Hungary is a member of the so-called Schengen Area, which currently comprises 22 of the 27 member states of the European Union. The Schengen Agreement was signed on 14 June 1985 near the town of Schengen in Luxembourg. It was supplemented by the Schengen Convention five years later, implementing the provisions of the Schengen Agreement. Together, these treaties created Europe’s borderless Schengen Area with no internal border controls. Several members of the European Union, i.e. Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom, are currently not part of the Schengen co-operation.
Visitors from third countries – whether they are required to apply for visas to enter the member states of the EU (citizens of countries under visa obligation) or do not need entry visas (citizens of “visa free” countries) – are entitled to a stay of a maximum of 90 days within the six months counted from the date of their first entry into the Schengen Area. In all other cases, third-country nationals are required to apply for a residence permit to enable them to spend a longer period of time in the Schengen Area. The residence permit issued by the Hungarian Immigration Service entitles the holder to visit all other countries of the Schengen Area without having to apply for entry visas.
Those entering Hungary for the purpose of studies for a longer period should bear in mind the following rules:
Students from EU/EEA member states do not need visas to enter Hungary but they will be required to register their places of residence (addresses) at the Hungarian Immigration Office within the first 90 days period of their stay. Due to the time of administration, the request has to be submitted no later than 90 days upon arrival.
Students from “visa free” countries may enter Hungary without having to apply for visas but they will be required to apply for a residence permit for other purposes within the first 90-days period of their stay. Due to the time of administration, the request has to be submitted no later than 90 days upon arrival. The above rule applies to citizens of the following states: 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, Switzerland, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela.
Students from countries under visa obligation are required to apply for a residence permit for other purposes at the Hungarian Consulate in their home countries. If they meet all conditions for the student status, they will be granted entry permits. The entry permit is valid for a single entry and up to 30 days of stay in Hungary. Within thirty days on arrival, students will have to register their places of residence in Budapest at the Hungarian Immigration Office and verify that they actually enrolled in the institution of higher education which admitted them. Please note that the visa process may take more than two – three months.