Hungary and the European Union provide protection for those forced to flee their homes due to the Ukrainian-Russian conflict.
How does the Hungarian state help you if you run away from the war?
If someone escapes the Ukrainian-Russian war, he or she is entitled to refugee status. Asylum status in Hungary means temporary protection.
The protection extends to those who
(a) a citizen of Ukraine residing in Ukraine before 24 February 2022,
(b) stateless persons or non-Ukrainian third-country nationals who have been granted international protection or equivalent national protection in Ukraine before 24 February 2022,
(c) family members of the above (even if they are not Ukrainian citizens).
What are you entitled to if you flee to Hungary?
If you are a Ukrainian citizen and you are fleeing Ukraine to Hungary
and you have a biometric passport, you can stay and move freely in Hungary and the European Union for 90 days without a visa. If you do not have a biometric passport, you cannot go from Hungary to another European Union country. If you want to request protection, care or accommodation in view of the war situation, you must apply for the above-mentioned asylum status, which you can read about in detail here.
If you are a Ukrainian citizen and you are fleeing Ukraine to Hungary
then you cannot be granted asylum, as this is conceptually (and legally) excluded. However, in view of the situation, it provides the same services to our compatriots compared to the strength of the Hungarian state.
If you are not a Ukrainian citizen and you are fleeing Ukraine to Hungary,
then different rules will apply to you from March 8th. For example, if you studied in Ukraine (we will write about this in detail later) or worked, but you are not a citizen or the Ukrainian state did not provide special protection, you cannot obtain asylum status in Hungary. An exception to this may be if you are a family member of a Ukrainian citizen.
If your return to your country of origin has been resolved, you must notify the authorities (police, National Directorate of Immigration) and you will receive a document that will allow you to stay in Hungary until you leave. This can be a solution for those who are expected to leave Hungary within 1-2 weeks.
If someone is unable to leave Hungary, they also have the opportunity to apply for recognition as asylum.
Important: Documents entitling you to stay legally in Ukraine must be presented in all cases.
If you are not a Ukrainian citizen and you have been in Ukraine illegally
If you are not entitled to reside in Hungary and you cannot prove that you have resided legally in Ukraine, you must leave the territory of Hungary as soon as possible. The Directorate-General will initiate the immigration procedure without delay, thus helping you to return to your country as soon as possible.
If you are not a Ukrainian citizen and studied in Ukraine
In this connection, official information can be provided by individual universities, but based on our informal information, Hungarian universities are open to placing you in guest or other status. This will allow you to continue your studies or provide a basis for your stay in the country. If you want to study in Hungary, contact us, we will help.
How can someone be granted asylum?
Recognition of asylum status must be applied for, it is not granted automatically and the way to do so is to apply. Please note that as a Ukrainian citizen, you can only apply for asylum status if you were in Ukraine before 24 February. The application must be submitted in person at a collection point. The collection points are open 24 hours a day and can be reached at the following addresses:
- Vásárosnamény – Munkácsi út 2. (House of Culture)
- Tarpa – Kossuth út 19. (House of Culture)
- Aranyosapáti – Petőfi út 6. (Gym)
- Fehérgyarmat – Iskola köz 2. (Sports Hall)
- Mándok – Szent István tér (School)
The procedure typically requires proof of Ukrainian citizenship and all the information you wish to provide, using official documents (eg passport, birth certificate, identity card).
What is an asylum seeker entitled to?
The asylum seeker is also entitled to meals, assistance, medical care and accommodation. You will also receive an asylum seeker’s identity document and your child will receive an education. If you have a place to live, you must indicate this during the procedure.
What do you need to know about working in Hungary?
The Hungarian state is determined to provide work for those in need as well. If you are an asylum seeker, you can work in certain jobs without a permit, or you can even be a public worker and a public employee. If you want to work in Hungary, ask our Legal Clinic for help.
In the case of dual nationals, of course, a work permit is not required in any case, but a registered address must still be available.
How long does asylum status last?
The status lasts as long as the war conflict persists.
Where can they help with accommodation and board?
Arriving in Hungary, there are information points and aid organizations near all border stations that help on the spot.
In addition, those who need accommodation, food, medicine or other care can turn to any of the aid organizations at the link below:
The Hungarian State Railways provides a free ticket for those in need if they want to travel by train. This can be done by using a solidarity ticket.
Information about the solidarity ticket
You can travel on the MÁV-START and GYSEV trains in Hungary with a free solidarity ticket:
- a Ukrainian citizen arriving from the territory of Ukraine (with an identity document),
- a third-country national legally residing in Ukraine (with Certificate),
- a person applying for recognition as a refugee or a protected person or already recognized as a refugee / protected person / asylum coming from the territory of Ukraine,
- any person seeking or already recognized as a refugee or a protected person (regardless of the country of arrival),
- and children traveling with them without identity documents.
- The free solidarity ticket must be redeemed before the trip at the box office, at the vending machine, this ticket is not available on the Internet. If there is no cashier at the boarding station, you can also pick it up at the ticket office on the train.
- The solidarity ticket can be used in domestic traffic in Hungary on the route and within the validity period.
- A solidarity ticket can only be used by one passenger and must be redeemed for all passengers, regardless of age.
- The solidarity ticket is valid in class 2. On InterCity trains departing from Záhony, it is not necessary to buy a ticket in the designated car, but on other InterCity and express trains it is mandatory to change seats.
- At the request of the ticket inspector, the solidarity ticket and the identity document must be presented on the train together.
- Ukrainian citizens and persons previously legally residing in Ukraine who have received a Certificate from the Hungarian authorities stating that they are asylum seekers or have applied for recognition as refugees may travel without redeeming a ticket at the time and on the route indicated on the Certificate. If you want to use a high-speed or InterCity train with a Certificate, check with the box office before purchasing for the required surcharge. Anyone who has a Certificate but also meets the above conditions for exchanging a Solidarity Ticket can choose which travel discount to take advantage of.
Free travel in Budapest on BKV flights
Those in trouble can travel for free in Budapest. However, they must present their passport, their identity documents and, if requested, even a confirmation of their application for asylum.
The above information is effective March 10, 2022.
If you need help with submitting your application or otherwise, contact our colleagues at our free Legal Clinic.