If working remotely in the heart of old Europe sounds like your thing, Hungary might already be on your bucket list. Situated in Central Europe and bordered by no less than seven other countries, it can serve as an excellent central base from which to explore the region.
And thanks to the introduction of Hungary’s Digital Nomad Visa program, doing so is now a LOT easier…
Why Hungary should be on your remote working radar in 2023…
Renowned for its culture, cuisine and old European architecture, Hungary – and its capital, Budapest, in particular – is a truly excellent travel destination.
And while we are not big fans of such comparisons, we believe that Budapest is the Paris of Eastern Europe… but at a 50% discount, making it one of the least expensive places to live in the EU.
Budapest is a magnificent and exceptionally livable city. In fact, one of Sovereign Man’s friends relocated from London to Budapest a few years back and reportedly loved it (premium report – Sovereign Confidential members only).
The city was one of two capitals of the Austro-Hungarian empire (the other being Vienna); hence it still feels like an imperial capital.
It has many gorgeous monuments and architecture dating to a bygone era. And it retains much of its Old World charm, despite featuring all the usual modern city amenities.
That charm — and its rich cultural diversity — make Hungary highly appealing from a lifestyle perspective.
And digital nomads adore it.
The country’s fixed broadband speed of 119 Mbps is lightning-fast, and its mobile download speeds are around 43 Mbps. You will therefore be able to work remotely from the country without any issues.
But without further ado, let’s get into the details of Hungary’s remote worker visa below.
A closer look at Hungary’s Digital Nomad Visa, a.k.a. the White Card
Similar to Portugal’s D7 Residency program, the Hungarian White Card features a two-step application process:
First, you’ll apply for an D-Type entry stamp visa at your nearest consulate. This is what you’ll use to enter the country.
Once there, you’ll have a month to apply for your White Card residency permit at the so-called National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing. This permit is valid for one year, and it’s renewable once for another year.
But unlike in the case with many other Digital Nomad Visas, you will NOT be able to bring your family along based on a family reunification procedure.
Furthermore, it is important to note that the country’s DNV will NOT lead to any type of permanent residency or citizenship in Hungary. You will have to seek other residency types for that.
What are the key program requirements?
The program’s financial requirements are on the lower end – if you’re a solo applicant, that is. You can qualify for the Hungarian DNV if, in the past six months, you have enjoyed a monthly income of just €2,000 (~$2,171).
Unfortunately, the DNV seems to be geared toward single applicants only. Your spouse, for example, will have to submit their own independent application, making the combined income requirement for a couple €4,000 (~$4,341).
In addition, the usual bouquet of requirements apply:
- You’ll have to provide documentary proof of being employed outside of Hungary, or of being the owner or co-owner of a business operating outside the country.
- You’ll have to be able to work remotely.
- You’ll have to have a fixed address in Hungary, hence you’ll likely need to obtain either a long-term accommodation reservation, a rental contract, or an invite letter from a friend or family member authorizing you to stay with them while in Hungary.
- You’ll need to obtain health insurance for the entire duration of your stay in Hungary.
(IMPORTANT: Be sure to confirm the exact requirement with your nearest Hungarian consulate.)
Also remember that you will become a tax resident if you stay in the country for more than 183 days a year (and possibly even sooner).
The personal income tax rate in Hungary is a flat 15%, but it will generally be payable in addition to social security contributions of 18.5%.
According to one of our Hungarian immigration service providers on the ground, however, there are instances where your social security contributions could be lower.
It is also advisable to discuss your personal financial situation with a Hungarian tax specialist, as the country’s tax system tends to be complex…
Fortunately, however, you will likely be saving money on living expenses. For example, a one-bedroom apartment in a nice area of Budapest costs around $650 per month, while a three-bedroom costs around $1,000.
You can save significantly more if you settle elsewhere in Hungary, such as in Debrecen — the country’s second-largest city.
Not sold on Hungary? Discover ALL your EU residency options with Sovereign Confidential
Sovereign Confidential members have access to a range of deep-dive reports on topics like:
- The most accessible Digital Nomad Visa programs across all of Europe, including detailed information on the respective program requirements and how to apply.
- Detailed boots-on-the-ground reportage from our team, our close network, and our service providers on the ground.
- Details on the most attractive tax incentives for new EU residents (yes, you can pay as little as a single-digit tax rate).
- In-depth information regarding alternative visa options for retirees and investors.
- And much, much more…
You can find out more about this class-leading internationalization product here.
In recent years, the advent of Digital Nomad Visas in Europe has made long-term stays on the continent a lot more accessible. And whilst the Hungarian program’s single-applicant focus and lack of family eligibility isn’t ideal, the country itself more than makes up for this in terms of its domestic attractions, low living costs and highly central location.
Yours in freedom,
Team Sovereign Man