Blog

2014. July 11.

Punishable comments on the internet


In its order No.IV/5/2013.the Constitutional Court stipulates that the liability of internet content providers or operators of forums is objective regarding the non-moderated  infringing comments. According to the judicial body, the intermediary internet service providers may be held liable when disclosing comments, regardless of whether they had monitoring obligation as to their content or not.

The legal determination of internet service providers´ liability has always raised questions of fundamental significance in the world of internet. This was faced in the case underlying the order of the Constitutional Court, where an internet content provider (hereinafter: ICP) initiating constitutional complaint had disclosed an opinion in its homepage concerning the advertising practice of one realtor company.

The article recorder that from several users complaints arrived about the contractual practice of the homepages operated by the realtor, which after examination the ICP found it to be unfair itself and declared the practices of the company as being based on deceit of consumers. At the same time, it called the attention of users to the importance of awareness of internet use and to read through carefully the terms of use. The opinion was commented and was communicated forward by several other internet portals too.

The realtor company had filed a petition against the ICP for the infringement of its personal rights. According to its opinion the content of the articles is false and along with the comments made thereto, infringes its right to the protection of good reputation.

According to the courts of first and second instance the article of the ICP is not unlawful, however, it provided platform for serious violating and degrading comments, hence it conducted the infringement of good reputation by  rumor. The court added that the fact that the comments were removed by the ICP without delay, has no significance when determining the infringement.

The ICP had pointed out that according to the effective legal regulations pertaining to the information society, it is in the present case deemed to be an intermediary service provider;therefore, it shall not be responsible for the contents of the comments,since the intermediaries are not obliged to moderate the blogs and the comments, or to monitor theircontent, such internet service providers provide exclusively storage and platform forplacing the content. Comments appear on the websiteby one click, without the assistance and supervisionof the intermediary.

The Association of Hungarian Content Providers (hereinafter: AHCP), who intervened to the case in the interest of the ICP to win the lawsuit and turned to the Constitutional Court, whilst it found injurious that according to the court decisions it is infringingthat someone is ensuring possibility on its homepage for the placement of comments without monitoring them, whereas it must count with the possibility that there may be an infringing comment among them. According to the constitutional complaint the court decisions infringe the freedom of express of opinion and the freedom of press. It held that it is a necessary and proportionate restriction of the freedom of press when the court qualifies the opinions infringing good reputation, unlawful; however, it is un-proportionate, if the person who has no influence on the content of such comment shall be held liable as well, since it provides exclusively the platform for disclosing the comment.

In the view of the AHCP, whereas being a fundamental right of communication,the aim of the right of expressing opinionis to ensure the discussion of „public matters”, „the possibility of self-expression in a social context”.These are the internet forums and comments, where users may express their thoughts and opinions. As per the AHCP, it is the significant element of the freedom of the expression of opinion that someone may disclose comment on the internet without prior moderation, hence if only previously moderated comments could appear, opinions would not meet and an important element of the clashes ofopinions would disappear. 

However, according to the Constitutional Court, the complaint was not justified.

At the beginning of its order it refers to the currently effective laws, pursuant to which the liability of internet service providers and intermediaries is different. While the internet service provider is responsible for the unlawful information made available, since it creates and publishes it by itself, on the other hand the intermediary - although as a general rule it is liable -, in the existenceof certain conditions may be exempted from the responsibility, according to the governing act it is obliged to monitor the information only forwarded and stored by it.

Furthermore, the Constitutional Court stipulates on conceptual basis that the Fundamental law ensures and protects free communication, regardless of its content of value or truth, thus the constitutional protection extends to all opinions no matter its content. It elaborates further that the freedom of press grants constitutional protection to the freedom of spreading information,opinion; does not protect the content of the opinion, but its forward to the public. Therefore, the determination of the liability of the operator of the internet page, without no doubt restricts the freedom of press extending as well to the internet communications.

