Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Entering, staying and working conditions in Hungary in case of EU/EEA citizens

1.      Entry for 90 days

Citizens of the European Union and nationals of the states of the European Economic Area („EU citizens/EEA nationals”) with the right of free movement may enter Hungary in possession of their valid passport or personal identity card. EU citizens/EEA nationals are entitled to stay in Hungary for 90 days without the obligation to report their presence and certify the legality of their stay.
2.      Stay exceeding 90 days

In case the EU citizens/EEA nationals intend to stay in Hungary for more than 90 days they shall apply to the Regional Directorate of the Office of Immigration and Nationality for a registration certificate during the 90 days-stay period. To obtain such a certificate EU citizens/EEA nationals need to prove their employment relationship, livelihood, housing and comprehensive health insurance. If all necessary documents are collected, the duration of the procedure will take only thirty minutes. The registration certificate is issued for an indefinite period and will lose its validity if the right of residence itself is terminated. It is important to note that EU citizens/EEA nationals cannot be expelled for failing to register, but they may be fined.
EU citizens/EEA nationals are entitled to become a permanent resident of Hungary, only after a five-year period of uninterrupted legal residence.

3.      Working in Hungary

EU citizens/EEA nationals are allowed to enter employment in Hungary without permission. However, the employer shall submit a notification in relation to the employment of such persons to the local employment office not later than on the first working day.
Should you have any questions related to this topic, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

How to buy a Hungarian residence permit?

Believe it or not, it is now possible for foreigners to “buy” a Hungarian residence permit, as  the Decree of the Ministry for National Economy has entered into force on 20 February  2013, it has established the so called „residency bonds”. Pursuant to the provisions of this Decree - amending the Act on the Entry and Stay of Third-Country Nationals – Third-Country Nationals, whose investments in Hungary qualify their entry and stay as being in the interest of the economy at large may receive a residence permit with preferential conditions.

Previously three years of a continuous Hungarian residency was the pre-condition for a permanent residence permit, moreover such permit had a limited duration of at least three months and not more than two years.

The validity period of this special residence permit - acquired through the residency bonds – shall be five years at most, and it may be also extended by maximum five additional years at a time. However, it is still a required, that the applicant:

-          has a place of residence in the territory of Hungary,

-          has  a clean criminal record,

-          is not considered to be a threat to the national security of Hungary.

It shall be considered as a national economic interest, if the applicant certifies, that he/she or the company in which he/she holds a majority of shares, has bought government bonds worth at least EUR 250,000, with a duration of five years. The government bonds are  put into circulation by the Hungarian Government Debt Management Agency Private Company Limited by Shares (hereinafter: “ÁKK”). ÁKK undertakes that it pays off the full amount of government bond’s nominal value at the end of maturity.

Based on the information received from ÁKK, the Parliamentary Committee for Economic Affairs will approve separate enterprises, which will establish contractual relations with the foreign applicants. These enterprises will buy the desired government bonds for the foreign individuals. Eventually, the applicants have to attach a final and irrevocable declaration of the enterprise, that it will use the applicant’s contribution for subscribing the government bond for a nominal value of at least EUR 250,000, and will do so within 45 days after the issue date of the applicant’s residence permit. The enterprises will be entitled to make the purchase declarations for a maximum of two trading days per calendar month as predetermined by ÁKK. One series will be introduced to the market per year and the offering price rate is calculated upon the applied interest rate set by ÁKK at the introduction of the given series.
The bond is issued at a discount price, reduced with the interest, where the discount interest rate at the time the bond is issued is 1.5 percentage points lower,- but no less than 2%- than the most similar five-year secondary market yield of the euro-denominated bond with residual maturity issued by the Hungarian State.

If You, or any acquaintance you know is interested in buying residency bonds, or would like to receive more information on the aforementioned, or might need help with any other immigration cases, please do not hesitate to contact us and our experts will be at your kind disposal.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Community air carriers’ liability

What are the obligations of Community air carriers as regards the nature and limits of their liability in the event of accidents such as death or injury,   destroyed, lost or damaged baggage?
Death or injury
The air carrier is liable in the event of death, wounding or any other bodily injury to a passenger, if the accident took place on board an aircraft or during any of the embarking or disembarking operations.
There is no financial limit to the liability for damages in respect of death or injury. However, for damages up to 100.000 SDR[1], the air carrier cannot contest claims for compensation. In excess of that amount, the air carrier can defend itself against a claim only by proving that it was not negligent or otherwise at fault.
Destruction, loss or damage to baggage
The air carrier is liable for the destroyed, lost or damaged baggage in case the event caused the damage took place on board an aircraft or happened during the period of within which the baggage was in the charge of the carrier. In the case of checked baggage, the air carrier is liable even if not at fault, unless the baggage is detective or the damage resulted from an inherent defect, quality or vice of the baggage. In the case of unchecked baggage, the air carrier is only liable if at fault, however at this time the burden proof is on the passenger.
When the baggage is destroyed, lost or damaged the air carrier is liable up to 1000 SDR for each passenger. The European Court of Justice stated in its recent decision that this compensation including the total damage caused, regardless of whether that damage is material on non-material, except when a special declaration and an additional payment is made at the checking-counter by the passenger.

Passenger, baggage delay
Additionally, when flight is canceled or significantly delayed, passengers may be entitled to compensation depending on the delay length and the flight distance.
The air carrier is liable up to 4150 SDR in case of passenger delay, and up to 1000 SDR in case of baggage delay unless it proves that took all reasonable measures to avoid the damage or it was impossible to take such measures.
Claiming compensation
If baggage is delayed, destroyed, lost or damaged the passenger must write and complain to air carrier as soon as possible. In the case of damage, the complaint must be made within 7 days and within 21 days in the case of delay, in both cases from the date on which the baggage was placed at the passenger’s disposal.
Any action in court to claim damages must be taken within 2 years from the date of arrival of the aircraft or from the date on which the aircraft ought to have arrived.

In both cases, if no complaint was made within the given deadline, no action shall lie against the airline.
We at BWSP Gobert and Partners are constantly at your diposal! Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us!office@gfplegal.com


[1] special drawing rights, as defined by the Monetary fund