with the Hague Adoption Convention and U.S. laws and regulations. Learn more about Agency Accreditation.

    Important: The U.S.-based adoption agency must be registered with the Ministry of Human Resources in Hungary. There are no adoption agencies or adoption centers in Hungary for intercountry adoptions. Adoptive parents or their adoption facilitator who represents the U.S. based agency must deal directly with the Ministry of Human Resources.

  2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Eligible to Adopt:

    After you choose an accredited or approved adoption service provider, you must apply to be found eligible to adopt by the responsible U.S. government agency, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), by submitting Form I-800A. Read more about Eligibility Requirements.

    Once USCIS determines that you are “eligible” and “suited” to adopt by approving the Form I-800A, your adoption service provider will provide your approval notice, home study, and any other required information to the Ministry of Human Resources as part of your adoption dossier. Hungarian Ministry of Human Resources will review your application to determine whether you are also eligible to adopt under Hungarian law.

    Important: The submitted documentation is reviewed and the adoptive parents are notified that they were registered with the Ministry of Human Resources. If a document is missing, the adoptive parents have 60 days to submit it. The registration is only valid for two years. After two years, the process must be repeated in its entirety. The Ministry of Human Resources tries to process prospective adoptive parents’ applications in chronological order. However, priority is given to persons willing to adopt a sibling group or a child with special needs.

    Before leaving the United States, the adoptive parents will need to obtain their birth certificates and marriage certificate. Those documents are accepted by Hungarian authorities within three months of the date of issue.

  3. Be Matched with a Child by the Adoption Authority in Hungary:

    If both the United States and Hungary determine that you are eligible to adopt, and the Ministry of Human Resources has determined that a child is available for adoption and that intercountry adoption is in that child’s best interests, the Ministry of Human Resources in Hungary may provide you with a referral for a child. The referral is a proposed match between you and a specific child based on a review of your dossier and the needs of a specific child in Hungary. The Ministry of Human Resources will provide a background study and other information, if available, about the child to help you decide whether to accept the referral or not. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs and provide a permanent home for a particular child. If you accept the referral, the adoption service provider communicates that to the Ministry of Human Resources in Hungary. Learn more about this critical decision.

    Important: Adoptive parents need to notify the Ministry of Human Resources within 30 days if they do not wish to adopt the child and will need to explain their reason.

  4. Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption:

    After you accept a match with a child, you will apply to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval for the child to immigrate to the United States (Form I-800).  USCIS will make a provisional determination as to whether the child meets the definition of a Convention Adoptee and will be eligible to enter the United States and reside permanently as an immigrant.

    After provisional approval of Form I-800, your adoption service provider or you will submit a visa application to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Budapest, Hungary that is responsible for issuing immigrant visas to children from Hungary. A consular officer will review the Form I-800 and the visa application for possible visa ineligibilities and advise you of options for the waiver of any noted ineligibilities.

    WARNING: The consular officer will send a letter (referred to as an “Article 5 Letter”) to the Hungarian Central Authority in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from Hungary where all Convention requirements are met and the consular officer determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States.  This letter will inform the Hungarian Central Authority that the parents are eligible and suited to adopt, that all indications are that the child may enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. Central Authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.

    Do not attempt to adopt or obtain custody of a child in Hungary before a U.S. consular officer issues the Article 5 Letter in any adoption case.

    Remember: The consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility for an immigrant visa later in the adoption process. 

  5. Adoption or Gain Legal Custody of a Child in Hungary:

    Remember: Before you adopt (or gain legal custody of) a child in Hungary, you must have completed the above four steps. Only after completing these steps, can you proceed to finalize the adoption or grant of custody for the purposes of adoption in Hungary.

    The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Hungary generally includes the following:

    • ROLE OF THE ADOPTION AUTHORITY: After meeting with the child, the custody of the child is granted to the adoptive parents.  The Local Guardianship Authority issues an official Custody Decree regarding the placement of the child into the custody of the adoptive parents for 30 days. During that month, the child lives with the adoptive parents in Hungary, and the family is regularly visited by the local child protection service. When the one-month custody is successfully completed, the adoption is finalized and a final adoption decree is issued by the local Guardianship Authority.
    • ROLE OF THE COURT: Courts have no jurisdiction over adoptions in Hungary; the Guardianship Authorities are in charge of the adoption process.
    • ROLE OF ADOPTION AGENCIES: There are no adoption agencies in Hungary. U.S. accredited adoption agencies needs to work directly with the Ministry of Human Resources.
    • TIME FRAME: If there is a child available for intercountry adoption and the adoptive parent(s) accept(s) the child for adoption, a 30-day temporary custody requirement applies.  The procedure after the adoption may take one or two weeks; however, there are very few children on the waiting list for intercountry adoption. The adoptive parents may wait many months or even years until the Ministry of Human Resources offers them a child.
    • ADOPTION APPLICATION: The application is made with the local (county) office of the Guardianship Authority.
    • ADOPTION FEES: Although there are no fees for the adoption process itself, other expenses of obtaining documents, passport and translations can be high. For a translation of one page, a translator or a translation office may collect from $25 to $85.

      The fee for the Hungarian passport for a minor is $12; however the fee for the expeditious processing of the passport application (within one to three days) may be $130 - $185. In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process.
    • DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: Adoptive parents need to obtain the following documents with official Hungarian translation:
      • Home study
      • Proof of income
      • Psychological report showing suitability of the parents to adopt
      • Home country's advanced permission to the adoption
      • Proof of citizenship (photocopy of the passport)
      • Statement of the adoptive parents regarding their motivation for adoption, and expectations about the child (child's sex, age, health)
      • Accreditation of the adoption agency
      • Photos of the adoptive parents, of their home, other children or other important elements of their life

        NOTE: Additional documents may be requested.