It also points outthat there are two forms of comments: the moderated and non-moderated comments. The prior are preliminarily examined by the webpage operator and if it finds it unlawful or contrary to its own moderating principles,will not disclose it. The latter are not moderated by the operator, it is not in its duty either.

 Nonetheless, since mainly the person of the actual infringer „commenter” is unknown, the liability is on the operator of the webpage. The moderated comment, if it is infringing, triggers the same legal consequence as if it was not monitored previouslyorsubsequently.The moderation of the comments does exempt from the liability or responsibility for unlawful communications. The liability for the unlawful comments (and the obligation for damages in certain case) is independent from moderating: it is based on the sole fact of the unlawful comment.

Conclusion

The Constitutional Court stipulates thereby in its order that it does not deem it justified to differentiate between the moderated and non-moderated comments. According to its opinion, if the internet providers undertaking moderating are liable for the illegal comments appearing on their page, then determining the infringement against the intermediary operators of the pages not undertaking moderating shall be proportionate as well. Question arises as to whether the modern form of expressing opinion will be limited in the light of the findings of the above order and whether the operation of non-moderated internet commenting in Hungary will be become questionable?

Should you have any questions, we are at your disposal. For more information about BWSP Gobert and Partners, feel free to look at our website: www.gobertpartners.com

 
2014. July 04.

Foreign currency debtors - The act puts more strain on the banks than expected


The bill which purpose is to help the foreign currency debtors was accepted on the 4th of July 2014, this can rewrite many consumer loan agreements, in this case it can put a much bigger strain on the financial institutions than expected. The accepted bill is waiting to be signed by the president and is then going to be published by Hungarian official journal.

The act (which was entered into force between the 1st of May 2014 and before this act came into effect) can effect consumer loan agreements, but also loan agreements which are based on HUF and financial leasing contracts. The companies will not be affected, since according to the credit institution law, they are not considered as consumers and oblige to final repayment. Furthermore those persons will not be affected who dedicated their real property to Hungarian National Asset Management Inc.

The aim of this act is to manage the situation of the debtor, to relieve the courts and to give the financial institutions the chance for voluntary compliance.

The act declares the credit gap in foreign exchange rate contracts as unfair and invalid. As well as the use of different buying and selling rates, therefore the official currency rate of Hungarian National Bank is going to be implemented. They presume furthermore the contractual cause which contains unilateral interest raising or charge raising or fee raising as unfair, which is normative in the case of loan and financial leasing contracts. The pending lawsuits and judicial execution procedures are going to be suspended. The contracted agreements are going to be upheld by the act, but to avoid the conditions which are declared as unfair, close deadlines are set to fulfill the obligations by the financial institutions.

(i)      The conversion of foreign currency loans have to be carried out  90 days after the bill comes into force, the plan of conversion to the Hungarian financial supervisory authority has to be carried out within 60 days.

(ii)    the general contract terms and conditions and unique contract terms and conditions which contain unilateral modification of contracts shall be revised within 30 days after the bill comes into force on top of this, a report has to be made to the Hungarian financial supervisory authority, and at the same time they shall declare whether in their opinion these are unfair or not. If the Hungarian financial supervisory authority announces this as fair, they can commence a civil procedure against the Hungarian state, they then have a chance to do so 30 days from the time the bill came into force in, in case of HUF currency loans they have a chance to do so between 90 and 120 days. As in the lawsuit there is no possibilities to complete the documents, the burden of proof encumber the financial institutions, this is a vital information for those who are submitting a claim, especially since the act defined the proceeding fee in 1 500 000 HUF.

The act obligates the financial institutions to cut the unfair conditions, under the control of the Hungarian financial supervisory authority.

Should you have any questions or if you enquire any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our professionals are at your disposal.

 
2014. June 17.

The advertising tax is coming!


On the 17th of June 2014 the heavily disputed Act XXII of 2014 on Advertising Tax was announced, which introduces an entirely new type of tax in Hungary.

