Thursday, February 6, 2014

Hungarian lifetime residence for the whole family by state bonds

Referring to our former articles published in the last year, we continue the introduction on the latest news regarding the Hungarian Residency Bond Program (“Program”) including a possibility of a cheaper option.

This Program offers a lawful and lifetime Hungarian residence under preferential conditions for non-EU nationals, who are willing to invest into government residency bonds.

The Program is unique in the world in some notable aspects:

-          it allows free movement and relocation in the Schengen countries;

-          it may serve as a major route to the Hungarian citizenship;

-          there is no need to travel to Hungary in order to make an application (the applicants can decide whether they would like to apply at the local Embassy or Consulate of Hungary, or in Budapest at the Office of Immigration and Nationality of Hungary – “Immigration Authority”);

-          the investor’s family (see below in point 4) is also included in the Program as a joint part of the investment.

1.    List of companies responsible

Currently the following enterprises/companies are entitled to participate in the transaction of bonds; these companies are also in cooperation with our Law Office:

  • S & Z Program Limited Company provides services of the bond transfer for citizens of Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, Yemen, Oman, Iran, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Iraq, Saud-Arabia, Syria, Jordan and Bahrain.

  • VolDan Investments Limited provides services of the bond transfer for citizens of Russia, Ukraine, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Belorussia, Uzbekistan, Montenegro, Serbia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

  • Hungary State Special Debt Fund provides services of the bond transfer for citizens of China and Vietnam.
  • Discus Holdings Ltd provides services of the bond transfer for citizens of the United States of America, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Azerbaijan, Turkey, South Africa, Indonesia, Kenya and Nigeria.

  • Innozone Holdings Limited provides services of the bond transfer for citizens of Cyprus and India.

  • Arton Capital Hungary Pénzügyi Tanácsadó Kft. provides services of the bond transfer for citizens of the United Arab Emirates, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Malta.

  • EURO-ASIA Investment Management Pte Ltd. provides services of the bond transfer for citizens of Singapore.

2.    Required fees for the participation in the program

There are two options for the financing of the participation in the Program:

a.) buying the dematerialized government bonds worth at least EUR 250.000 for a duration of five years (which can be prolonged without further payment) and the administration fee of EUR 50.000 for the procedure.

The government bonds are kept and registered 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 (i.e. EUR 250.000) at the end of maturity.

b.) NEW OPTION! Only one-time administration fee of EUR 120.000 shall be paid for this special immigration procedure for the whole family. In this case no payment will be returned after the 5 years or the prolonged time period. This EUR 120.000 amount covers also the residency permit for the family members too, who can jointly apply (see point 4.)

3.    Steps to be followed for participating in the Program

3.1  Payment

The investor can choose between the following secured payment methods:

a)    through the deposit account of the responsible company, managed by Gránit Bank Zrt.

b)    through the escrow account of a Law Office present in Hungary and chosen by the investor.

In case of escrow payment an agreement shall be signed by the responsible company, which is relevant upon the country of the applicant, by the law office and also by the investor (applicant). This escrow agreement and the escrow certificate ensures that the amount of the payment (including the procedure fee too) will be kept ready and safely in escrow until receiving the order or the residency card from the Immigration Authority upon their positive decision. At this stage the escrow will be transferred to the bank account of the responsible company.

In case of unsuccessful procedure of the Immigration Authority upon any ground, the escrow amount will be returned to the investor in its entirety.

Please note that according to the regulations of the law, the payment is always processed after the signing of the assignment agreement between the investor and the responsible company.

3.1  Application

3.4.1 Attachments

The following documents shall be attached to the application:

For the investor:

- Good quality passport copy (valid min. for one year)

- Proof of address

For the family members:

- Good quality passport copies (valid min. for one year)

- Birth certificates of children, marriage certificates

If the certificates do not contain information in English, they have to be officially translated to English or Hungarian, and apostilled.

       3.4.2 Further requirements

In case that the investor applies for a residence permit at the local Embassy or Consulate of Hungary abroad, an additional administration fee shall be paid for the consular processing in the amount of EUR 60.

3.2  Procedure

If all conditions are met, the whole family can get the temporary residence permit within 1 month (it takes usually 3-4 weeks), which can be converted to a permanent residence permit after 6 months with a formal application at the Hungarian Immigration Office.

The residence permit will be delivered to the applicant in a pre-agreed method, usually via express mail.

4.     Which family members can jointly receive residence permit?

The investor’s spouse, their common underage children (under the age of 18), also the underage children of the investor or his/her spouse are all entitled to apply for residence permit. All applications can be submitted at the same time, even though each applicant is treated separately in the procedure, but in case of a positive evaluation and if completion of documents will not be required, the whole family will get the residence cards simultaneously.

In case that you are interested in the Program or you would like to find out more, please do not hesitate to contact us.