HungaryFrom December 21, 2007 Hungary is a member of the Schengen Area, and applies the Schengen legislation in full. 25 states, 22 of the 27 member states of the European Union (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden) as well as Norway, Iceland and Switzerland are part of the Schengen Area. At the same time several members of the European Union, i.e. Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom do not yet participate in the Schengen cooperation. (Note that member states is likely to increase from the time of this writing).

Significant changes subsequent to Hungary’s Schengen-membership are that visas and residence permits issued by one of the Schengen States are valid also for Hungary, visas issued by Hungarian representations abroad and residence permits issued by Hungarian national authorities are also valid for the entire Schengen Area.

The visa sticker, which looks the same for all Schengen States, bears the words "valid for Schengen States". The Schengen visa and entry regulations are only applicable for a stay not exceeding 90 days. Rules for a long stay exceeding 90 days are laid down by the national law of the member states concerned.

A visa is only a preliminary permission for entry, which does not authorize its bearer automatically to enter the country.

The traveler may be requested to provide proof of the existence of the conditions of his entry and stay in Hungary and, if he is not able to fulfill this, he may be returned from the border.

Visa Exemptions

Visa free entry Citizens of the EU/EEA member states and of the following countries may travel to Hungary without a visa and may stay there for a maximum period of 90 days during the 6 months from the date of the first entry (if the conditions required for staying are met): Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Guatemala, Holy See, Honduras, Hong Kong (the exemption applies only to holders of a “Hong Kong Special Administrative Region”), Iceland, Israel, Japan, Macao (the exemption applies only to holders of a “Regio Administrativa Especial de Macau” passport), Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Salvador, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela (Please check the country list).

Stateless persons and recognized refugees holders of a Travel Document issued by one of the above mentioned states, can enter without a visa (in case of US Travel Documents if the annotation: "refugee" or "stateless" figures in the travel document it can be used for travel without a visa. A visa is needed on the "simple" travel document without these annotations). Stateless persons and refugees residing in a Member State, having a travel document issued by the Member State concerned are entitled for a visa free entry. Member State means: “old” and “new” Schengen Member States, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria. In possession of a valid D+C visa issued by one of the Schengen states, within the first three month of the validity of the visa, the holder is entitled for a visa free entry. In possession of a D visa, the holder may only transit through Hungary to the issuing country without visa.

In possession of a valid residence permit and other documents listed in Annex 4 of the Common Consular Instructions, foreigners have the right for a visa free circulation within the Schengen Area not exceed 3 months in any 6 months. Holders of United Nations laisser-passez may enter without a visa.

According to bilateral visa agreements holders of diplomatic and service passports may be entitled for a visa free entry.

Visa free transit

Foreigners in possession of a valid residence permit issued by Switzerland or Liechtenstein may transit through Hungary without having a Hungarian transit visa or airport transit visa, even after 21 December 2007. The same rules apply to holders of a valid visa issued before 21 December 2007 by one of those countries that joined the Schengen Area as from 21 December 2007 (i.e. the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia). The validity of the visa or residence permit substituting the Hungarian transit visa shall cover the whole duration of the transit. The duration of visa free transit cannot exceed 5 days.

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