 Under the broad scope of the Act, advertisements that are “predominantly in Hungarian” will become taxable in the media and entertainment industry (television, radio), publications distributed in Hungary, out-of-home advertising (e.g. posters, billboards, bulletin billboards, aerial banner-towing) and on vehicles, real estate or the internet.

 Who is taxable?

 The list contained in the Act confirms that publishers, online advertisers, persons or other legal entities utilising vehicles, printed material or real estate for the purpose of advertising, as well as any “media content provider settled in Hungary” are taxable.

 The question on who constitutes a media content provider within the latter category has already raised a number of questions as, in this regard; the legislation is contrary to EU directives.

 According to the relevant media laws, any media service provider which provides media services on frequencies which belong to the state of Hungary will become taxable, regardless of the location of the company’s headquarters.

 The European Court of Justice has dealt with the question of territorial scope and jurisdiction on multiple occasions, for instance in the case of Commission vs. United Kingdom (Case C-222/94), where it was held that if any service provider is established in more than one Member State of the European Union, the Member State having jurisdiction over it is the Member State in which the service provider has the centre of its activities. The situation is different, however, where the media service provider is established in another Member State in order to circumvent the stricter rules of the main country in which it operates.

 Extraordinarily high tax rate

The Act introduces progressive taxation. Consequently, if the advertising revenue falls between HUF 500 million and HUF 5 billion the tax rate is 1percent; where the amount of revenue is over HUF 20 billion the tax rate can reach 40percent.

Tight deadline for payment

The Act comes into force 31 days after its promulgation and taxes shall be paid immediately thereafter. Accordingly, taxpayers are required to assess and declare this year’s advance taxes until 20 August 2014, and pay those taxes in two equal instalments until 20 August 2014 and20 November 2014, respectively.

 Accordingly, it is shown that as the law takes effect, questions regarding the interpretation of the Act are expected to affect a broad range of taxpayers. In particular, the geographical scope, the issue of jurisdiction and the purchase and lease agreements of properties used for advertising purposes are all issues which will undoubtedly be caught in the crossfire.

If based on the above you are unsure whether you are subject to the advertisement tax and regulatory proceedings under the Act, or what you should pay attention to in terms of advertising as a lessee or owner of real estate or operator of a vehicle, please contact us and our experts will be entirely at your service!

 
2014. April 19.

Bank secrecy no longer provides protection?


Our recent post provides a summary of the domestic, international and Union legislative developments, which significantly concern both the obligations of the banking sector and the question of taxation of the savings of domestic investors across Europe.

Changes can be expected in connection with the Directive 2003/48/EC on taxation of savings’ income in the form of interest payments, the so called Savings Directive (hereinafter:Directive”), which entered into force on July 1, 2005 with the aim to enable the savings income in the form of interest payments made in one Member State to beneficial owners who are individuals resident in another Member State to be made subject to effective taxation, its promotion and supervision.

For the fulfilment of the above, the Directive prescribes automatic reporting obligation to the source country, namely to the country of interest payment for the purpose of promotion and supervision of tax liability, in which information exchange all member states participate with the exception of Austria and Luxemburg. According to the notification of Luxemburg, as of January 1, 2015 it will switch to automatic exchange of information, hence as of that date only one member - Austria –insists on the institution of bank secrecy.

However, it is important to mention that except of the member states of the European Union, 5 European countries (Switzerland, Lichtenstein, San Marino, Monaco and Andorra) and severaldependant or associated territories (Guernsey, Jersey, Netherlands Antilles, Aruba, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat) also take part in the exchange of information or in the imposition of withholding tax.

  1. What persons and incomes are affected by the change?

The scope of the Directive extends to economic actor figuring as paying agent and to the so called beneficial owner private individuals, who receive interest income. The Directive does not pertain to legal entity or to organization other than legal entity receiving interest payment through legal arrangements, and neither to private or legal persons having residence in third countries. Thus its provisions may only and have to be applied to the interest payments of paying agent resident in the territory of the member states.

The scope of this Directive should be limited to taxation of savings income in the form of interest payments on debt claims, to the exclusion, inter alia, of the issues relating to the taxation of pension and insurance benefits.