  6. Obtain an Immigrant Visa for your Child and Bring Your Child Home:

    Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents for your child before he or she can travel to the United States:

    • Birth Certificate 
      If you have finalized the adoption in Hungary, you will firstneed to apply for a birth certificate for your child so that you can later apply for a passport.

      If you have been granted custody for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States, the birth certificate you obtain, in most cases, will not yet include your name.

      How to obtain a new birth certificate for the child in Hungary: Birth certificates in Hungary are issued by the Vital Statistics Department at the mayors’ offices. In order to obtain a new birth certificate for the adopted child, the adoptive parents need to present the final adoption decree issued by local authorities. The new birth certificate indicates the adoptive parents’ names, and it is issued within one or two working days.

    • Hungary Passport
      Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Hungary. 

      How to obtain a Passport for the child in Hungary: Based on the final adoption decree and new birth certificate, Hungarian authorities issue a new passport for the child.  Passports in Hungary are issued by the Hungarian Passport Office. In order to obtain a new passport for the adopted child, the adoptive parents need to present the final adoption decree issued by local authorities. The new passport indicates the adoptive parents’ names, and should be issued within one or two working days.

    • U.S. Immigrant Visa 
      After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to finalize your application for a U.S. visa for your child from the U.S. Embassy Budapest, Hungary. After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S. Embassy for final review of the case, issuance of a U.S. Hague Adoption Certificate or Hague Custody Certificate, final approval of Form I-800, and to obtain your child’s immigrant visa. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the consular officer must be provided the “Panel Physician’s” medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage. Read more about the Medical Examination.

CHILD CITIZENSHIP ACT

For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s entry into the United States: A child will acquire U.S. citizenship upon entry into the United States if the adoption was finalized prior to entry and the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

For adoptions finalized after the child’s entry into the United States: An adoption will need to be completed following your child’s entry into the United States for the child to acquire U.S. citizenship.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting. Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

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Traveling Abroad

APPLYING FOR YOUR U.S. PASSPORT

A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Hungary. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print-all in one place.

OBTAINING YOUR VISA

In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit.  Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation. To find information about obtaining a visa for Hungary, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

STAYING SAFE ON YOUR TRIP

Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

STAYING IN TOUCH ON YOUR TRIP

When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State. Enrollment makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Hungary, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

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After Adoption

Post-Adoption/Post-Placement Reporting Requirements

We strongly urge you to comply with Hungary’s post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to that country’s history of positive experiences with U.S. citizen parents.

Hungarian authorities require two post-placement reports: after two months and after one year of the adoption. Parents should make the reports as detailed as they can and include family photos.

Post-Adoption Resources

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin.  Take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some good places to start your support group search:

Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

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Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Hungary
1054 Budapest
Szabadsag ter 12.
Hungary
Tel: 011-36-1-475-4394
Fax: 011-36-1-475-4188
Email: iv.budapest@state.gov
Internet: http://hu.usembassy.gov

Hungarian Adoption Authority
Ministry of Human Resources, Department of Protection and Guardianship of Children (Emberi Erőforrások  Minisztériuma, Gyermekvédelmi és Gyámügyi Főosztály)
1054 Budapest
Akadémia u. 3.
Hungary
Tel: 011-36-1-795-3153
Internet: www.emmi.gov.hu

Embassy of Hungary
3910 Shoemaker Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel:  1-202-364-8218
Fax: 1-202-966-8135
Email: Consul.was@kum.hu 
Internet: http://washington.kormany.hu/consular

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State  
CA/OCS/CI  
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel:  1-888-407-4747
Email: AdoptionUSCA@state.gov
Internet: adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures:
National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
Tel:  1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet:  USCIS.gov

For questions about filing a Form I-800A or I-800 petition:
National Benefits Center
Tel:  1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
Email:  NBC.Adoptions@DHS.gov

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None A Multiple 48 Months
A-2 None A Multiple 48 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 12 Months
B-1 None Multiple 120 Months
B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 60 Months
C-2 None One 60 Months
C-3 None A Multiple 48 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 60 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months
F-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None A Multiple 48 Months
G-2 None A Multiple 48 Months
G-3 None One 3 Months
G-4 None Multiple 48 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 60 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 60 Months
N-9 None Multiple 60 Months
NATO 1-6 10 None Multiple 60 Months
NATO-7 1 None Multiple 12 Months
O-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 60 Months
R-2 None Multiple 60 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None One 1 Month
U-2 None One 1 Month
U-3 None One 1 Month
U-4 None One 1 Month
U-5 None One 1 Month
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
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Country Specific Footnotes

Hungarian diplomatic and official passport holders traveling TDY to Hungarian diplomatic and consular establishments in the U.S. (including the UN) may receive visas as their travel needs require valid for up to 6 months with multiple entries.

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

Documents and records are normally obtainable by persons within Hungary in one week to one month. Persons outside of Hungary, however, may have to wait 3-4 months to obtain documents through a Hungarian Embassy or Consulate.  The Hungarian Embassy or Consulate may charge an extra fee for the service since the documents should be obtained from Hungary.  The fee for this service may reach $48.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth, Death Certificates

Available.  Persons should apply for birth and death certificates at any Vital Records Office (Polgarmesteri Hivatal, Anyakonyvi Hivatal).  Applicants may apply in person or electronically after registering on the Customer Portal of the government (Ügyfélkapu).  The first certificate is free of charge.  Additional copies cost 2000 forints.  The certificate is in three languages: Hungarian, English and French.  

