Emigrate to Hungary

⇒ Culture

⇒ Climate

⇒ Language

⇒ School system in Hungary

⇒ Health care system

⇒ Vaccinations and medical certificates

⇒ Tax system

⇒ Economy

⇒ Prices by index

⇒ Real estate

⇒ Company foundation

⇒ Visa

⇒ Safety

⇒ German agencies

⇔ BACK TO OVERVIEW⇔

Cultural insights for prospective emigrants to Hungary: discovering the Hungarian way of life

Hungary, a country rich in history, culture and breathtaking scenery, is increasingly attracting people from all over the world who are considering emigrating there. If you are thinking of emigrating to Hungary, you will find that Hungarian society is warm and welcoming. With openness, respect and interest in the culture, you can not only find a new home, but also have an enriching life experience. Hungarian culture and lifestyle will undoubtedly inspire you and help make your emigration adventure an unforgettable chapter of your life.

Historical Roots and Cultural Diversity:

Hungary has a fascinating history, shaped by Ottoman, Habsburg and Communist rule. These influences have resulted in a multi-layered culture that combines both tradition and innovation. Hungarian culture is reflected in the architecture, music, art and customs.

Language and communication:

The Hungarian language, also known as Magyar, is one of the few non-Indo-European languages in Europe. Although English is widely spoken in urban areas and among younger generations, learning some basic Hungarian can help facilitate integration and deepen contact with locals.

Culinary delights:

Hungarian cuisine is famous for its hearty, rich dishes. Goulash, langos (fried dough pastries) and Tokaji wine are just some of the culinary highlights. The Hungarians enjoy eating together and see meals as an opportunity to spend time together and share stories.

Cultural festivals and traditions:

Hungary celebrates a variety of traditional festivals and customs. Easter, Pentecost, Christmas and the national holiday on August 20 are just some of the important occasions in the Hungarian calendar. These festivities provide an excellent opportunity to learn more about the culture and immerse yourself in the community.

Community and hospitality:

Hungarians are known for their hospitality and strong sense of community. Integration into the local community can be facilitated through participation in activities such as folk festivals, dances, and cultural workshops. Hungarians’ openness to new acquaintances can make the adjustment process pleasant.

Cultural Etiquette:

Before you emigrate to Hungary, it is helpful to familiarize yourself with the cultural etiquette rules. Some general rules are respect for the elderly, removing shoes when entering homes, and polite greetings and goodbyes.

Recreation and natural beauty:

Hungary offers a wealth of recreational opportunities. Whether it’s the hot springs and baths in Budapest, exploring the picturesque vineyards, biking along Lake Balaton, or exploring the historic cities like Pécs and Debrecen, there is something for everyone.

Einblick in die Natur von Ungarn

Climate in Hungary: a look at the seasons and weather conditions

Hungary, with its continental climate, offers a varied range of weather conditions throughout the year. The four seasons each bring their own characteristics that affect the lives and activities of the residents. Here is an overview of the climate in Hungary:

Spring is a time of renewal in Hungary. Temperatures are gradually rising as nature comes to life. However, spring days can still be quite cool, especially at the beginning of March. Temperatures rise during spring, and nature blossoms with a variety of colorful flowers and green trees. This is an ideal time for outdoor walks to enjoy the blossoming landscape.

The Hungarian summer brings warm to hot temperatures. Average temperatures are usually between 25°C and 30°C, but can reach 35°C or higher during hot spells. The summer months are also the main tourist season, as the pleasant weather provides opportunities for outdoor activities such as swimming in Lake Balaton, hiking and exploring the cities.

Autumn is a picturesque season in Hungary. Temperatures are starting to drop, but the days are still pleasantly warm. The autumn landscape shows vibrant colors as the leaves of the trees shine in different shades of yellow, orange and red. Autumn is also the time of grape harvest in the Hungarian wine regions, which leads to various wine events and festivals.

Winters in Hungary can get cold, especially in January and February. Average temperatures are usually between 0°C and 5°C, but can also fall below freezing. Snow is not uncommon, especially in the northern part of the country. Hungarian cities are beautifully decorated during the Christmas season, and some squares host Christmas markets offering traditional crafts and winter treats. The winter months are great for activities like skiing and ice skating.

Language

In Hungary, the main language spoken is Hungarian, which is also known as Magyar. Hungarian is a unique language that belongs to the Finno-Ugric languages and does not belong to the Indo-European language family, which is predominant in most European countries.

