What is a Schengen visa and do I need one?
I am visiting two or more Schengen countries. Who is responsible for my visa application?
If the visit includes more than one destination, the country whose territory constitutes the main destination of the visit in terms of the length or purpose of stay is responsible for the visa application. Examples:
- You are sent by your company on a 3-day business trip to Budapest. You decide to take 2 days off and use your weekend to see Prague. Since the main purpose of your travel is doing business, Hungary is responsible.
- You are visiting your brother, who lives in Hungary, and your sister, who lives in the Netherlands. You plan to spend 6 days with your brother, and 4 days with your sister. The purpose of stay is the same, visiting family, but you will spend more time in Hungary. Hungary is responsible.
If no main destination can be determined, the country whose external border the applicant intends to cross in order to enter the territory of the Schengen area is responsible. Example:
- You fly in to Budapest for a Danube river cruise. You will spend 2 days is Hungary, 2 in Slovakia, 2 in Austria and 2 in Germany. Hungary is responsible as the country which you will enter first.
Where can I apply for a Schengen visa in the US?
When should I apply?
It is strongly recommended to apply for a visa as early as possible, but not more than 3 months before your departure time. Normal visa processing time average 10-15 days but can take up to 60 days.
Will I have to apply in person?
Yes. We will register your biometric information for the Visa Information System. If the consul deems necessary, you may have to come back again for a visa interview.
If you have previously applied for a Schengen visa at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington DC and your fingerprints were collected in the last 59 months by any Schengen country, you can request permission to lodge your visa application by mail by sending us an email to appointment.WAS@mfa.gov.hu.
How much is the visa fee?
Click HERE for the visa fees.
A reduced fee has to be paid
- by children between the ages of 6 and 12, and
- by citizens of countries that the European Union has concluded visa facilitation agreements with.
All visa fees are payable by card only. We do not accept cash payments and cheques.
The visa is free of charge for
- children under the age of 6 traveling with their own passports,
- family members of EU/EEA citizens either traveling together with their EU/EEA national family members or traveling in order to meet their EU/EEA national family members
- researchers having a valid contract with a research institution in Hungary,
- pupils, students and their teachers traveling for study reasons,
- representatives of non-profit organizations under the age of 25 participating and attending seminars, conferences, sport, cultural or educational events organized and held by NGOs,
- Belarus citizens between the age of 6 and 12 years,
- Turkish citizens between the age of 6 and 12 years,
- Belarus participants aged 25 years or less in seminars, conferences, sport, cultural or educational events organized by non-profit organizations.
What form do I need to fill out?
This Schengen visa application form. Make sure that it is complete and signed.
What are the requirements for my passport?
- must have been issued within the past 10 years,
- must have 2 blank pages, and
- must be valid for at least 3 months after the end of your visit.
What are the requirements for travel medical insurance?
You must present travel medical insurance that is
- valid for the whole Schengen Area,
- has a minimum coverage of 50 thousand USD for medical and repatriation expenses.
Please present a detailed policy for verifying the above requirements. Please note that your application is inadmissible if you do not present a travel medical insurance when submitting it.
What supporting documents are required?
1. Proof of financial means (e.g. the 3 latest bank statements, proof of employment or 3 latest payslips, proof of income. If you are self-employed a business license and tax return forms),
2. Confirmed return flight ticket reservation,
3. Other supporting documents concerning the purpose of travel, for example:
- When visiting relatives or friends, please submit an official invitation letter issued by the Hungarian Office of Immigration and Asylum;
- For tourism, please submit confirmed hotel reservations, stating name, address and telephone number of the hotel, including confirmation number and/or proof of group travel participation, etc.
- If the purpose of your trip is business, please present a letter of support from the company concerned in the Schengen country where you travel to, and a letter from your employer stating your position within the company and the reason for your business travel. Either letter should clarify who is responsible for expenses and where you will be staying (such as a hotel reservation).
The specific requirements depend on the purpose of travel, the length of intended stay and the personal circumstances of the applicant. Please bear in mind that the consul may require additional documents anytime during the visa procedure and applicants may be called for a personal interview, as well.
You shall present the original of each document.
What if I am a family member of an EU/EEA citizen?
The following persons qualify as family members:
- the spouse;
- the partner with whom the EEA citizen has contracted a registered partnership, on the basis of the legislation of any EEA country, if the legislation of the host Member State treats registered partnership as equivalent to marriage;
- the direct descendants who are under the age of 21 or are dependent as well as those of the spouse or partner as defined above; or
- the dependent direct relatives in the ascending line and those of the spouse or partner as defined above.
If you are a family member of an EU/EEA citizen, and you are traveling together or you wish to join him or her in Europe
- the Schengen Visa is free of charge for you,
- you do not need a travel medical insurance, although it is still recommended to have one,
- supporting documents are your EU/EEA national family member's passport or ID card, an official certificate of the relationship (for spouses of Hungarian citizens, only a marriage certificate issued by Hungary is acceptable), and a flight ticket is you are traveling together, or an invitation letter from the family member, if not.
Where do I find more information?
General information can be found on the website of the Hungarian Consular Service.
Information on the Schengen Information System can be found here.
Information on the Visa Information System can be found here.
GDPR regarding personal data provided upon visa application can be found here.
How do I get my visa?
You can collect your passport at the Embassy during regular business hours without a prior appointment.
If you are not able to collect your passport in person, please provide a prepaid, trackable self-addressed envelope.
- Schengen visa application form (English)