Birth certificates of children adopted by foreigners in Hungary indicate the actual place of birth but will also indicate the "place of origin" as the residence of the adoptive mother. 

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

Available.  Persons should apply for marriage certificates at any Vital Records Office (Polgarmesteri Hivatal, Anyakonyvi Hivatal).  Applicants may apply in person or electronically after registering on the Customer Portal of the government (Ügyfélkapu).  The first certificate is free of charge.  Additional copies cost 2000 forints.  The certificate is in three languages: Hungarian, English and French.  

Same-sex marriage is not legally recognized in Hungary.

Divorce Certificates

Available to the parties concerned or their legal representatives.  After divorce proceedings, the parties are furnished a copy of the divorce decree (Valasi Vegzes). Copies can be obtained from the court in which the decree was issued.

Marriage certificates issued by the Vital Records Office will indicate under "Remark" that the marriage has been legally dissolved.  The Remark section is only in Hungarian.  Embassy – Budapest is happy to provide translation assistance if necessary.  

Adoption Certificates

Available to adopted persons or their legal representatives. 

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Identity Card

Please check back for update.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Available.  Citizens and residents of Hungary can obtain a Certificate of Criminal Record (Hatósági Erkölcsi Bizonyítvány) from the Department of Public Administration and Electronic Services, Office of Criminal Records (Közigazgatási és Elektronikus Közszolgáltatások Központi Hivatala, Bűnügyi Nyilvántartó Hatóság), mailing address: 1476 Budapest Pf.380.  Certificate of Criminal Record request forms are available at Hungarian post offices.  The fee must be paid by postal check provided with the request form.

Please note that the person requesting the Certificate of Criminal Record must indicate in question 4 of the request form that the certificate is requested for an immigrant visa application to the United States.  Failure to do so will generate a certificate that may not reflect the full extent of the person’s criminal history and should not be considered sufficient to support an application for a U.S. immigration benefit.  If you have questions, please contact budapestvisas@state.gov.

The certificate is issued within five working days from receipt of the request.  The certificate is issued only in Hungarian.

 Non-residents should apply for certificates at the Hungarian Embassy or Consulate in their country of their residence.  The certificate will be forwarded to the Hungarian Embassy or Consulate by the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  The Embassy may charge a fee for the service. 

Prison Records

Not available.

Court Records

Available directly from the court, but only to the parties involved or their legal representatives.  The fee is 100 forints per page.

Military Records

Available for persons between ages 18 and 40.  Applications may be submitted to the local military authority (Hadkiegeszito Parancsnoksag) personally or electronically.  Information about how to obtain records is available on www.hadkiegeszites.hu.  For ages 40 to 50 the military record may be requested from the Institute and Museum of Military History. For information and the address of the institute, please see the webpage above. 

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Please check back for update.

Other Records

Affidavit of Paternity

Available. "Apai Elismero Nyilatkozat", drawn up before the guardianship authorities, or a certificate to the effect that a father has recognized a child as his own, is available to the parents.

Visa Issuing Posts

Budapest (Embassy)

Mailing Address:
c/o AmEmb (BUD)
APO AE 09213-1320

Street Address:
1054 Budapest
Szabadsag Ter 12

Telephone:

  • During office hours: (36-1) 475-4400 (Local time: GMT +1)
  • After-hours emergency calls -- for American citizens only: (36-1) 475-4400

Facsimile

  • (36-1) 475-4764
Visa Services

All visa categories for all of Hungary.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 362-6730 (202) 966-8135

Los Angeles, CA (310) 473-9344 (310) 479-6443

New York, NY (212) 752-0669 (212) 755-5986

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Budapest
Szabadság tér 12
H-1054 Budapest
Hungary
Telephone
+(36) (1) 475-4444
Emergency
+(36) (1) 475-4444
Fax
+(36) (1) 475-4188 or +(36) (1) 475-4133
Hungary Country Map

Learn about your destination
Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

Country Information

Hungary
Republic of Hungary
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Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Six months validity recommended; three months validity beyond planned departure date from the Schengen area required.

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

1 page per stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

not required for stays under 90 days

VACCINATIONS:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

Amounts over 10,000 Euros or equivalent to declare at customs.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

Amounts over 10,000 Euros or equivalent to declare at customs. 

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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Budapest

Szabadság tér 12
H-1054 Budapest
Hungary

Telephone: +(36) (1) 475-4444

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(36) (1) 475-4444

Fax: +(36) (1) 475-4188 or +(36) (1) 475-4133

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Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Hungary for information on U.S.- Hungary relations.

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Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Hungary is a party to the Schengen Agreement. U.S. citizens may enter Hungary for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. 

  • Your U.S passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay. 
  • You need sufficient funds and a return airline ticket.
  • For additional details about travel into and within Schengen countries please see our Schengen fact sheet.
  • Visit the Embassy of Hungary’s website for the most current visa information.
  • For residence permit information please visit the Hungarian Office of Immigration and Nationality’s website.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Hungary.

 

You may information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our customs information page.

 

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Safety and Security

Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations. 