However, besides Hungarian, there are also minority languages spoken in Hungary, due to the historical presence of different ethno-cultural groups:

  1. German: Due to the historical population of Germans in Hungary, especially in areas such as Transylvania and Batschka, German is spoken by a minority.
  2. Romanian: In regions with a significant Romanian population, such as Transylvania, Romanian is used as a minority language.
  3. Slovak: Especially in the southern region of Hungary, near the Slovak border, Slovak is spoken by the Slovak minority.
  4. Serbian and Croatian: Due to the Serbian-Croatian population in the Batschka region, these languages are also spoken.
  5. Ruthenian, Ukrainian and Polish: These languages are used by smaller ethnic groups in Hungary, especially in the Carpathian regions.

School and education system in Hungary

In Hungary, there are several school systems covering different levels of education and educational goals. Here are the main components of the Hungarian school system:

  1. Preschool Education: Preschool education is provided for children ages 3 to 6 and is not mandatory. Kindergartens provide early childhood education and care.
  2. Primary education: Primary education is compulsory in Hungary and usually lasts 8 years (1st to 8th grade). Students begin elementary school at age 6 or 7. The educational program covers a wide range of subjects, including languages, mathematics, science, art, music, physical education and ethics. In the upper grades, students can choose electives that match their interests and inclinations.
  3. Secondary education: Secondary education in Hungary is divided into two levels:
  • Secondary school (Gymnasium): Students who have completed elementary education can enter the Gymnasium, which lasts 4 years (9th to 12th grade). Students here can receive in-depth education in a variety of disciplines that will prepare them for higher education.
  • Vocational School (Szakiskola): As an alternative to high school, students can attend vocational school, which provides practical training in various vocational specialties. Vocational education usually lasts 3 or 4 years.
  1. Higher Education: Higher education in Hungary includes bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs. There are a large number of colleges, universities and universities of applied sciences in the country. The Hungarian higher education system offers a wide range of fields of study in various disciplines.

In Hungary homeschooling and online schooling is also possible

Homeschooling (home schooling): Homeschooling in Hungary is known as “kiskorúak házitanítása” (home schooling for minors). It is possible to educate children at home instead of sending them to a public or private school. However, parents or guardians must meet certain conditions:

  1. Permit: Conducting homeschooling requires approval from local education authorities. Approval depends on several factors, including the qualifications of the parent or guardian, the educational program, and the learning objectives.
  2. Curriculum and testing: Parents or guardians must provide an approved curriculum that meets educational standards. Periodic testing or assessment may be required to ensure that the student is making adequate progress.

Online schooling: Online schooling is an option that also exists in Hungary. There are online platforms and schools that offer virtual classroom materials, learning resources, and even interactive courses. This can be an alternative to traditional schooling, especially for families seeking more flexible learning opportunities.

Regarding online education, it is advisable to contact the specific educational institutions or online platforms to obtain information about their programs, curricula, teaching methods, and legal framework.

Einblick in die Tierwelt

Healthcare system

The healthcare system in Hungary is publicly funded and provides a wide range of medical services to the country’s residents. The system is universally accessible and provides adequate health care to the population. Here are some important aspects of the health care system in Hungary:

Public health care system: The Hungarian health care system is largely financed and administered by state funds. The National Health Insurance Fund (NEAK – Nemzeti Egészségbiztosítási Alapkezelő) is responsible for financing medical services and providing access to health care for residents. Every citizen in Hungary is obliged to pay into the health insurance system.

Health care: Health care in Hungary includes a network of hospitals, clinics, health centers and medical professionals. The country has a reasonable number of medical facilities offering a wide range of medical services, from primary care to specialized treatments.

Health insurance: Hungarian health insurance is mandatory and covers the cost of a range of medical services, including doctor visits, hospitalization, medical examinations and medications. Health insurance is financed by payroll deductions made by employers and employees. Pensioners and children are also usually covered by the insurance system.

Differences between locals and immigrants: In principle, both Hungarian citizens and foreigners living legally in Hungary are entitled to state health insurance and access to medical care. The Hungarian health care system aims to make medical care accessible to all citizens and legal residents.

However, it is important to note that the specific regulations and entitlements for immigrants may vary, depending on their status and length of stay in Hungary. It is advisable to check with the relevant authorities or health insurance providers for the exact details and requirements.

Overall, the Hungarian health care system provides basic medical care for its citizens and legal residents. Immigrants should research health insurance details before arriving in Hungary to ensure they are properly insured and have access to health care.

Vaccinations and medical certificates

If you are an EU citizen looking to move to Hungary, there are usually no specific vaccination or medical verification requirements imposed by Hungary for entry or right of residence.

Non-EU citizens who wish to move to Hungary are generally subject to stricter entry and residence requirements. There may be different requirements here depending on the purpose and duration of the stay. In some cases, certain health exams or immunization records may be part of the visa application process.

Tax system

Income tax: Income tax in Hungary is levied in a progressive manner, which means that the tax rate increases as income increases. Income tax consists of a personal income tax rate and a social security contribution. The income tax rate may vary depending on how much income is earned.

