COVID-induced Hungarian Entry Restrictions
There is a great variety of exceptions for the general entry ban and the quarantine requirement for non-Hungarian citizens
Based on the COVID-induced Hungarian entry restrictions in force as of 1 September 2020, with some exceptions, only Hungarian citizens are allowed to enter Hungary in passenger traffic. These exceptions are for people having a given immigration status or family relation, participants at cultural or sports events, executive officers, or other employees in case of travelling between affiliated companies, cross-border workers, general business travelers, or people having an entry permit from the Hungarian border police. Most of the people, who are allowed to enter Hungary have to enter a 10-day quarantine after their Hungarian entry, but some of them are exempt from this requirement. In this paper, we detail these Hungarian entry possibilities for those, who do not have citizenship of Hungary and we also specify the quarantine exemptions for both Hungarian and non-Hungarian citizens. This document does not touch the specifications on how an exemption can be obtained if the 10-day quarantine was already ordered, and this paper does not encompass the entire COVID-induced Hungarian entry legislation.
A non-Hungarian citizen having the following Hungarian immigration document is considered as a Hungarian citizen in terms of the entry restrictions, therefore, they can enter Hungary as a Hungarian citizen can do so:
EEA or Swiss nationals holding an EEA Registration Certificate,
EEA or Swiss nationals holding a Permanent Residence Card,
Third-country nationals holding a D-type Schengen Visa that was issued by a Consulate of Hungary in order to collect the residence permit at the Immigration Office in Hungary,
Third-country nationals holding a valid Residence Permit,
Third-country nationals holding other valid immigration documents, that was issued by the Hungarian immigration authorities to stay in Hungary for more than 90 days,
Third-country nationals holding any type of Permanent Residence Permits.
Family Member of an EEA or Swiss national holding a Permanent Residence Card, or family member of a Hungarian citizen are also allowed to enter Hungary, in a way like a Hungarian citizen. The definition of a family member in terms of the entry rules echoes the same definition in the Hungarian Civil Code. Therefore, the following family members of a Hungarian citizen or an EEA or Swiss citizen holding a Permanent Residence Card are not subject of the COVID- induced entry ban:
spouse (i.e., husband or wife),
descendant (e.g., natural child or grandchild),
ascendant (e.g., a natural parent or grandparent),
adopted child, step-child,
adoptive parent, step-parent, foster parent, or
When entering Hungary, the given family relationship has to be credibly proved at the Hungarian border (e.g., with a birth certificate or marriage certificate).
Participants at cultural or sport events
Competitors, sports professionals, invited or delegated persons of a Hungarian sports club after returning from an international sports event are also entitled to enter Hungary as a Hungarian Citizen can do so. The situation is the same with performers or technical staff members, who are employed by a Hungarian cultural organisation if they return from a cultural event, where they attended as participants.
Executive officers or other employees in case of travelling between affiliated companies
Executive officers or other employees of a company registered in Hungary, when returning from a country, where this Hungarian company has an affiliated company are not only allowed to enter Hungary but if they substantiate that their trip was for business reasons, they do not have to enter a 10-day quarantine. Similarly, executive officers or other employees of a Hungarian company’s affiliated company arriving from a country, where this affiliated company is located, are not only free to cross the Hungarian border, but they can also be exempt from the 10-day quarantine requirement if they substantiate that their trip is for business reasons.
Cross-border workers are also exempt from the entry ban and quarantine requirement, who enter Hungary from the neighboring countries (Republic of Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Slovak Republic, Ukraine, Romania or Serbia), do not spend more than 24 hours in Hungary and do not travel deeper in the country than 30 km. Hungarian citizens and those who have to be considered as a Hungarian citizen (due to their immigration status, family relations, or participants at cultural or sports events) are also allowed to return to Hungary from the aforementioned neighboring country without a quarantine requirement if they did not spend more than 24 hours in the mentioned neighboring country and they did not ravel deeper in these countries than 30 km.
General business travelers
Hungarian citizens and those who have to be considered as Hungarian citizens in terms of the entry rules are allowed to return to Hungary without quarantine requirements from a journey that was undertaken due to business or economic reasons. Proving this economic or business reason credibly is the traveler’s responsibility. Non-Hungarian citizen, who otherwise could not enter Hungary are also allowed to do so (without quarantine requirement) if they want to enter Hungary because of business or economic reasons. These non-Hungarian citizens also have to credibly prove the business or economic reason for their journey.
People having entry permission from the Hungarian border police
The concerning Hungarian border police may authorise the non-Hungarian citizen’s entry if the given person provides evidence that the aim of his or her Hungarian entry is connected to one of the following:
participation in a procedural act related to a court or official proceedings in Hungary, certified by a document issued by a Hungarian court or authority,
receiving healthcare services on the basis of a referral issued by a healthcare institution or other appropriate certificate,
fulfilling a study or examination obligation arising from a student or pupil status, provided that it is certified by a certificate issued by the education institution,
travelling by personal traffic in connection with work-related to carriage activities if it is aimed at arriving at the starting point of the carriage task (the location of commencement of work), or going home by personal traffic after such work, provided that it is certified by a certificate issued by the employer;
participating in family events (marriage, baptism, funeral),
caring for or nursing a family member,
participating in church events of major importance that have international relevance, or
any legitimate reason other than those specified in the above points.
The authorisation request has to be filed before the Hungarian travel. If the competent police body authorises the Hungarian entry, the given person is allowed to cross the Hungarian border by his or her travel document, the documents that were the basis of her or his special request, and the document of the authorisation itself.
Sources of information
Government Decree 408/2020 (30 August) on travel restrictions during the period of the state of epidemiological preparedness.
Decree 33/2020 (30 August) BM on states affected by travel for business purposes between affiliated undertakings.
Decree 13/2020 (31 August) KKM on the border crossing states in a limited lane during the epidemiological preparedness period
The National Police Headquarters, Directorate-General for Police, Border Police Department: Ruling about the definition of a family member and the Hungarian entry possibilities for a third-country national family member of a Hungarian citizen pursuant to the Government Decree 408/2020 (30 August) on travel restrictions during the period of the state of epidemiological preparedness. The ruling issued to nVisa Ltd. on 27 October 2020.