Although Hungary is generally a safe place to visit, you should use caution and stay alert. Be especially careful in train stations, crowded tourist areas, crowded buses, trams, and metros. You should avoid demonstrations and political rallies. In a few instances where demonstrations have turned violent, authorities have used riot police and water cannons to control crowds.

Extreme ethnic nationalist groups have gained popularity in Hungary in the past years advocating intolerance towards Jews, Roma, and LGBTI persons. Although these groups are not explicitly anti-United States, you should avoid public demonstrations and confrontations with their members. The U.S. Embassy shares information on demonstrations and large gatherings in the demonstration notices section of the U.S. Embassy Budapest website.

Crime:

Passports, cash, and credit cards are favorite targets of thieves.  The Embassy regularly receives reports of pick-pocketing on the trains between Budapest and Vienna. Be especially mindful of your belongings when traveling this route.

General tips to avoid becoming victim of a crime:

  • Do not walk alone at night.
  • Keep your belongings secure at all times.
  • Do not accept food or drink from anyone but a server (there have been reports of foreigners being drugged for robbery or sexual assault).

See the U.S. Embassy’s Consular Section page for more details with common scams and crimes in Hungary. 

See the Department of State and FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime:

Hungarian authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes committed in Hungary. Report crimes to the local police by calling 107 or 112, and contact the U.S. Embassy at (36)(1) 475-4444.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can assist you with a variety of needs, including:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

For further information:

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Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: U.S. citizens in Hungary are subject to Hungarian law. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. 

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

  • Carry your passport with you at all times. Local police may require you to show documentation to establish your identity upon request.  Hungarian police may take you into custody if you attempt to prove your identity with documents other than a passport.
  • Hungary has a zero tolerance policy for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Penalties are severe, including significant jail time.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, you are entitled to ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Special Circumstances:

  • Travelers’ checks are not universally accepted in Hungary.
  • ATMs are readily available.
  • Western Union is the most prevalent international money transfer company and has many locations throughout Hungary.
  • Visit the National Tax and Customs Administration of Hungary website for information about import and export of potentially restricted items.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex relationships or the organization of LGBTI events in Hungary. Though conditions are improving, entrenched societal LGBTI discrimination continues to make overt LGBTI identity difficult. 

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Persons with Mobility Issues: Hungarian law requires that all government buildings be accessible to persons with disabilities. However, many buildings are still not up to standard. Most bus, trams, and metro stations are not equipped with lifts for travelers with disabilities. 

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers

 

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Health

Hungarian doctors are generally well trained and many speak English. Adequate medical care is available to address most health concerns, but the quality of hospital facilities and nursing support may not be comparable to U.S. standards. 

  • Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas.  See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage
  • We urge you to consider obtaining supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
  • Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.
  • Doctors and hospitals expect payment in cash at the time of service and usually cannot bill your insurer directly, even if you have coverage overseas. Be prepared to pay bills first and claim reimbursement from your insurer later.
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medicines are widely available at pharmacies. 

The Embassy maintains a website with more details about specific medical care providers.

We do not pay medical bills. Medicare does not provide coverage overseas.

Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For further health information, go to:

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Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:

Roadside assistance, including medical and other services, is available. English is usually spoken at the emergency numbers listed below. If you call and the operator does not speak English, dial 112.

Ambulance: 104
Police: 107
Fire: 105
24-hour English language emergency assistance: 112

Highways and urban roads are generally in good condition. As in most European countries, you must pay a toll to use Hungary’s highways. Payments must be made either at a gas station or online.

  • Areas under construction are not always adequately marked or blockaded.
  • Be on the alert when driving in rural areas.  Rural roads are often narrow and poorly lit.
  • Pedestrians, tractors, and farm animals often share the use of rural roads. 
  • Train crossings are not always well-designated.

Additional information on road conditions is available from “Útinform” at (36)(1)336-2400.

Traffic Laws:
Hungary has zero tolerance for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs.  Prison sentences for DUI violations or accidents caused by impaired drivers are severe.   

  • Police often conduct routine roadside checks and administer breath-analysis tests.
  • Police stop vehicles regularly to check documents.
  • Use of hand-held cell phone while driving is not permitted.
  • Car seats are required for infants.
  • Children under age of 12 may not sit in the front seat.
  • Seat belt use is mandatory.
  • You can drive in Hungary with a valid U.S. driver’s license for one year as long as you have a certified Hungarian translation of the license attached. After one year of residence you must obtain a Hungarian driver’s license. More information is on the U.S. Embassy’s website.
  • International driver’s permits (IDP) issued by the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the National Automobile Club are acceptable when used with a valid state driver’s license.

Hungarian police issue traffic violations in the form of a postal check that reflects the amount of the fine. You may pay the fines at any Hungarian post office.  Police will confiscate the passport of a person who chooses to contest the fine and issue the person an “invitation letter” to appear at the police station to resolve the dispute. Police will return the passport after resolution and/or payment of the fine.

Please refer to our road safety page for more information. We suggest that you visit the website of Hungary’s national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety.

Public Transportation:

Public transportation in Budapest is excellent. Budapest’s tram, subway, and bus service is reliable and – for the most part – clean. You may find more information online at Budapest Transport page. Public transportation outside of Budapest is not as  dependable.

Taxis in Budapest are plentiful and generally inexpensive. All taxis are yellow, marked accordingly, and should have meters. The Embassy urges all travelers to insist on using a metered taxi, and to avoid entering into agreements with taxi drivers to an unmetered fare. 