Corporate income tax: Corporate income tax in Hungary is generally a fixed percentage of corporate profits. This rate may vary and may be subject to special rules for certain industries or investments.

Value Added Tax (VAT): VAT in Hungary is levied on goods and services. The standard VAT rate is usually 27%, but there are reduced rates for certain goods and services, such as food, medicines, and books.

Social security contributions: Employees and employers contribute to Hungarian social security programs. These contributions finance benefits such as health insurance, unemployment insurance and pension insurance.

Property tax: Property tax in Hungary is paid by property owners based on the value of the property. The amount of property tax depends on several factors, including the type of property and its location.

Other taxes: In addition to the main taxes mentioned above, Hungary also has other taxes that may be levied on specific transactions or activities, such as inheritance and gift taxes, capital gains taxes and local taxes.

Tax aspects for immigrants:

  1. Tax residency: Tax residency determines which country has the right to levy taxes on your global income. If you move your residence to Hungary, you should make sure that you correctly establish the tax residency status to avoid being subject to double taxation.
  2. Income tax: Hungary levies a progressive income tax on earnings. If you work in Hungary or receive income from Hungarian sources, this income is taxed in Hungary. It is important to understand income tax brackets, rates and allowances to optimize your tax burden.
  3. Social security contributions: If you work in Hungary, both employee and employer will pay social security contributions. These contributions finance benefits such as health insurance, unemployment insurance and pension insurance.
  4. Real Estate Tax: If you own real estate in Hungary, you must pay real estate taxes based on the value of the property. The amount of property tax depends on various factors.
  5. Double taxation agreements: Hungary has concluded double taxation agreements with many countries to avoid double taxation. These agreements regulate which country has the right of taxation for certain types of income. It is advisable to familiarize yourself with the provisions of these agreements.
  6. Tax Requirements: Make sure you meet all tax requirements, such as filing tax returns and paying taxes by the correct deadlines. Hungary has certain tax obligations that must be met by immigrants.

Economy

The Hungarian economy is a diverse mix of industries and sectors. It is characterized by industry, services, agriculture and the increasing influence of technology and innovation. Here are the main components that make up the Hungarian economy:

  1. Industry: Industry is an important driver of the Hungarian economy. Both light and heavy industries play a significant role. Important industries include automotive, mechanical engineering, electrical, chemical and pharmaceutical. International companies such as Audi, Mercedes-Benz and General Electric have established production facilities in Hungary.
  2. Services: The service sector in Hungary has gained in importance in recent years. This sector includes financial services, tourism, trade, information technology and business services. Budapest, the capital of Hungary, plays a key role in the service sector and is an important financial and technology hub.
  3. Agriculture: Agriculture has historically been an important part of the Hungarian economy. Hungary has fertile soil and is a major producer of agricultural products such as cereals, vegetables, wine, fruit and animal products.
  4. Technology and innovation: Hungary is making increasing efforts to strengthen its technology and innovation capacities. It has several research centers, universities and innovation hubs that help drive technology and innovation in areas such as information technology, research and development.
  5. Energy: Hungary has various energy sources, including nuclear energy, renewable energy (such as wind and solar energy) and fossil fuels. Nuclear energy plays a significant role in the country’s energy supply.
  6. Export economy: Hungary exports a wide range of products, including vehicles, machinery, electronic equipment, food and pharmaceutical products. Exports are an important driver of economic growth.

The Hungarian economy is dynamic and constantly developing. The country is seeking investment, innovation and trade relations to keep its economy diversified and competitive. Nevertheless, there are also challenges such as skills shortages, regional disparities and the need to further improve the business environment.

Economic outlook in Hungary for 2023

Forecasts for the current year 2023 have cooled, due to the conflict in Ukraine. This has an impact on the economic situation of the important trading partners within the EU and at the same time affects the sales opportunities for the export-oriented Hungarian industry. The increased costs of energy, intermediate products and raw materials pose a challenge and reduce the competitiveness of companies both at home and abroad. The current uncertainty is affecting the population’s propensity to consume, the business outlook and companies’ willingness to invest.

Price level in Hungary

The price level in Hungary is generally below the average of the EU countries. Hungary is one of the countries in Eastern Europe where the cost of living is often lower than in Western EU countries. Nevertheless, the price level can vary depending on the city, region and lifestyle. Here are some points that characterize the price level in Hungary:

Food and staples: Food and staples such as bread, fruit, vegetables and dairy products are generally cheaper than in many western EU countries.

Rent and housing costs: Rental prices can vary widely, with rents in Budapest tending to be higher than in rural areas. Nevertheless, rents are often lower compared to western capitals.

