Foreigners who can work remotely can apply for the Hungary digital nomad visa if they want to experience living in Hungary for a long time. Officially called The White Card, holders of this visa can legally work and live in the country.
Hungary is one of those countries in Europe that are gaining popularity in the digital nomad world. It’s a gorgeous country full of art, culture, and history. Digital nomads who love to explore historical sights and experience new cultures will find it a fantastic place to live.
Budapest, the country’s capital city, is an ideal base for digital nomads in Hungary. It’s a unique city home to many luxurious buildings featuring exquisite architecture. With a long history dating back to the Celts that first occupied the country in the 4th Century BC, the city is full of fascinating historical sights. Despite this, Budapest has modern infrastructures and facilities, including fast internet. Therefore, you won’t have any issues living in Budapest as a digital nomad.
If you’re interested in moving to Hungary as a digital nomad, here’s what you need to know about the requirements and process of applying for The White Card.
About the Hungary Digital Nomad Visa
The digital nomad visa in Hungary is officially called the White Card. It serves as a temporary residence permit that the Hungarian government will issue to qualified individuals, including digital nomads. Thus, it’s also called the Hungary digital nomad visa.
The White Card is applicable to citizens of non-EEA countries. The EEA countries refer to countries within the European Union, including Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. Holders of the White Card will have the right to live and work in Hungary remotely using digital technologies and stay for up to two years. It applies to any digital nomad, including remote workers, entrepreneurs, investors, freelancers, etc.
Take note that you are not allowed to pursue any profitable activities while holding the Hungary digital nomad visa. If you intend to work in a company based in Hungary, you must have the appropriate work visa.
Hungary Digital Nomad Visa Eligibility
Before you decide to apply for the Hungary digital nomad visa, it’s worth checking if you meet the eligibility requirements. So here are the qualifications for the Hungary digital nomad visa:
- Third-country nationals, which means they are citizens of non-EEA countries.
- Capable of working remotely using digital technologies, such as laptops, mobile phones, Wi-Fi, etc.
- You have a valid job contract with a company or employer outside Hungary, are a shareholder of a company outside Hungary or own a company outside the country.
Documents to Submit When Applying for the Hungary Digital Nomad Visa
If you qualify for the Hungary digital nomad visa, it’s time to send in your application. But before you do so, prepare the required documents to submit. Here’s a list of the requirements you need to submit:
- Valid passport – your passport must be valid for at least six months from the application date.
- Visa application form – you can download the application form online.
- Passport-sized photos – you are required to submit two passport-sized photos for your application. The photos should have a dimension of 2 x 2 inches and must be taken recently.
- Proof of income – applicants have to show proof they earn at least €2,000 per month. For this, you can submit an employment contract stating your monthly salary, bank statements, or any other documents proving your income.
- Health insurance – applicants must have health insurance to cover any medical costs incurred while living in Hungary as a digital nomad.
- Return flight ticket – applicants need to submit airline ticket, stating date of return from Hungary.
- Proof of accommodation – you must submit proof that you have accommodation in Hungary. It can come in the form of a rental agreement or a hotel booking, depending on where you want to stay while living in Hungary.
- Additional requirements for employed individuals – for digital nomads working for a company, you need to submit a document stating the scope of your employer’s business operations. You also need to submit a job contract stating the nature of your remote work, including the time you must work each day.
- Additional requirements for company owners or shareholders – for digital nomads who own a business, you must submit a document that includes information about the scope of your business. If you are a shareholder, submit a document confirming the ownership of your shares in the company.
Applying for the Hungary Digital Nomad Visa
Once you have all the requirements ready, you can start with the application for the White Card or Hungary digital nomad visa. There are two parts to applying for the Hungary digital nomad visa. First is to apply for a visa from the Hungarian embassy or consulate based in your country. Once you get approved of the entry visa, you can travel to Hungary using the visa and apply for the White Card once you’re in the country. Here are the steps to guide you in applying for the digital nomad visa:
- Schedule an appointment with the Hungarian embassy – Get in touch with the Hungarian embassy or consulate in your country to schedule an appointment for your digital nomad visa application. You can search for them online.
- Download the application forms and fill out – Next, download The White Card application forms online. You will need two forms, the residence permit application form and the Appendix 17 form. Fill out the forms completely.
- Show up on your appointment date – Visit the embassy or consulate on your appointment date. Make sure you bring the application forms and all the required documents. Prepare yourself for the short interview.