Hungary’s train service is generally reliable. See more information about Hungary’s train system. The Embassy regularly receives reports of pick-pocketing on the trains between Budapest and Vienna. Be especially mindful of your belongings when traveling this route.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Hungary’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Hungary’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

 

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Budapest

Szabadság tér 12
H-1054 Budapest
Hungary

Telephone: +(36) (1) 475-4444

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(36) (1) 475-4444

Fax: +(36) (1) 475-4188 or +(36) (1) 475-4133

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General Information

Hungary and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since July 1, 1988.

For information concerning travel to Hungary, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Hungary.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

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Hague Abduction Convention

The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention.  In this capacity, the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Hungary.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.

Contact information:

U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone: 1-888-407-4747
Fax: 1-202-485-6221
Website: travel.state.gov
Email: AskCI@state.gov

The Hungarian Central Authority (HCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Department of Justice Cooperation and Private International Law, located in the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice.  The Department of Justice Cooperation and Private International Law performs several functions, including processing applications under the Hague Abduction Convention, contacting the alleged abducting parent to inquire about a voluntary resolution, and performing searches for missing children.  The HCA can be reached at:

Ministry of Public Administration and Justice
Department of Justice Cooperation and Private International Law
P.O. Box 2
1357 Budapest
Kossuth tér 2-4.
1055 BUDAPEST
Hungary
tel.: +36 (1) 795-4846
fax: +36 (1) 795-0463
e-mail: nemzm@kim.gov.hu
General website 

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Hungary, the USCA encourages a parent or legal guardian to review the eligibility criteria and instructions for completing the Hague application form located at the Department of State website and contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the HCA.  The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the HCA, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes. 

There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the U.S. or Hungarian central authorities.  The HCA assigns a pro bono (no fee) attorney to represent parents making an application for return or access under the Hague Abduction Convention.  Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.

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Return

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in, Hungary.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

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Visitation/Access

A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Hungary.  The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

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Retaining an Attorney

The HCA will arrange for a pro bono attorney to represent applicant parents who are seeking a child’s return under the Hague Abduction Convention.  A left-behind parent is not required to retain an attorney privately, and if he/she elects to do so, the parent is responsible for all legal costs.  A private attorney should contact the HCA prior to filing a Hague return application directly with the court. 

The U.S. Embassy in Budapest, Hungary, posts a list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

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Mediation

The HCA does not provide mediation services directly, although the HCA is available to provide referrals and information about the mediation process.  Mediation costs are borne by the parents and mediation can occur at any stage of the Hague process.  The Hungarian legal system allows for mediation on issues related to access and relocation, but not on custody, guardianship, or paternity.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country.  It is important for parents to understand that, although a left behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.   For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney when planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
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Hague Convention Information

Hungary is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention).  Intercountry adoption processing in Hague countries is done in accordance with the requirements of the Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Hungary.

Note: Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008. Read about Transition Cases.

U.S. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Hungary you must meet eligibility and suitability requirements. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), determines who can adopt under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of Convention adoptee under U.S. law in order to immigrate to the United States on an IH-3 immigrant visa.

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Who Can Adopt

In addition to the U.S. requirements, prospective adoptive parents need to meet Hungary’s requirements to adopt a child from Hungary:

  • RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: There are no residency requirements for Hungary.
  • AGE REQUIREMENTS: According to Hungarian law, adoptive parents must be at least 16 years older than their adoptive child, but no more than 45 years older.  The age difference is calculated based on the age of the younger adoptive parent. If the adoptive children are siblings, the age of the older sibling is taken into consideration.
  • MARRIAGE REQUIREMENTS:Hungarian law allows single people to adopt. However, Hungarian authorities may not encourage these adoptions based on the strongly held opinion that a child should be raised by a heterosexual and married couple. According to information from the Hungarian Ministry of Human Resources, adoptions are approved based on the submitted documents and a detailed study of the particular case.
  • INCOME REQUIREMENTS: There are no income requirements for adoptive parents in Hungary; however, parents must submit proof of their income to the Ministry of Human resources.
  • OTHER REQUIRMENTS: Hungarian law requires both adoptive parents to meet the child prior to the adoption.
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Who Can Be Adopted

Because Hungary is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Hungary must meet the requirements of the Convention to be eligible for adoption. For example, the adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of Hungary have determined that placement of the child within Hungary has been given due consideration, and that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests. In addition to Hungarian requirements, a child must meet the definition of Convention adoptee to be eligible for an immigrant visa that will allow you to bring him or her to the United States.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

  • Relinquishment: According to Hungarian Family Law, only children whose parents are deceased, have abandoned their children, or who have had their parental rights terminated by the Hungarian Government may be adopted.
  • Age of Adoptive Child: There are no age requirements for adoptive children.
  • Sibling Adoptions:  Hungarian adoption authorities try to place siblings together if they determine that it is in the best interest of the siblings.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions: Some of the children adopted from Hungary are children with special needs or they may have minor, correctable medical conditions.
  • Waiting Period or Foster Care: There is no waiting period. Children on the registry list are available for adoption and may be matched with their future adoptive parents without any mandatory waiting period or transition through foster care.
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How to Adopt

WARNING: Hungary is party to the Hague Adoption Convention. Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Hungary before a U.S. consular officer issues an “Article 5 Letter” in the case. Read on for more information.

Hungarian Adoption Authority
Ministry of Human Resources, Department of Protection and Guardianship of Children (Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma, Gyermekvédelmi és Gyámügyi Föosztály).

