Hungary plans to reintroduce Golden VISA Program By 2024

Hungary, a member of both the European Union and the Schengen Area located in Central Europe, has recently announced its plans to reinstate the golden visa program, which was previously discontinued in 2017. The Hungarian government has proposed a draft bill to reintroduce the golden visa alongside other avenues for skilled foreign workers. This bill is currently under review and debate in the parliament, with expectations for its finalization within the year. Although specifics of the golden visa program are still being refined, industry experts anticipate its availability to investors by September 2024.

Hungary Golden VISA

The original golden visa program was halted following an incident where a sanctioned individual managed to obtain the visa, leading to concerns over security risks.

Under the new proposal, the golden visa would require foreign investors to contribute between €250,000 to €1 million. The most popular option for investors typically involves a minimum €500,000 investment in residential real estate. Another option includes investing €250,000 in Hungarian real estate funds through designated agencies, although details are pending. Additionally, a €1 million donation to public interest projects in Hungary is another pathway for the visa.

Hungary’s golden visa program will face competition from similar initiatives in EU countries like Greece, Cyprus, and Spain, which also appeal to investors seeking mobility within the EU. To differentiate itself, Hungary is leveraging its low corporate tax rate of 9% and affordable real estate, offering greater value for investment compared to more expensive locations. This approach is aimed particularly at attracting Asian investors interested in capitalizing on Hungary’s economic benefits.

However, the European Union has expressed concerns about golden visa programs, leading to regulatory actions and legal challenges, such as the case against Malta. Despite this scrutiny, Hungary remains committed to its economic development goals and is preparing to address EU concerns by implementing stringent due diligence processes to prevent misuse of the program.

In addition to investment migration, the draft bill also seeks to attract skilled labor, contributing to an EU-wide effort to mitigate labor shortages. This dual approach of attracting both capital and skilled workers is a key strategy in Hungary’s development plans amidst its more affluent EU neighbors.

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