- Pay the visa application fee – After the interview, pay the White Card application fee, which will cost the equivalent of $125.25.
- Wait for the approval – Wait for up to 30 days while they process your visa application.
- Travel to Hungary – When your application is approved, they will issue the entry visa. You can then travel to Hungary and use it to enter the country. Usually, they will send it by post.
- Apply for the White Card – Make sure you apply for the White Card within thirty days of arriving in Hungary. You can apply for a White Card from the National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing (NDGAP) near you. Visit the nearest office of NDGAP and bring all the documents for the application.
- Pay the Service Fee – After submitting your application for the White Card, pay the service fee, which should cost you around $125.55. You also need to pay for submitting your application through the online platform of NDGAP, and that’s equivalent to $77.26.
- Receive the White Card – Once your application is approved, they will send you your White Card via post. It will serve as your residence permit, allowing you to live as a digital nomad in Hungary.
Paying Taxes in Hungary as a Digital Nomad
Hungary is one of the European countries with relatively low tax rates, making it suitable for foreigners to live. The personal tax rate is 15%, while employees pay social security taxes is 18.5%. Corporate income tax is 9%, while the Value Added Tax is 27%.
Digital nomads in Hungary are only exempted from paying taxes during the first 183 days. After that, you will have to start paying taxes while living in the country. You will also need to pay social contributions and personal income taxes.
Living as a Digital Nomad in Hungary
Hungary has a thriving digital nomad community, especially in Budapest, the capital city. Dubbed the “Pearl of the Danube”, Budapest is one of Europe’s most populous cities, filled with interesting cultural and historical sights. Digital nomads in Hungary will find plenty of things to keep them entertained when not working. Aside from exploring the country’s top attractions, you can watch classical concerts and rock festivals. And with great restaurants, pubs, and cafes on almost every corner, it’s an ideal base for digital nomads who want to live in a lively environment.
It’s easy to adapt to the digital nomad life while living in Hungary. It has modern amenities, a decent transportation system, and fast internet. In Budapest, you will find plenty of coworking spaces and cafes from where you can take up work if you want a change of scenery. When compared to other capital cities in Europe, Budapest has a relatively low cost of living. As a digital nomad living in Budapest, you can expect to spend an average of $2,078 per month on your living expenses.
If you don’t want to live in the bustling city of Budapest and would prefer somewhere more laidback, consider staying in Lake Balaton. It’s in the western part of the country and famous for its gorgeous freshwater lake. The area is also renowned for its delectable wine. The hilly portion north of the lake is a wine-growing region, with scenic hiking trails taking you to Balaton Uplands National Park. Digital nomads who are more outdoorsy will find Lake Balaton an ideal area to live.
Safety is another reason why many digital nomads are tempted to move to Hungary. Although affordable European countries have a bad reputation for safety, Hungary is generally safe for digital nomads, especially in Budapest. The city has a low crime rate, and most neighbourhoods are safe to explore at night. Of course, you’ve got to exercise caution, especially in crowded areas where pickpockets can happen.
Another great thing about living in Hungary as a digital nomad is the availability of decent and affordable accommodations. In Budapest, for instance, you can rent an apartment in the city centre for as low as $500 per month, which is quite cheaper than its many neighbouring European cities.
So, if you’re looking to live in a beautiful country in Europe where you can enjoy a low cost of living and have plenty of things to explore when you’re not working, consider applying for the Hungary digital nomad visa.
FAQs on the Hungary Digital Nomad Visa
How Much Will It Cost to Apply for the Hungary Digital Nomad Visa?
Here are the different fees you will pay for applying the digital nomad visa:
- Application for the visa entry – $125.25
- Service fee for White Card application in Hungary – $125.55
- Service fee through NDGAP’s online platform – $77.26
If you plan to extend the visa after it expires, here are the fees you need to pay:
- Service fee for extending your visa at NDGAP’s office – $112.68
- Service fee for extending your visa through NDGAP’s online platform – $75.05
How Long Can I Stay in Hungary while Holding the Digital Nomad Visa?
The White Card will allow you to live in Hungary for up to a year, but you have the option to extend it for 12 more months.
How Long is the Processing Time for the Hungary Digital Nomad Visa?
It will take up to thirty days to process your application for the Hungary digital nomad visa.
More European Countries with Digital Nomad Visas
Hungary is not the only European country with a digital nomad visa, there is Portugal, Malta, Cyprus, Romania, Estonia, Latvia and many others. Check out the article below for the full list.