1054 Budapest
Akadémia u. 3.
Tel: 011-36-1-795-3153
Internet: www.emmi.gov.hu

Note: If any of the following occurred prior to April 1, 2008 (the date on which the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force with respect to the United States), the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption: 1) you filed a Form I-600A identifying Hungary as the country where you intended to adopt; 2) you filed a Form I-600; or 3) the adoption was completed. Under these circumstances, your adopted child’s visa application could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions. For more information, read about Transition Cases.

THE PROCESS

Because Hungary is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Hungary must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order so that your adoption meets all necessary legal requirements. Adoptions completed out of order may result in the child not being eligible for an immigrant visa to the United States.

  1. Choose a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider
  2. Apply to USCIS to be found eligible to adopt
  3. Be matched with a child by authorities in Hungary
  4. Apply to USCIS for the child to be found eligible for immigration to the United States and receive U.S. agreement to proceed with the adoption
  5. Adopt the Child in Hungary
  6. Obtain a U.S. immigrant visa for your child and bring your child home
  1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider: 

    The recommended first step in adopting a child from Hungary is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited or approved to provide services to U.S. citizens in Convention cases. Only accredited or approved adoption services providers may provide adoption services between the United States and Hungary.  The U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider will act as the primary provider in your case. The primary adoption service provider is responsible for ensuring that all adoption services in the case are done in accordance with the Hague Adoption Convention and U.S. laws and regulations. Learn more about Agency Accreditation.

    Important: The U.S.-based adoption agency must be registered with the Ministry of Human Resources in Hungary. There are no adoption agencies or adoption centers in Hungary for intercountry adoptions. Adoptive parents or their adoption facilitator who represents the U.S. based agency must deal directly with the Ministry of Human Resources.

  2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Eligible to Adopt:

    After you choose an accredited or approved adoption service provider, you must apply to be found eligible to adopt by the responsible U.S. government agency, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), by submitting Form I-800A. Read more about Eligibility Requirements.

    Once USCIS determines that you are “eligible” and “suited” to adopt by approving the Form I-800A, your adoption service provider will provide your approval notice, home study, and any other required information to the Ministry of Human Resources as part of your adoption dossier. Hungarian Ministry of Human Resources will review your application to determine whether you are also eligible to adopt under Hungarian law.

    Important: The submitted documentation is reviewed and the adoptive parents are notified that they were registered with the Ministry of Human Resources. If a document is missing, the adoptive parents have 60 days to submit it. The registration is only valid for two years. After two years, the process must be repeated in its entirety. The Ministry of Human Resources tries to process prospective adoptive parents’ applications in chronological order. However, priority is given to persons willing to adopt a sibling group or a child with special needs.

    Before leaving the United States, the adoptive parents will need to obtain their birth certificates and marriage certificate. Those documents are accepted by Hungarian authorities within three months of the date of issue.

  3. Be Matched with a Child by the Adoption Authority in Hungary:

    If both the United States and Hungary determine that you are eligible to adopt, and the Ministry of Human Resources has determined that a child is available for adoption and that intercountry adoption is in that child’s best interests, the Ministry of Human Resources in Hungary may provide you with a referral for a child. The referral is a proposed match between you and a specific child based on a review of your dossier and the needs of a specific child in Hungary. The Ministry of Human Resources will provide a background study and other information, if available, about the child to help you decide whether to accept the referral or not. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs and provide a permanent home for a particular child. If you accept the referral, the adoption service provider communicates that to the Ministry of Human Resources in Hungary. Learn more about this critical decision.

    Important: Adoptive parents need to notify the Ministry of Human Resources within 30 days if they do not wish to adopt the child and will need to explain their reason.

  4. Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption:

    After you accept a match with a child, you will apply to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval for the child to immigrate to the United States (Form I-800).  USCIS will make a provisional determination as to whether the child meets the definition of a Convention Adoptee and will be eligible to enter the United States and reside permanently as an immigrant.

    After provisional approval of Form I-800, your adoption service provider or you will submit a visa application to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Budapest, Hungary that is responsible for issuing immigrant visas to children from Hungary. A consular officer will review the Form I-800 and the visa application for possible visa ineligibilities and advise you of options for the waiver of any noted ineligibilities.

    WARNING: The consular officer will send a letter (referred to as an “Article 5 Letter”) to the Hungarian Central Authority in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from Hungary where all Convention requirements are met and the consular officer determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States.  This letter will inform the Hungarian Central Authority that the parents are eligible and suited to adopt, that all indications are that the child may enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. Central Authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.

    Do not attempt to adopt or obtain custody of a child in Hungary before a U.S. consular officer issues the Article 5 Letter in any adoption case.

    Remember: The consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility for an immigrant visa later in the adoption process. 

  5. Adoption or Gain Legal Custody of a Child in Hungary:

    Remember: Before you adopt (or gain legal custody of) a child in Hungary, you must have completed the above four steps. Only after completing these steps, can you proceed to finalize the adoption or grant of custody for the purposes of adoption in Hungary.