  1. Who qualifies to be beneficial owner private individual?

Beneficial owner means any individual, being resident in another member state, who receives an interest payment or any individual for whom an interest payment is secured, unless he provides evidence that it was not received or secured for his own benefit. An exception is made therefore, if the private individual acts as

  1. i) paying agent,
  2. ii) he acts on behalf of a legal person, an entity which is taxed on its profits under the general arrangements for business taxation, organization qualifying to be European investment fund, or company qualifying to be paying agent, or

 iii) he acts on behalf of another individual who is the beneficial owner.

The determination of the beneficial owner private individual’s tax residency and identity happens through various special rules according to whether the contractual legal relation serving as a base for the payment, was established before or after January 1, 2004. Accordingly:

  1. For contractual legal relations established before January 1, 2004it may be determined bythe rules of the country of the paying agent’s residency, and upon the information available according to the Directive 91/308/EGKon the prevention of money laundering.
  1. In case of contracts concluded on or after January 1, 2004the paying agent stipulates the name, address, further the tax identification number of the beneficial owner, which he determines upon the passport or official identity card. If the tax identification number does not figures in the passport or official identity card presented by the beneficial owner, the identification must be supplemented by the beneficial owner’s birth place and date.

III. What shall be deemed interest according to the Directive?

According to the Directive, interest shall mean:

  • interest paid relating to debt claims of every kind, in particular, income from government securities and income from bonds or debentures,
  • interest accrued or capitalised at the sale, refund or redemption of the above claims,
  • investment companies’ payments having interest character,
  • income realised by the sale, refund, redemption of the shares or units of the investment undertaking, if the undertakings and organizations invest more than 25% of their available assets directly or indirectly into claims realising interest income.
  1. How does the provision of information and the exchange of information proceed?

The paying agent is obliged to provide information pertaining to interest payments, which information the paying agent’s member states’ authority is obliged to send to the member state of the beneficial owner. This information must in all cases contain the following:

  • identity and residency of the beneficial owner,
  • name and address of the paying agent,
  • bank account number of the beneficial owner, in the lack of this the legal base of the interest payment, and
  • information referring to the interest payment.
  1. Imposition of withholding tax or provision of information?

We call the attention that, if the residency of the person receiving the income differs from the member state of the paying agent, thus the Luxemburg and Austria is obliged to deduct 35% withholding tax from the income. The two member states applying the imposition of withholding tax does not forward information about the paid interests, nevertheless, they receive such information from other member states concerning their own citizens!

As of 2010 Belgium has converted to providing data, thus it does not apply withholding tax anymore.

Share of the income

Member state using withholding tax retains 25% of the income – for administrative costs –and is obliged to transfer 75% to the member state of the beneficial owner.

Exemption from the withholding tax procedure

Article 13 of the Directive ensures an opportunity that the beneficial owner may request exemption from the withholding tax, namely request not to impose withholding tax on the incomes. This exemption may be realised in two ways:

  • The beneficial owner authorizes the paying agent to provide information in connection with the payments fulfilled on behalf of him,
  • Presents the paying agent one certificate issued by the tax authority of his member state to his own name, in which it acknowledges himself as beneficial owner for the itemized investments.
  1. What does the above mean at national level?

Hungary applies the Directive since its entry into force, it has been implemented by the Schedule No. 7 to Act XCII of 2003 on the Rules of Taxation (hereinafter: the „Art.”) on the disclosures on interest payments.

The automatic exchange of information is dealt by the Central Contact Office of the National Tax and Customs Authority, which annually forwards the information received from domestic paying agents to the tax authorities located in the member state of the beneficial owners. The Art provides same definition for the interest payments belonging to the scope of information providing obligation as the Directive.

Who is the paying agent?

Paying agent is the legal person, business association lacking the status of legal personality, or other organization, which directly pays or secures interest to the beneficial owner being resident in another member state of the European Union.

