Hungarian citizenship is inherited by birth (ius sangui), thus the children of Hungarian citizens are generally also Hungarian citizens. Children born before 1957 could inherit the Hungarian citizenship only from their Hungarian father, but since then a Hungarian mother also can pass it to her child.
Since the assessment of the citizenship of a given person might be very complicated due to the historical changes of borders and citizenships in Central Europe, this work is done exclusively by the Citizenship Department of the Ministry of the Interior in Budapest, to which the Hungarian Embassy or the Consulate-General send the documentation lodged by the applicant.
Checking the Citizenship
All those applicants of Hungarian descent who have none of the three documents that prove undeniably the Hungarian citizenship of a person (valid passport, valid Hungarian personal ID document, or a maximum one year old Citizenship Certificate) or left Hungary prior to 1 January 1972 and are not in the possession of a Hungarian Passport issued thereafter have to undergo the citizenship check, by filling in and signing the appropriate form. The documents to be attached to the Citizenship Form are: original Birth Certificate of the applicant (with type-written Hungarian translation if the original is not in Hungarian), a document proving his/her marital status (Marriage Certificate or divorce papers or Death Certificate) of former spouse. In relation to Australian marriage certificates, only the Registry copy of the Marriage Certificate is accepted. Also to be attached are the Birth Certificates and Marriage Certificate of the parents of the applicant, or any valid or expired Hungarian passport, personal ID document, military ID of the applicant or of the parents.
A Hungarian passport can be issued only to Hungarians whose births are registered in Hungary. A prerequisite for that is the previous registration of the marriage of the parents in Hungary.
Registry of Marriages and Births
If the parents of the applicant married abroad (that is: not in Hungary), a form should be filled in for the registration of their marriage in Hungary (see the Hungarian marriage registration form), attaching also the documents that prove the married parties’ eventual Hungarian citizenship (Hungarian passport, ID document, Certificate of Citizenship). If the Hungarian parent has no valid document of that kind, a citizenship form also should be filled in by that parent. If the parents of the applicant were not married at the moment of his/her birth, a special declaration “acceptance of fatherhood” (Apasági Nyilatkozat) is also to be filled in and signed in person before the Consul by both parents, recognizing the parenthood of the child. If the applicant is an adult (of 18 yrs or more) he/she has to sign that form as well, accepting the fact to be recognized as a child of the father.
If the parents marriage ended up before the application, their divorce has to be registered also (see form for registration of a divorce). The Court decision about the divorce (Decree Nisi and Becoming absolute) should be attached, with a Hungarian translation.
If the Hungarian parent has deceased, the Death Certificate is to be attached too, with a Hungarian translation (See the form for registering deaths)
If someone’s surname has canged after leaving Hungary due to a marriage, the registration of that marriage in Hungary will validate the change of name for the wife. If the eventual new surname of a person is due to an individual change of name act, the related official permit (e.g. deed poll) is to be enclosed with a Hungarian translation. All documents should be originals or authenticated copies.
The translations can be done by anyone speaking Hungarian as the translation has to be checked and stamped by the Hungarian Consulate General anyway.
After the parents’ marriage the child’s birth can also be registered. The Birth Registration Form is to be filled in, together with the citizenship and passport application forms, attaching two photos, the original birth certificate, translation, parents’ marriage certificate and the Hungarian parent’s citizenship document.
Consular fees apply in all cases.
Applications should be signed by the applicant. If the application is not submitted personally at a Consulate (those living far), his/her signature should be authenticated by a Notary Public known to the Consulate, or if there is not any nearby, by a Justice of the Peace (please see list of known notaries and justices of the peace).
It takes at least 4-7 months to go through a complete first passport application if submitted here in Australia. Some of the above mentioned applications may under exceptional circumstances also be lodged personally in Hungary to the Registrar of the Local Government of their place of residence.
If a passport is lost or stolen it should be reported to the Police and consequently to the Consulate-General where an official file is prepared based on the police record. The lost passport can be replaced in different ways, depending on where the permanent residence of the holder is and what the purpose of the visit has been.