    The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Hungary generally includes the following:

    • ROLE OF THE ADOPTION AUTHORITY: After meeting with the child, the custody of the child is granted to the adoptive parents.  The Local Guardianship Authority issues an official Custody Decree regarding the placement of the child into the custody of the adoptive parents for 30 days. During that month, the child lives with the adoptive parents in Hungary, and the family is regularly visited by the local child protection service. When the one-month custody is successfully completed, the adoption is finalized and a final adoption decree is issued by the local Guardianship Authority.
    • ROLE OF THE COURT: Courts have no jurisdiction over adoptions in Hungary; the Guardianship Authorities are in charge of the adoption process.
    • ROLE OF ADOPTION AGENCIES: There are no adoption agencies in Hungary. U.S. accredited adoption agencies needs to work directly with the Ministry of Human Resources.
    • TIME FRAME: If there is a child available for intercountry adoption and the adoptive parent(s) accept(s) the child for adoption, a 30-day temporary custody requirement applies.  The procedure after the adoption may take one or two weeks; however, there are very few children on the waiting list for intercountry adoption. The adoptive parents may wait many months or even years until the Ministry of Human Resources offers them a child.
    • ADOPTION APPLICATION: The application is made with the local (county) office of the Guardianship Authority.
    • ADOPTION FEES: Although there are no fees for the adoption process itself, other expenses of obtaining documents, passport and translations can be high. For a translation of one page, a translator or a translation office may collect from $25 to $85.

      The fee for the Hungarian passport for a minor is $12; however the fee for the expeditious processing of the passport application (within one to three days) may be $130 - $185. In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process.
    • DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: Adoptive parents need to obtain the following documents with official Hungarian translation:
      • Home study
      • Proof of income
      • Psychological report showing suitability of the parents to adopt
      • Home country's advanced permission to the adoption
      • Proof of citizenship (photocopy of the passport)
      • Statement of the adoptive parents regarding their motivation for adoption, and expectations about the child (child's sex, age, health)
      • Accreditation of the adoption agency
      • Photos of the adoptive parents, of their home, other children or other important elements of their life

        NOTE: Additional documents may be requested.

  6. Obtain an Immigrant Visa for your Child and Bring Your Child Home:

    Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents for your child before he or she can travel to the United States:

    • Birth Certificate 
      If you have finalized the adoption in Hungary, you will firstneed to apply for a birth certificate for your child so that you can later apply for a passport.

      If you have been granted custody for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States, the birth certificate you obtain, in most cases, will not yet include your name.

      How to obtain a new birth certificate for the child in Hungary: Birth certificates in Hungary are issued by the Vital Statistics Department at the mayors’ offices. In order to obtain a new birth certificate for the adopted child, the adoptive parents need to present the final adoption decree issued by local authorities. The new birth certificate indicates the adoptive parents’ names, and it is issued within one or two working days.

    • Hungary Passport
      Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Hungary. 

      How to obtain a Passport for the child in Hungary: Based on the final adoption decree and new birth certificate, Hungarian authorities issue a new passport for the child.  Passports in Hungary are issued by the Hungarian Passport Office. In order to obtain a new passport for the adopted child, the adoptive parents need to present the final adoption decree issued by local authorities. The new passport indicates the adoptive parents’ names, and should be issued within one or two working days.

    • U.S. Immigrant Visa 
      After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to finalize your application for a U.S. visa for your child from the U.S. Embassy Budapest, Hungary. After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S. Embassy for final review of the case, issuance of a U.S. Hague Adoption Certificate or Hague Custody Certificate, final approval of Form I-800, and to obtain your child’s immigrant visa. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the consular officer must be provided the “Panel Physician’s” medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage. Read more about the Medical Examination.

CHILD CITIZENSHIP ACT

For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s entry into the United States: A child will acquire U.S. citizenship upon entry into the United States if the adoption was finalized prior to entry and the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

For adoptions finalized after the child’s entry into the United States: An adoption will need to be completed following your child’s entry into the United States for the child to acquire U.S. citizenship.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting. Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

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Traveling Abroad

APPLYING FOR YOUR U.S. PASSPORT

A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Hungary. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print-all in one place.

OBTAINING YOUR VISA

In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit.  Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation. To find information about obtaining a visa for Hungary, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

STAYING SAFE ON YOUR TRIP

Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

STAYING IN TOUCH ON YOUR TRIP

When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State. Enrollment makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Hungary, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

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After Adoption

Post-Adoption/Post-Placement Reporting Requirements

We strongly urge you to comply with Hungary’s post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to that country’s history of positive experiences with U.S. citizen parents.

Hungarian authorities require two post-placement reports: after two months and after one year of the adoption. Parents should make the reports as detailed as they can and include family photos.

Post-Adoption Resources

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin.  Take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some good places to start your support group search:

Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

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Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Hungary
1054 Budapest
Szabadsag ter 12.
Hungary
Tel: 011-36-1-475-4394
Fax: 011-36-1-475-4188
Email: iv.budapest@state.gov
Internet: http://hu.usembassy.gov

Hungarian Adoption Authority
Ministry of Human Resources, Department of Protection and Guardianship of Children (Emberi Erőforrások  Minisztériuma, Gyermekvédelmi és Gyámügyi Főosztály)
1054 Budapest
Akadémia u. 3.
Hungary
Tel: 011-36-1-795-3153
Internet: www.emmi.gov.hu

Embassy of Hungary
3910 Shoemaker Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel:  1-202-364-8218
Fax: 1-202-966-8135
Email: Consul.was@kum.hu 
Internet: http://washington.kormany.hu/consular

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State  
CA/OCS/CI  
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel:  1-888-407-4747
Email: AdoptionUSCA@state.gov
Internet: adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures:
National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
Tel:  1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet:  USCIS.gov

For questions about filing a Form I-800A or I-800 petition:
National Benefits Center
Tel:  1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
Email:  NBC.Adoptions@DHS.gov