Transportation and public transit: The cost of public transportation, cab fares and gasoline can be lower compared to Western countries.

Restaurant visits and entertainment: Dining out and entertainment in restaurants, cafes and bars can generally be more affordable in Hungary than in Western EU countries.

Clothing and consumer goods: Clothing and consumer goods may also be available at lower prices.

However, it is important to note that price levels in cities, especially Budapest, can tend to be higher than in rural areas. In addition, imported products or certain luxury goods may be more expensive due to taxes and duties.

Die aktuellen Preise finden Sie auf der Website Cost of Living.

Das Auswandern nach Ungarn hält viele Überraschungen bereit

Hungary's real estate price level in comparison

The price level for real estate in Hungary varies depending on the location, type of property and current market conditions. In general, the real estate price level in Hungary is lower compared to many Western European countries. Here are some factors that characterize the price level for real estate in Hungary:

  1. Budapest vs. rural areas: Real estate prices in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, tend to be higher than in rural areas. Budapest is the economic and cultural center of the country, which can lead to higher demand and correspondingly higher prices.
  2. Apartment prices: Apartment prices can vary depending on the location, size and condition of the property. In cities like Budapest, apartment prices can be higher than in smaller towns or rural areas.
  3. Single-family houses and villas: Single-family homes and villas can generally be available at lower prices in Hungary than in Western EU countries. Still, prices may be higher in upscale neighborhoods or near popular tourist areas.
  4. Agricultural real estate: Agricultural land and real estate can be affordable in rural areas, as Hungary has a significant agricultural tradition.

Compared to Western Europe, especially Western capitals, real estate prices in Hungary can often be lower. This makes Hungary attractive to foreign buyers, especially those looking for affordable real estate.

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Business start-ups and forms in Hungary

In Hungary, there are different ways to start a business and different types of businesses open to locals and immigrants alike. Here are some of the common business startup types and their suitability for immigrants:

  1. Sole proprietorship (Egyéni vállalkozó): A sole proprietorship is the simplest form of starting a business and is well suited for single entrepreneurs. This applies to both natives and immigrants. In this form, the entrepreneur is personally liable for debts and liabilities of the company.
  2. Limited Liability Company (Kft. – Korlátolt Felelősségű Társaság): The Kft. is a popular form of enterprise in Hungary. It provides limited liability for the shareholders, which means that their personal liability is limited to their capital contribution. This form is open to both locals and immigrants.
  3. Aktiengesellschaft (Nyrt. – Nyilvánosan Működő Részvénytársaság): Die Nyrt. is a form of joint stock company in which the shares can be traded on the stock exchange. This type of company is more suitable for larger companies and is also open to locals and immigrants alike.
  4. Branch (Leányvállalat): Immigrants can also establish a branch of a foreign company in Hungary. This allows foreign companies to expand business activities in Hungary while the foreign parent company continues to bear responsibility.

Differences between locals and immigrants: Basically, locals and immigrants have the same opportunities to start a business in Hungary. However, there are some specific regulations and procedures that immigrants should follow when starting a business:

  1. Residence Permit: Immigrants may need a valid residence permit or work permit to start a business in Hungary.
  2. Bureaucratic requirements: Immigrants may need to provide additional documents and proof to confirm their identity and legal status.
  3. Taxes and Finances: Immigrants should learn about the specific tax obligations and financial aspects of starting a business, including capital contribution and corporate taxes.
Visa

EU citizens do not need a visa. The usual check-out and registration procedure applies to them.

Non-EU citizens who wish to immigrate to Hungary usually require a visa to enter and stay in the country. There are different types of visas, depending on the reasons for the stay, such as study, work, family reunion or business visit. The exact requirements and procedures may vary depending on the purpose of the stay.

If you intend to work or stay in Hungary for more than 90 days, non-EU citizens usually need to apply for a residence permit. The residence permit can be issued for various purposes, such as seeking employment, studying or working. As a rule, the application for a residence permit must be submitted to the relevant Hungarian embassy or consulate in the home country prior to entry.

Before entering Hungary, you should check with the Hungarian Embassy or Consulate in your country about the current visa and residence requirements for non-EU citizens. These may vary depending on your specific case and purpose of stay. It is strongly recommended to prepare all required documents early and start the application process on time.

Security in the country

Hungary is generally considered a safe country in Europe. At the present time, there is nothing out of the ordinary here that is worth mentioning

German representations in Hungary

Address:

Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany Budapest
Úri utca 64-66
1014 Budapest I.
Phone: +36 1 488 35 00
Website: www.budapest.diplo.de

Address:

Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany Pécs
Damjanich u. 30.
7624 Pécs
Phone: +36 72 504 250 (nur in Öffnungszeiten)
E-Mail: fuenfkirchen@hk-diplo.de

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