I. General (non-official) information
Before going into details, you should take into consideration the following principles:
- The Hungarian citizenship law is based on the principles of jus sanguinis ("right of blood" in Latin), meaning that a person acquires Hungarian citizenship by birth from a parent who is a Hungarian citizen.
- Therefore, a Hungarian birth certificate proves only the fact of birth but NOT the Hungarian citizenship.
- As citizenship laws don't have retroactive effect (except in some very special cases), one always have to refer to the law which was in force at the date of his/her birth.
- Dual citizenship is permitted under Hungarian Law.
According to the present regulation in force - Act LV of 1993 - Hungarian citizenship can originate under two principles: the most significant one being the principle of origin: the child of every Hungarian citizen becomes a Hungarian citizen by birth (whether the mother or the father is a [or both are] Hungarian citizen [s]).
Prior to this date, rules for acquisition and loss of Hungarian citizenship may have been different. As a short - and by no means exhaustive - summary concerning Hungarian citizenship, before applying, please consider the following:
Between October 1st, 1957– October 1st, 1993:
If one of the parents was a Hungarian citizen at the moment of birth, the child became Hungarian citizen.
Before October 1st, 1957:
- A child became a Hungarian citizen only if his legitimate father was a Hungarian citizen. The child of a Hungarian mother and a non-Hungarian father didn’t become Hungarian citizen by birth.
- If the child was born out of wedlock (extramarital birth) and the mother had Hungarian citizenship, the child became Hungarian citizen. But if later on the child was recognized by a non-Hungarian father, he/she could have lost her/his citizenship.
- The non-Hungarian wife of a Hungarian citizen husband became automatically Hungarian citizen after the marriage.
- If a Hungarian citizen wife acquired by marriage the citizenship of her non-Hungarian husband, then she automatically lost her Hungarian citizenship.
- Those, who left Hungary before September 1st, 1929 could lose their citizenship by living continuously abroad for a period exceeding 10 years. This 10 year period began after the expiry date in the person's last Hungarian passport. Therefore, in this case, a Hungarian official document (e.g. a passport, a written declaration made in a Hungarian Consulate, etc.) must be produced which would prove that the person kept his/her citizenship.
- Effects of the Treaty of Trianon, (1920) peace agreement, concluding World War I: in general those living outside of the present Hungarian borders lost their Hungarian citizenship and became citizens of the country which received the given territory (with some minor exceptions) after 1921.
- From those who left Hungary before February 1st, 1949, a Hungarian document (any Hungarian identity document, school certificate, work certificate, diploma, etc.) proving that they lived in Hungary after September 1st, 1929 - especially for those who left in the 1930s, early 1940s - is required.
- In some cases, the Acts of 1879 and 1939 entitled the Hungarian State to deprive Hungarians from their citizenship.
As you may see, the assessment of the citizenship of a person might be a very complicated task, due to the historical changes of borders and citizenships in Central Europe during the 20th century. It is exclusively done by experts of the Government Office of the Capital City of Budapest. It could last up to 1- 1,5 years.
The assessment is made by completing the 4+2 page form "Állampolgárság igazolása iránti kérelem" in Hungarian (the form is only available in Hungarian). For Israeli citizens it is obligatory to fill this 4+2 page as well as the following: birth registration form and marriage registration form (if applies).
- To the form you have to attach original birth and marriage (and if the case, divorce) certificates tracing back to the person who you think had Hungarian citizenship. e.g.: if you think your grandfather might have been a Hungarian citizen, then you need to attach: - a state issued: marriage certificate of your grandfather's parents - birth and marriage certificate of your grandfather - birth certificate of your grandfather's child (your parent) - your parent’s marriage certificate - your birth certificate and your marriage certificate - if you were married multiple times, you must send in all your marriage certificates and final divorce court orders (If the judgment doesn't contain indication on the exact date when it entered in force, then a separate stamp must be obtained from the court on the document, indicating e.g.: "Time within which to file appeal has expired")
- IMPORTANT: Certificates which are exclusively issued by a Rabbinical Court/Rabbi are not acceptable as a proof of having a Hungarian ascending line by the Hungarian Authorities. (Civil Registration was introduced in Hungary in1895)
- If any of the documents was not issued by a Hungarian Registry Office, the certificate must be translated into Hungarian and the translation needs to be authorized by the Consular Officer of the Hungarian Embassy. The Hungarian Office for Translation and Attestation Ltd. (OFFI) is also licensed to prepare an attested (certified) translation of foreign documents.
- For Israeli certificates: additional authentication (Apostille) is needed issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem https://www.gov.il/he/departments/general/document_verification
The following forms may also apply (in cases of name change, divorce, death, etc.). You can download the additional forms by clicking this link.
When in possession of these documents - after you have scheduled an appointment - you have to appear in person at the Hungarian Embassy in Tel Aviv with your previously completed application forms, downloaded from our website. All application forms must be completed in Hungarian.
When the Hungarian citizenship is determined, a Hungarian Citizenship Certificate is issued on request which is valid for three years from its issuance date.
When your Hungarian citizenship is determined; your foreign (Israeli, American etc.) certificates (birth, marriage, divorce) must be registered in Hungary by completing the forms to be downloaded from our website.
Your previous marriage(s), divorce(s) and if you are a widow, the death certificate of your deceased spouse are also need to be registered in Hungary.
The original certificates will be kept in the archives in Hungary and a Hungarian certificate will be issued instead. The Hungarian Authorities only accept original documents, from the issuing authority, or true copies that have been certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel.
In possession of your Hungarian Citizenship Certificate (within its 3 year validity period), together with your birth certificate registered in Hungary (and if you are married together with your marriage certificate registered in Hungary), you can apply for a Hungarian passport in person in Hungary at any of the The Local Office for Administrative and Electronic Public Services (Okmányiroda), or at any Hungarian Diplomatic representation abroad.