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None A Multiple 48 Months
A-2 None A Multiple 48 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 12 Months
B-1 None Multiple 120 Months
B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 60 Months
C-2 None One 60 Months
C-3 None A Multiple 48 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 60 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months
F-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None A Multiple 48 Months
G-2 None A Multiple 48 Months
G-3 None One 3 Months
G-4 None Multiple 48 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
I None Multiple 60 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 60 Months
N-9 None Multiple 60 Months
NATO 1-6 10 None Multiple 60 Months
NATO-7 1 None Multiple 12 Months
O-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 60 Months
R-2 None Multiple 60 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None One 1 Month
U-2 None One 1 Month
U-3 None One 1 Month
U-4 None One 1 Month
U-5 None One 1 Month
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
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Country Specific Footnotes

Hungarian diplomatic and official passport holders traveling TDY to Hungarian diplomatic and consular establishments in the U.S. (including the UN) may receive visas as their travel needs require valid for up to 6 months with multiple entries.

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

Documents and records are normally obtainable by persons within Hungary in one week to one month. Persons outside of Hungary, however, may have to wait 3-4 months to obtain documents through a Hungarian Embassy or Consulate.  The Hungarian Embassy or Consulate may charge an extra fee for the service since the documents should be obtained from Hungary.  The fee for this service may reach $48.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth, Death Certificates

Available.  Persons should apply for birth and death certificates at any Vital Records Office (Polgarmesteri Hivatal, Anyakonyvi Hivatal).  Applicants may apply in person or electronically after registering on the Customer Portal of the government (Ügyfélkapu).  The first certificate is free of charge.  Additional copies cost 2000 forints.  The certificate is in three languages: Hungarian, English and French.  

Birth certificates of children adopted by foreigners in Hungary indicate the actual place of birth but will also indicate the "place of origin" as the residence of the adoptive mother. 

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

Available.  Persons should apply for marriage certificates at any Vital Records Office (Polgarmesteri Hivatal, Anyakonyvi Hivatal).  Applicants may apply in person or electronically after registering on the Customer Portal of the government (Ügyfélkapu).  The first certificate is free of charge.  Additional copies cost 2000 forints.  The certificate is in three languages: Hungarian, English and French.  

Same-sex marriage is not legally recognized in Hungary.

Divorce Certificates

Available to the parties concerned or their legal representatives.  After divorce proceedings, the parties are furnished a copy of the divorce decree (Valasi Vegzes). Copies can be obtained from the court in which the decree was issued.

Marriage certificates issued by the Vital Records Office will indicate under "Remark" that the marriage has been legally dissolved.  The Remark section is only in Hungarian.  Embassy – Budapest is happy to provide translation assistance if necessary.  

Adoption Certificates

Available to adopted persons or their legal representatives. 

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Identity Card

Please check back for update.

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

Available.  Citizens and residents of Hungary can obtain a Certificate of Criminal Record (Hatósági Erkölcsi Bizonyítvány) from the Department of Public Administration and Electronic Services, Office of Criminal Records (Közigazgatási és Elektronikus Közszolgáltatások Központi Hivatala, Bűnügyi Nyilvántartó Hatóság), mailing address: 1476 Budapest Pf.380.  Certificate of Criminal Record request forms are available at Hungarian post offices.  The fee must be paid by postal check provided with the request form.

Please note that the person requesting the Certificate of Criminal Record must indicate in question 4 of the request form that the certificate is requested for an immigrant visa application to the United States.  Failure to do so will generate a certificate that may not reflect the full extent of the person’s criminal history and should not be considered sufficient to support an application for a U.S. immigration benefit.  If you have questions, please contact budapestvisas@state.gov.

The certificate is issued within five working days from receipt of the request.  The certificate is issued only in Hungarian.

 Non-residents should apply for certificates at the Hungarian Embassy or Consulate in their country of their residence.  The certificate will be forwarded to the Hungarian Embassy or Consulate by the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  The Embassy may charge a fee for the service. 

Prison Records

Not available.

Court Records

Available directly from the court, but only to the parties involved or their legal representatives.  The fee is 100 forints per page.

Military Records

Available for persons between ages 18 and 40.  Applications may be submitted to the local military authority (Hadkiegeszito Parancsnoksag) personally or electronically.  Information about how to obtain records is available on www.hadkiegeszites.hu.  For ages 40 to 50 the military record may be requested from the Institute and Museum of Military History. For information and the address of the institute, please see the webpage above. 

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Please check back for update.

Other Records

Affidavit of Paternity

Available. "Apai Elismero Nyilatkozat", drawn up before the guardianship authorities, or a certificate to the effect that a father has recognized a child as his own, is available to the parents.

Visa Issuing Posts

Budapest (Embassy)

Mailing Address:
c/o AmEmb (BUD)
APO AE 09213-1320

Street Address:
1054 Budapest
Szabadsag Ter 12

Telephone:

  • During office hours: (36-1) 475-4400 (Local time: GMT +1)
  • After-hours emergency calls -- for American citizens only: (36-1) 475-4400

Facsimile

  • (36-1) 475-4764
Visa Services

All visa categories for all of Hungary.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 362-6730 (202) 966-8135

Los Angeles, CA (310) 473-9344 (310) 479-6443

New York, NY (212) 752-0669 (212) 755-5986

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Budapest
Szabadság tér 12
H-1054 Budapest
Hungary
Telephone
+(36) (1) 475-4444
Emergency
+(36) (1) 475-4444
Fax
+(36) (1) 475-4188 or +(36) (1) 475-4133
Hungary Country Map

Learn about your destination
Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.