The person obliged to provide information communicates electronically to the tax authority the name, address of the organization and the amount of the interest paid to it until March 20thof the following tax year, except when the person receiving the payment provides credible evidence that the legal person, or the person subject to corporate tax in it’s member state of residence or operates as European Investment Fund, or qualifies to be such fund based on the certificate issued by the authority of the member state of its residence.

Certificate about taxation may be requested by filling out the application form No K07, which the tax authority issues in Hungarian and English free of charge within two months.

Interest income according to the national legislation

According to the Schedule 7 of the Art., it is the amount, which the person obliged to provide information pays to transparent organization, this concept, however, does not match with the notion of interest income stipulated in the Act CXVII of 1995 on the personal income tax (hereinafter: the „Szja. Act”).Furthermore, it is important to mention that the notion of interest does not include the interest due to delayed fulfilment.

Can the withholding tax be claimed back?

According to the domestic procedural rules governing the refund of withholding tax, the withholding tax deducted and transferred by the member state imposing withholding tax arrives to the national tax authority’s separate account.

Within 30 days following the crediting on the account, the tax authority attributes the transferred tax on the account of the beneficial owner.

In case of interest income obtained following the day of 1 September, 2006, the accounting of deducted withholding tax happens upon the request of the taxpayer (according to section 14-15 of the Schedule No. 7 of Art.14-15.).

In case certain Hungarian resident private individual would like to be exempted from the withholding tax, it may happen based on the two procedures ensured by the directive.

Hungarian resident beneficial owners may require the certificate about the non-deductibility of withholding tax at the territorially competent tax authority. The certificate is issued by the tax authority free of charge for a period not extending 3 years.

Practical example is when a German tax resident private individual receives interest income upon his Hungarian bank deposit. The interest income is taxable in Germany. If the German private individual has certified his/her residency at his /her Hungarian bank, the bank will not deduct tax, but it will provide information to the Hungarian tax authority, which within the framework of automatic exchange of information will forward the information to the German tax authority. 

VII. Conclusion

As pointed out above, the aim of the Directive is foremost to hinder the concealment of income through the exchange of interest in a manner that it informs the state of the private individual about the creation of the income. By the creation of the Directive, the taxation of interest income happens on the basis of a three level – national, international, union – regulation. The Treaties on the avoidance of double taxation determine where the interest income is taxable. Based on the Treaties this is mainly the state according to the residency of the beneficial owner, but besides, certain treaties allow the imposition of withholding tax in the limited amount. Thus for example based on the Hungarian-Polish Treaty the interest can be taxable in the source country by the amount of 10%.

In summary, the inner relationship of the regulations may be defined as follows: the tax treaty regulates where the tax income is taxable, the national regulation how is it taxable, and the aim of the Directive is to ensure the taxation according to the provisions of the tax treaties. Nevertheless, it is important to note that in spite of the above the Hungarian regulation – according to the Section65.§ (3) ab) of the Szja. Act – withdraws from the scope of taxation the income, in connection of which the Schedule No. 7 of Art. prescribes information providing obligation.

The European Committee puts the Directive under constant development, as a result of which on March 14, 2014 the EU Council adopted on political level the proposal on the extension of the Directive the rules of the extended Directive will be applicable as of January 1, 2016. In practice this means that the enhanced monitoring and analysing of the regulation is indispensable both for the banking sector and from the side of the investors.

In case you would like to receive more information on the above, please do not hesitate to turn to us and the professionals of our Law Office will remain at your kind disposal.

Visit our webiste:

www.gobertpartners.com

 
2014. January 23.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Hungarian Residency Bonds Program


  1. Under both programes it appears that residency is in perpetuity after the initial six month probation period. Is this true?

Yes, in both cases the applicants will get a temporary residence permit first, which can be converted to a permanent residence permit after 6 months.

  1. In the event that residents under either of the above programes opt to apply in the long term for citizenship, what are the conditions for obtaining such?

