COVID-19: Changes to the entry regulations to Hungary
From 1 September 2020:
From 1 September 2020 most foreign citizens are not allowed to enter Hungary, unless they were granted exemption by the police based on an official equity request. To arrange an equity request as a higher education student, please follow the procedure described under the "How to arrange an equity request" section.
Due to the worsening statistics, the Hungarian Government has decided to reintroduce border control regulations. This means that, from 1 September 2020, foreign citizens are not allowed to enter the country, apart from some exceptions (see: Government Decree 408/2020. (VIII. 30.)).
Depending on whether you are subject to visa requirement, the following regulations will apply:
- Foreign students travelling to Hungary with long-stay, type „D” visa or a valid Hungarian residence permit for a period exceeding 90 days are treated in the same way as Hungarian citizens, thus can enter Hungary without submitting a special request prior to their arrival.
- Foreign students travelling to Hungary from visa-free countries need to submit an equity request as described below.
Upon entry, the same regulations will apply to everyone, all students must undergo a medical examination upon their arrival at the border of Hungary. Those who enter Hungary from any foreign country are to be quarantined for 14 days.
You will receive an official decision about the quarantine at your arrival. The base of this decision can be prefilled by the students and we advise you to do so in order to make entering the border faster. Please find the quarantine decision form here.
Students may be released from quarantine only after having two negative tests taken within 5 days, with 48 hours apart. It is important to highlight that only tests conducted in Hungary can be accepted.
You have to contact (via email!) the higher education institution of which you are a student, and arrive at the accommodation specified in the certificate within 24 hours of entering the country.
Please note that you must not leave the quarantine – except with a special permission for conducting the test – until the mandatory 14 days are over or you have the two negative tests. We would like to point out that compliance with the regulations is checked by the authorities and we ask you to adhere to the rules at all times. The breach of the rules will entail the termination of your student and/or scholarship status.
Regulations before 1 September 2020:
Official procedures regarding the rules of entering Hungary and special medical examination for non-Hungarian students and higher education staff authorised by the State Secretary for Higher Education, Innovation and Vocational Training
On 18 June 2020, the Government of Hungary terminated the state of danger, announced on 11 March 2020, and introduced the state of disease control preparedness by announcing a state of healthcare emergency. For the duration of the state of disease control preparedness, the entering of foreign citizens from abroad to Hungary in passenger traffic is subject to restrictions laid down in Government Decree No. 341 of 2020 (VII. 12.) on travel restrictions during the state of disease control preparedness.
The Hungarian government applies a three-fold categorization of countries based on the coronavirus situation (green, yellow, and red), and stipulates the rules of entry of Hungarian and foreign citizens accordingly.
According to these regulations you may need an equity request besides your visa (or EEA citizenship) to enter Hungary.
- A foreign citizen arriving from countries in the green category is allowed to enter Hungary without restrictions, but if he/she has symptoms of the infection within 14 days after entry, then he/she must not leave his/her place of residence, and must immediately notify the epidemiological authority by telephone (+36-80-277-455 or +36-80-277-456).
- Foreigners arriving from countries in the yellow category will undergo medical examination on entry, which they must submit to. If an infection is suspected, the foreign passenger is not allowed to enter Hungary. If no suspicion of infection arises, then the passenger is allowed to enter, but it is mandatory for him/her to go to home quarantine or the quarantine designated by the epidemiological authority for 14 days. A traveler can be exempted from the mandatory quarantine if they can show two separate negative SARS-CoV-2 tests (molecular biology examination in compliance with professional medical practice) performed at two different times with at least 48 hours between them in the course of the 5 days preceding travel, if the document is in Hungarian or in English.
- Foreign citizens arriving from countries in the red category are not allowed to enter Hungary in passenger traffic, unless they were granted exemption by the police based on an official equity request.
You can find information about which category your country belongs to at AboutHungary.hu and the Hungarian Consulate in your country. We suggest you to make sure the category right before travelling to Hungary (as the categories can change with the pandemic situation in each country) by contacting the relevant consulate!
Please, if you can, arrange your arrival to happen at least 2 weeks before the start of the semester, in case if you need to stay in quarantine before starting your studies.
How to arrange an equity request?
(Please, start arranging your visa too, if you need one, besides this request!)
In order to arrange an equity request:
1) Contact your Faculty Coordinator and notify him/her that you need this document to enter Hungary.
2) They will ask you for some specific details about your arrival, and send you a certificate (for full degree students find it HERE; for mobility programmes find it HERE) which you will need for the equity requests and entering the country.
3) You need to submit your equity request electronically in Hungarian or English language using the standard forms given by the authorities. The form and the customer information can be find at: https://ugyintezes.police.hu/en/meltanyossagi-kerelem. (You will need the request called “COVID-02”) You must attach your certificate received from your faculty to your request. If you need help to fill and upload the request, please contact your faculty coordinator.
Don't forget to bring along your certificate as at the Hungarian border you may need to show it!
After you successfully pass the entrance exam, you receive an official notification from ELTE that you are admitted to the study program (a Letter of Acceptance document is issued and sent to you). Before you start your studies at ELTE, you need to ensure your legal status in Hungary. Depending on what part of the world you are coming from to Hungary, choose the appropriate way to make your stay legal.
If you are a citizen of an EU/EEA member state (EEA = EU member states and Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, and Lichtenstein), you may travel to Hungary without a long-term study visa, but you need to obtain a registration card for the duration of your studies in Hungary.
If you are a citizen of a country that is not part of the European Economic Area (EEA), you are required to obtain a residence permit, and you need to register your accommodation after your arrival in Hungary.
After you arrive in Budapest, you can arrange your registration card (EEA) or residence permit (non-EEA) at the National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing (in Hungarian: Országos Idegenrendészeti Főigazgatóság), formerly known as Immigration and Asylum Office (in Hungarian: Bevándorlási és Menekültügyi Hivatal, abbreviated as BMH). In the office you can arrange registration card, prolongation of national permit, authority’s approval of invitation letter, report of accomodation
Visiting address to National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing for students in higher education:
Branch Office III (Budapest)
Branch Office V (Budapest)
A short guide on how to book an appointment at the National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing is available at https://www.elte.hu/en/dstore/document/15/How-to-book-an-appointment-to-the-Immigration-Office.pdf.