“Simplified” Hungarian Citizenship…. How simple is it? Part 2

Now that you have delved into part one, it’s time for part two. Some explanatory notes, and submitted questions are in order.

  1. Rules of procedures can also be found at the following website: Rules of procedure.
  2. Born out-of-wedlock? If the applicant was born out of marriage, the statement on the recognition of fatherhood made before a foreign authority may be recognized, provided that it conforms to Hungarian family law. If such conformity is not found, a fully effective statement on the recognition of fatherhood must be made before the consul, Hungarian civil registrar, guardianship authority or notary public. (If your father has passed away, remember only one parent needs to be of Hungarian descent. Supposedly they prefer it to be the father, and I’m not sure why.)
  3. Birth Records? Need to procure the long form, for more details. If the birth abroad has not been registered in Hungary, it must also be requested. Under Hungarian law, a city or town must be named as a the birth place.  Birth certificates in many countries specify only the County, state or the district of a larger locality. If the place of birth is Budapest, please specify the district. (This also applies to registering birth, and marriage records, not in Hungary.) If none of your documents indicate or you do not know it, please specify the contemporary name of the part of the city, the name of the hospital, or the parents’ residence at the time of birth. In Hungary civil registration is not centralized. Data in the civil register may only be checked if the place and approximate time of birth/marriage is known.
  4. Where are citizenship records kept?  The office of Immigration and Nationality keeps records of citizenship documents generated after 1933. There is a better chance to prove citizenship if you provide the siblings’ data in addition to the ascendant’s particulars. If any sibling of the applicant or the applicant’s parents had a case before, the documents relating to the common ascendant need not be searched for and collected again. The index of citizenship documents can be searched by name and date of birth.
  5. What if my ancestor left Hungary?  Under the Citizenship Act of 1879, if a person was staying abroad for ten years (called absence) he/she automatically lost his/her Hungarian citizenship. The legal title of “lost citizenship” may only apply to persons who left the country before 01 September 1929. (The period of war must be disregarded.) The ten-year period was calculated from the date of expiry of the Hungarian passport. No register of residential data has survived from that era. If last residence is known, data about and copies of issued passports can be obtained from county archives. (Until 1945 passports had been issued by the sub-prefect of the county. Archives in many states can certify the date when a person entered the country’s territory and the country where he/she arrived from.
  6. How does Hungary’s changing borders affect my citizenship request?  After 1945 masses of former Hungarian citizens from the detached parts of Hungary lived in Hungary in an unsettled citizenship status. Their citizenship status was settled by the Citizenship Act of 1948. One of the provisions of the Act related to persons who lost their Hungarian citizenship in consequence of the rescission of the Vienna Awards decisions on 20 January 1945. From 20 January 1945 they could be recognized as Hungarian citizens, if their permanent residence was in Hungary both on 01 January 1948 and on 01 February 1949. Another provision of the Act related to persons who or whose ascendant lost their Hungarian citizenship in the wake of the Treaty of Trianon: they could be recognized as Hungarian citizens, if they had no foreign citizenship and their permanent residence was in Hungary on 01 January 1948.
  7. What is the cost of passports? As it stands as of 2019, passport valid for 10 years is $101.00, 5 years is $105.00, under 18 is $61.00 and over 65 is $50.00. (Be sure to have the appropriate amount plus any additional fees like consular fees, registration fees, authentication fees and translation, etc. at your consular appointment.) The link for this can be found in Part One.
  8. How is marriage of a concern? Act LV of 1993 on Hungarian Citizenship stipulates that in addition to the birth certificate applications for citizenship shall also include documents certifying family status.  Marriage may have an effect on using names, but it could also influence the citizenship of women based on former legal regulations. A foreign woman who married a  Hungarian citizen before 01 October 1957 automatically obtained Hungarian Citizenship and a Hungarian women automatically lost her Hungarian citizenship if she obtained her husband’s foreign citizenship through marrying him. Thus, in the case of such marriage the husband’s citizenship must be examined. The principle of descent/the right of blood shall be applied in the case of the husband as well: if the husband’s parents originated from Hungary, he may be a Hungarian citizen or a stateless person, and in such case the Hungarian citizen women could not have lost her Hungarian Citizenship through marriage. If you had more than one marriage, you must specify the date, manner of termination of each marriage, as well as the name, place and date of birth of the former spouses.
  9. How about residency? It is compulsory to provide residence data. If the applicant does not appear in the personal and residential data of citizens (example: he/she does not have an “address card”) his/her data shall be entered into the register of Hungarian Citizens living abroad.  Subsequently, there is no need to request a separate citizenship certificate, if the applicant fails to replace his/her documents certifying Hungarian citizenship in time. If the applicant wishes to register a Hungarian residence, he/she must fill in a separate form as well.
  10. Dual Citizenship, pro’s and cons? Dual citizenship may be granted automatically if you were born in the United States to a Hungarian parent and live in the U.S. One or both of your parents must be Hungarian for you to have Hungarian citizenship. Due to a law passed in 2010, the Hungarian government has allowed for dual Citizenship to persons who are Hungarian and live outside of Hungary. PRO: Though the U.S. allows for dual citizenship, it is not something they make readily known. Make sure your country of birth/origin allows for dual citizenship, so you do not end up voiding one or the other.(that would be a pro and con.) PRO: Perhaps you wish to purchase property.  In some countries, only citizens are allowed to own land. PRO: Since Hungary is part of the EU, a person can pass freely from one EU nation to another without a visa. Hungary allows for stays of less than 90 days without a visa. Longer stays and freedom of movement would be a nice pro. PRO: With your ability to visit/stay longer and travel, there is a language, cultural and work advantage. PRO: Last but not least, and my personal reason….pride in my heritage. CON: Divided loyalty between two countries and maybe the requirement of military service if necessary. CON: Taxes!  Be sure to check with the countries policies and treaties on taxation. You do not want to be double taxed by each country, though Hungary does have a treaty with the U.S., pertaining to taxes. CON: With everything else being said, it ranks at a moderate difficulty to obtain Hungarian Citizenship, especially if you are not familiar with your family history and do not speak, write or read Hungarian, on at least a basic level.

I’m sure there are more pro’s and con’s, so do some research or hire a professional in that area of immigration/citizenship/naturalization law.

Be sure to fill out your Application for the Verification of Citizenship form with block capitals and please use full names in the Hungarian name order. Example: Smith John Thomas instead of John Smith or John T. Smith.

Don’t forget your passport photo in color 2×2″ taken within the last 6 months. Make an appointment with the Consulate/Embassy….

That’s a wrap for this post. Hopefully I did not leave anything out.  Once again, please feel free to ask any questions and I will try to answer them the best I can, and please follow my blog! There will be lots of interesting, educational and cultural subject matter to read.

Kati

Hungarian Embassy Washington  Another site to read!

 

 

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