In order to apply permanent residence permit, all applicants:

  • shall have a clean criminal record,
  • shall not be considered as a threat to the national security of Hungary
  • payment of the financial contribution.

 
In both cases no further requirement is necessary to obtain permanent residence permit.

However the permanent residence permit does not guarantee the Hungarian citizenship automatically. In order to obtain Hungarian citizenship further conditions must be met by the applicant.

  1. What is the precise role of the seven entities participating in the transaction bonds? Are these companies essential to the process or only in programe 1?

In both cases these entities are the ones, who are fully entitled to carry out this special immigration procedure.

Their major role in the Programs is the following:

  • All personal documents (passports or other identification documents) shall be submitted to them first.
  • They fill out the required application forms on behalf of the applicants.
  • They organize and assist on the meetings with the authority (where the applications shall be submitted and the biometric identifications will be performed).
  • They register the government bonds on behalf of the applicant.
  • They issue purchase declarations to the applicant (which shall be submitted to the Immigration Office proving that the investor paid the amount completely).
  1. The €50,000 transaction fee for Programe 1 is distributed how? What is the fee structure for programe 2?

The fee of EUR 250,000 is the value of the residency bonds in the Program 1, which amount will be returned after the 5 years or the prolonged period. In this case the investor is required to pay an additional administration fee of EUR 50,000 which is not refundable. The investment and the administration fee cover the residence permit for the whole family and shall be paid at once.

The fee of EUR 120,000 is a one-time administration fee in the Program 2. In this case no payment will be returned after the 5 years or the prolonged time period. This one-time administration fee also covers the residence permit for all family members, who can jointly apply.

 

  1. Are the Hungarian consulates fully briefed on the procedural aspects of these programes? (this has been a weakness in some territories for our existing activity)

 The Hungarian embassies or consulates have been properly informed on the procedural aspects of this Program, since this kind of immigration procedure is regulated by law as well (Act II of 2007 on the Admission and Right of Third-Country Nationals).

 The representatives of the mentioned 7 entities maintain continuous contact with the consulates, therefore, the administrative tasks are completed quickly and smoothly at the consulate, which is the simplest available to the applicant. Moreover, for the comfort of the applicant, the representative of the relevant entity is present at the time of personal arrangement of the application and client identification.

  1. What is the form of the documentation to be submitted, and does this go initially and uniquely to the consulates?

The investors can decide whether they would like to apply: at the local Embassy or Consulate of Hungary, or in Budapest at the Immigration Authority. The Embassy or Consulate is not entitled to take a decision in this matter, therefore the applications will be sent directly to the Immigration Office.

As mentioned above the responsible company fills out and sends the required application forms to the applicants. 

The following documents need to be attached to the application:


By the investor:

  • good quality copy of the passport (which should be valid for at least one year)
  • 2 passport-sized color photos

In case of the family members:

  • good quality copies of the passports (which should be valid for at least one year)
  • marriage and birth certificates
  • 2 passport-sized color photos for each person

If the documents do not contain English, they have to be officially translated to English or Hungarian and apostilled.

Hungarian lifetime residence for the whole family by state bonds


Referring to our former articles published in the last year, we continue the introduction on the latest news regarding the Hungarian Residency Bond Program (“Program”) including a possibility of a cheaper option.

This Program offers a lawful and lifetime Hungarian residence under preferential conditions for non-EU nationals, who are willing to invest into government residency bonds.

The Program is unique in the world in some notable aspects:

  • it allows free movement and relocation in the Schengen countries;
  • it may serve as a major route to the Hungarian citizenship;
  • there is no need to travel to Hungary in order to make an application (the applicants can decide whether they would like to apply at the local Embassy or Consulate of Hungary, or in Budapest at the Office of Immigration and Nationality of Hungary – “Immigration Authority”);
  • the investor’s family (see below in point 4) is also included in the Program as a joint part of the investment.
  1. List of companies responsible

Currently the following enterprises/companies are entitled to participate in the transaction of bonds; these companies are also in cooperation with our Law Office:

