Hungary is a country possessing beautiful nature, rich history and culture and beautiful and clean cities. It has economic potential and many choose it as their home. Moving to Hungary will give you an opportunity to meet warm and welcoming people who will help you immerse yourself in the country's atmosphere. Interestingly, it is also the country of thermal springs - there are more than 1300. If you like SPA treatments, this is your place!
Before you take the step of relocating, you need to get to know the country a bit more. We have prepared a useful guide to show you Hungary as it is.
Hungarian or Magyar?
Hungarian is the country's official language and is used in all government offices, educational institutions and the media. It belongs to the Finno-Ugric language group and is one of the most difficult languages to learn in the world. We don't mean to discourage you from learning Hungarian, but when you start, you will understand what we mean.
Hungarians call their language Magyar and it has an extremely flexible and inconsistent line of expression. If you speak a Western language like German, English or Dutch, Hungarian may seem chaotic. It has borrowed many words from its neighbours and has as many as 10 dialects, yet it is very different grammatically.
English is widespread in the capital Budapest, but outside it you will find it difficult to get along with the older local population. In case you want to live in a smaller town in the countryside, it will be to your advantage if you speak a little Hungarian, Russian, German, Croatian or some Slavic language in general.
Moving to a new home
You will need to do good research and preparation to find a suitable home. First, you need to decide which area of the country you want to live in and then get to know the property market there. Many expats who move to Hungary turn to Budapest for the opportunities it provides. If you have chosen the capital, you need to decide which part you want to live in, because Buda and Pest have their respective advantages and disadvantages.
When looking for accommodation, you should bear in mind that some landlords will only want you to enter into a verbal agreement and pay them a deposit upfront. We recommend that you only rent a home with a regular rental agreement. It is customary to have the agreement written in two languages to overcome language differences and avoid legal problems.
Most signed contracts are for one year, but you can discuss different terms with your landlord. There is a controlled property sector in the country which allows the government to set the price and terms of rental accommodation. When you take such a home, you will find out the rental price within 8 days of signing as you have the right to object to the price in the next 8 days. In the private sector there are no restrictions on rental prices and competition is high.
Sharing a home with others is common in larger cities. This way, the cost of renting and utilities is lower and you will be able to meet people more easily. Ask your landlord about the home's heating system to anticipate what your costs will be. Some homes in older buildings have central heating, while newer ones have electric or gas. In larger cities, you will also find many studio and one-bedroom apartments where you will have more privacy.
Find your new job
All EU, EEA or Swiss nationals can work up to 90 days in the country without needing a work permit, using their European rights. You may be asked for proof that you have sufficient income for the period of your stay, as well as a return air ticket. If you wish to stay longer in Hungary, you will need to register with the National Directorate General for the Control of Aliens (Országos Idegenrendésztei Főigazgatóság) for a tax identification number from the tax authority and subsequently a social security identification number (TAJ-szám).
In order to move to Hungary as a third-country national, you need a visitor visa and a work permit. You will need to apply for the documents before coming to the country. Familiarise yourself well with the requirements for these. And if your work experience is great and you have well-developed skills, you can apply for an EU Blue Card. It allows highly skilled non-EU nationals to work and live in any country within the European Union, which includes Hungary.
Finding a suitable position on the Hungarian labour market can be fraught with challenges. EU labour law calls for equal rights in job applications between Hungarians and other European citizens. Note that proficiency in Hungarian as a second language is an important requirement for most foreigners when entering the workforce. If you are applying as a third-country national, be aware of the Hungarian law which gives preference to nationals when filling relevant job positions. The employer has to prove that they cannot find a suitable local and has therefore decided to employ a foreigner. For this reason, you can target international companies that provide more opportunities for foreign candidates.
The average salary you can expect after moving to Hungary is around HUF 493 000 (EUR 1 214). It is strongly influenced by the city you choose, your field of development and your professional experience. The country has adopted minimum wages for unskilled labour (HUF 200 000 - EUR 493) and for skilled labour (HUF 260 000 - EUR 641). The standard working week consists of five 8-hour days, or 40 hours of work per week. The corporate environment in Hungary prioritises punctuality, flexibility in changes and social skills of its employees. The hierarchy is highly distinguishable and you must treat others with consideration and respect.
