I. Hungarian citizens living abroad can prove their citizenship and identities with a valid Hungarian passport. If you do not have a Hungarian passport, or you have to attest to your citizenship at any Hungarian or foreign authorities you may request the issuance of a citizenship certificate from the Hungarian Ministry of Interior Affairs. The existence or loss of Hungarian citizenship or the fact the applicant has never been a Hungarian citizen can be proved by the citizenship certificate.
The Citizenship Certificate is issued by the Citizenship Department of the Ministry of Interior Affairs. The application with all attachments must be submitted to an accredited Hungarian Consul nearest to your registered place of residence, who will forward it to the Ministry of Interior Affairs.
The application forms must be completed in Hungarian and must bear the applicant’s signature according to the Hungarian format (last name, first name). Upon receiving the application, the Consul will verify the identity of the applicant and authenticate his/her signature. Applicants living abroad may also request the verification of their identities and the authentication of their signatures by an official nearer to their registered place of residence. The application must be sent to the Consul for super-legalization.
The applicant’s birth certificate and documents attesting to his/her marital status and his/her current name (e.g.: marriage license, decree of divorce, change of name certificate) must be enclosed with the application.
II. The Hungarian Citizenship Act is not of retroactive force, consequently the provisions of the Citizenship Act being in force at the time when the event influencing Hungarian citizenship took place are to be considered. For example:
▪ Children born before 1 October 1957 inherit their citizenship from their lawful father. Children could inherit Hungarian citizenship from their mother only if they were born out of wedlock.
▪ A Hungarian female citizen married to a foreign citizen before 1 October 1957, may have lost her Hungarian citizenship. These cases will warrant for special examination in every case.
Bilateral agreements regarding dual citizenship were in force between Hungary and the former socialist countries. The provisions of these agreements apply at the time when these agreements were in force, regardless of the applicant’s place of birth.
Hungarian citizenship could be lost because of ten years of residence abroad. However this title of lost citizenship affects those citizens who left Hungary before September 1st of 1929. Ten year terms started after the expiry of the citizen’s Hungarian passport. In certain cases, the documents mentioned above are not sufficient for establishing Hungarian citizenship, therefore further documents may be required.
▪ Applicants born abroad must enclose the marriage license of their parents. If the marriage certificate does not include data on birth, the parents’ birth certificates must also be enclosed. (In case of applicants born before 1 October 1957, only the father’s birth certificate is necessary.) If the parents were also born abroad, the documents of all ancestors (grandparents, great-grandparents) have to be enclosed from whom the applicants derive his/her Hungarian citizenship.
▪ If the applicant is female, she must declare her marital status, the place and dates of all her marriages, her spouse’s personal data and his citizenship. If it is possible, she must enclose all her marriage licenses. If the female applicant married in Hungary, and the marriage is still in force, she is entitled only to the name appearing on her marriage license.
▪ If the applicant or his/her parents were born on territories detached from Hungary, he/she has to enumerate all the places of their residence on the present territory of Hungary after 1921 or prove their places of origins.
III. For citizenship determination, original documents or certified copies thereof must be enclosed. Non-Hungarian language documents must be translated into Hungarian, and the translation must be authenticated by a Consul.
If a birth, marriage, or death took place in Hungary and obtaining these documents exacts an undue burden on the applicant then, in the case of providing accurate information, the Citizenship Department of the Ministry of Interior Affairs may acquire them for the applicant. (If the event took place in Budapest, then the applicant is required to indicate the appropriate district.)
The process of citizenship determination may be extended by obtaining documents issued by a church (certificate of baptism, marriage license) but will be accepted only if there is no other official registration at the time of the event. In Hungary, official registration has been in place since October, 1895. Submission of documents attesting to events taking place outside the territory of Hungary cannot be dispensed with.
IV. The issuance of citizenship is greatly facilitated if the applicant can enclose citizenship documents (naturalization or re-naturalization certificate, citizenship certificate) belonging either to him/her or to his/her ancestors. If the applicant is in possession of his/her or his/her ancestors’ Hungarian passport or personal identification documents, the applicant should enclose either the original documents or certified copy of the pages containing personal information, and data on the term of validity and renewal of these documents.