  • S & Z Program Limited Company provides services of the bond transfer for citizens of Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, Yemen, Oman, Iran, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Iraq, Saud-Arabia, Syria, Jordan and Bahrain.
  • VolDan Investments Limited provides services of the bond transfer for citizens of Russia, Ukraine, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Belorussia, Uzbekistan, Montenegro, Serbia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
  • Hungary State Special Debt Fund provides services of the bond transfer for citizens of China and Vietnam.
  • Discus Holdings Ltd provides services of the bond transfer for citizens of the United States of America, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Azerbaijan, Turkey, South Africa, Indonesia, Kenya and Nigeria.
  • Innozone Holdings Limited provides services of the bond transfer for citizens of Cyprus and India.
  • Arton Capital Hungary PénzügyiTanácsadó Kft. provides services of the bond transfer for citizens of the United Arab Emirates, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Malta.
  • EURO-ASIA Investment Management Pte Ltd. provides services of the bond transfer for citizens of Singapore.
  1. Required fees for the participation in the program

There are two options for the financing of the participation in the Program:

a.) buying the dematerialized government bonds worth at least EUR 250.000 for a duration of five years (which can be prolonged without further payment) and the administration fee of EUR 50.000 for the procedure.

The government bonds are kept and registered by the Hungarian Government Debt Management Agency Private Company Limited by Shares (hereinafter: “ÁKK”). ÁKK undertakes that it pays off the full amount of government bond’s nominal value (i.e. EUR 250.000) at the end of maturity.

b.) NEW OPTION! Only one-time administration fee of EUR 120.000 shall be paid for this special immigration procedure for the whole family. In this case no payment will be returned after the 5 years or the prolonged time period. This EUR 120.000 amount covers also the residency permit for the family members too, who can jointly apply (see point 4.)

  1. Steps to be followed for participating in the Program

3.1  Payment

The investor can choose between the following secured payment methods:

  1. a)    through the deposit account of the responsible company, managed by Gránit Bank Zrt.
  2. b)    through the escrow account of a Law Office present in Hungary and chosen by the investor.

In case of escrow payment an agreement shall be signed by the responsible company, which is relevant upon the country of the applicant, by the law office and also by the investor (applicant). This escrow agreement and the escrow certificate ensures that the amount of the payment (including the procedure fee too) will be kept ready and safely in escrow until receiving the order or the residency card from the Immigration Authority upon their positive decision. At this stage the escrow will be transferred to the bank account of the responsible company.

In case of unsuccessful procedure of the Immigration Authority upon any ground, the escrow amount will be returned to the investor in its entirety.

Please note that according to the regulations of the law, the payment is always processed after the signing of the assignment agreement between the investor and the responsible company.

3.2  Application

3.2.1 Attachments

The following documents shall be attached to the application:

For the investor:

  • Good quality passport copy (valid min. for one year)
  • Proof of address

For the family members:

  • Good quality passport copies (valid min. for one year)
  • Birth certificates of children, marriage certificates

If the certificates do not contain information in English, they have to be officially translated to English or Hungarian, and apostilled.

3.2.2 Further requirements

In case that the investor applies for a residence permit at the local Embassy or Consulate of Hungary abroad, an additional administration fee shall be paid for the consular processing in the amount of EUR 60.

3.3  Procedure

If all conditions are met, the whole family can get the temporary residence permit within 1 month (it takes usually 3-4 weeks), which can be converted to a permanent residence permit after 6 months with a formal application at the Hungarian Immigration Office.

The residence permit will be delivered to the applicant in a pre-agreed method, usually via express mail.

  1. Which family members can jointly receive residence permit?

The investor’s spouse, their common underage children (under the age of 18), also the underage children of the investor or his/her spouse are all entitled to apply for residence permit. All applications can be submitted at the same time, even though each applicant is treated separately in the procedure, but in case of a positive evaluation and if completion of documents will not be required, the whole family will get the residence cards simultaneously.

In case that you are interested in the Program or you would like to find out more, please do not hesitate to contact us.