Moving to Hungary with children
Finding a suitable school in the country is something to look into before moving with children to Hungary. Quality education is the country's priority and is of a high standard. Your children can attend kindergarten and pre-school before they start school. Both institutions accept children between the ages of 3 and 6 and are optional. You can expect a warm attitude and lots of organized play in both public and private facilities. In the public ones, the state covers the costs and parents pay only for food, while the private ones are entirely at the parents' expense.
Primary and secondary education are compulsory for children, and there are many public, private, bilingual and international schools to choose from. They emphasise on children's rapid development and adaptation as well as on their career guidance. In public schools, the main language of instruction is Hungarian. If your child has difficulty learning it, you can enroll them in one of the other fee-paying alternative schools, most of which are located in Budapest.
There are plenty of universities and colleges in the country that provide study opportunities for international students. Learning in English is accessible and widespread at this stage of education. Tuition fees are relatively low and predispose many students to choose a Hungarian university.
Moving to Hungary with a pet
Your pet must meet certain standards to enter the country. Make sure your dog, cat or ferret has a valid passport. They must also have a microchip that meets ISO 11784 or Annex A to ISO 11785. Currently Hungary accepts AVID 9 and AVID 10 in addition to ISO. The pet must have a rabies certificate signed by a veterinarian. The rabies vaccine must have been administered 21 days prior to the final health examination and approval of an appropriate physician.
If you are moving to Hungary with your pet from countries other than EU members or such that special rules apply for (Andorra, Switzerland, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Vatican City), you will also need an additional declaration from your veterinarian that the animal is healthy. There are no banned dog breeds in the country. They may be defined as aggressive based solely on their behavior in an urban environment.
Pets such as invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, rodents, mammals and rabbits are not vaccinated for rabies. You must obtain a health certificate for them from a certified veterinarian. If you want to move with your bird, it must have been vaccinated for bird flu as well as isolated from other animals for 30 days before the trip and for the same number of days after crossing the Hungarian border.
Driving in Hungary
Replacing a driving licence in the country is extremely easy. If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen you can drive a car with your current licence. You can replace it by dropping an application for this at the regional document office. Third-country nationals moving to Hungary can also exchange their driving licence, but they will have to apply for additional fees and paperwork. The licence must be replaced up to 6 months of residence in the country by visiting the Central Office for Administrative and Electronic Public Services in Budapest.
You can enjoy the conveniences of the metro only in the capital. Bus and tram systems are much used in the city and make getting around easy and convenient. Keep in mind that public transport in smaller cities is not as well developed as in Budapest. You can explore the beauty of the country with your private car. However, you will have to pay tolls on the motorways. You will be given a sticker to put in your car as proof that you have paid.
Hungary's healthcare system provides quality specialist treatment for all people. It is funded by the National Health Insurance Fund (NEAK), which is financed through the taxes of the country's residents. Entry into the healthcare system is automatic once you start working for a Hungarian company. Monthly healthcare contributions are relatively low, making treatment easily affordable.
If you are an EU or EEA citizen, you can use your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) when you move to Hungary. It gives you access to free treatment under the same conditions as Hungarian citizens. To do this, you must present your card and, after a 90-day period, you must submit the necessary documents to register regularly in the country.
If you are a third-country national and do not have a contract with a Hungarian company, you will have to pay for your treatment. In case you want to stay for a long time in the country, you will need to take out private health insurance. Different packages cover many health services and will give you the opportunity to register for an appointment with English-speaking doctors.
Nature and climate
Hungary's weather can be characterised by the typical continental Eastern European climate. The country enjoys both warm and pleasant summers and frosty, snowy winters. Spring and autumn are cool and a good time for outdoor walks in the picturesque Hungarian countryside.
Hungarians spend a lot of time with their family. It is common to see the whole clan heading out of town for a stroll or a relaxing holiday in one of the country's spa towns.
Moving to Hungary can seem intimidating, but with proper preparation, everything will go smoothly. For peace of mind during your move, trust a professional moving company to take care of all the little details. Contact Movega Removals for a free consultation via our contact form or chat bot.