Has anyone gone through the simplified naturalization precedure?

Schmni02 :

..... I'm still tracking him out of the USA because there is a discrepancy on when he came. If I understand correctly, it needs to be somewhere within pre-Trianon Hungary, which includes places that are now Poland, Romania, and other eastern and not Hungary countries. Is there ANY place that went to what is now Austria eligible? My ancestor indicated on the 1930 census his birthplace as Hungaria/Hungary. On the 1940 census it is indicated as Austria. While I may still complete the genealogy if I am ineligible, it will definitely be less of a priority. Right now the eligibility question is my main motivation.

Thanks! Sorry I am inept.

Vaguely remembered, I think the only part of Austria which was Hungarian was Burgenland (as it's known on modern maps).   There are HU speakers there and they have their own radio programmes.  There are definitely two villages/towns which are HU speaking places.  So maybe do some checking on the history of Burgenland.  Hungarian maps show the HU town names although when on the ground, they mostly use the Slovak names on the village signs for some reason.

Do you have a passport with it?

I am now thinking my English hubby needs an EU passport after the the UK leave the EU.

I was born here, so i have UK and Hungarian passport.

Eva

EvaMargaret :

Do you have a passport with it?

I am now thinking my English hubby needs an EU passport after the the UK leave the EU.

I was born here, so i have UK and Hungarian passport.

Eva

Maybe you can explain a bit more?

If he can speak Hungarian to a good level, then he might just be able to apply if he lives here (in HU).  If he has the residence card and has been here more than 5 years, he can apply to be a permanent resident.  Those are EU rules and I believe those commitments will continue to be honoured post-Brexit.  But don't take my, Teresa's and Barnier's word on it.

For ease of application, if your UK hubby has direct Irish connections (back to grandparents), then he could get an Irish passport.   German is also a possibility (if German links, another question).   

Otherwise, welcome to the sinking ship.

Just a follow up on my situation: Finally, I got my Hungarian Naturalisation Certificate. I did the Simplified.

- I had two interviews. One in person and one on the phone;
- All of my paperwork was perfect, and it still took about a year to be approved after submitting my paperwork.

The whole process took around 4 years (to the day, coincidentally) from when I got started till saying the oath. That includes the time to get documents and time to learn a lot of the language. It was a huge investment, in terms of time and money, but it was well worth it to me.

I'm just glad it's over because I'm very very tired...  :)

Schmni02 :

Does anyone have tips for locating naturalization records? I do not know more than a name and estimated birth year for this ancestor. I'm not sure how to find out the name of his parents to confirm a birth certificate if I can locate one.

Naturalization records I started with the FHL website and a free trial on ancestry.

There was able to find a declaration record for one with just an approximate name.

For the older ones I got them by calling the county courthouse in the county which they lived once I found that out from looking through old letters.

For one in Ohio getting it involved calling them and telling them it was for citizenship and that you would be hugely appreciative if they would look it up for me, it seems many courthouses require you to come in person to do the research so getting them to do it on the phone for you may require some begging.

For my other relative I went in person to the National archive in New York City:
https://www.archives.gov/nyc

They directed me to the craziest library I have ever been to, the division of old records and I found it there:
https://untappedcities.com/2017/05/03/b … ourthouse/

Your mileage may vary but yeah, the other alternative if you aren't pressed for time is to order it, but you will need some more information for that:
https://genealogy.uscis.dhs.gov/

But that can take up to 8 months I have read and costs you.

Schmni02 :

Can someone please point me to an accurate map of where my relative must have been born for me to be eligible?

Here is the region in green they would need to have been born in overlaid on modern borders

http://www.austrianphilately.com/austriahist/mappa.jpg

U.S. naturalization papers don't play a direct role in Hungarian Simplified Naturalization, which works on a chain of birth and marriage certificates. However, the U.S. naturalization application may provide useful information for tracking down those other documents.

Note that often though not always there are two copies of the naturalization application, one at a local courthouse and one held on microfilm by the Feds.

Thanks for the maps/info csheppa!

Zif, I know the naturalization docs won't help in getting anything submitted/approved in the process. It does potentially help track where my ancestor's birth certificate and his parents marriage certificate is, though. There isn't a US record of their marriage, and neither he nor his parents were born in America. So it's a runaround of determining where they were actually born (sources indicate Germany, Austria, or Hungary but no cities) and going from there. This information is often present in Naturalization records.

I'm also looking for something to help clarify that a birth certificate belongs to the person it is said to belong to. I have a female ancestor whose last name was Muellner, but the birth certificate of her American-born daughter indicates the Mother's Maiden name as Miller. It is often the case that Miller is the americanized Muellner, but I feel like I may need to provide information supporting that this Muellner and that Miller are actually the same person. Anyone have any tips for this? The same thing is occurring with Muellner's daughter--Muellner got remarried after having the daughter, and so the daughter indicated her maiden name on her children's BCs as being that of her stepfather (her mother remarried when the daughter was quite young). However, the person who married those children's father has her actual maiden name, so I'm guessing she was never formally adopted.

Schmni02 :

....I'm also looking for something to help clarify that a birth certificate belongs to the person it is said to belong to. I have a female ancestor whose last name was Muellner, but the birth certificate of her American-born daughter indicates the Mother's Maiden name as Miller. It is often the case that Miller is the americanized Muellner, but I feel like I may need to provide information supporting that this Muellner and that Miller are actually the same person. Anyone have any tips for this? The same thing is occurring with Muellner's daughter--Muellner got remarried after having the daughter, and so the daughter indicated her maiden name on her children's BCs as being that of her stepfather (her mother remarried when the daughter was quite young). However, the person who married those children's father has her actual maiden name, so I'm guessing she was never formally adopted.

I cannot help that much, but don't forget the spelling might be different in any records.   

Mueller would be Müller in German (with umlauts but without they use "ue" instead) and Müllner is like another form of Miller (the person who does that job).

Austria tends to use that "ue" form more than other places as far as I know. Others will correct me if I have it wrong.

Yes, good luck with the spellings.
On my birth certificate they put down my father's place of birth as Concoca, Poland...
When my non-English speaking grandmother brought him into the US at Ellis Island in the 1920's the agent spelled it wrong.
In 2013 I finally found the right town!
Kunkowa, big difference in spelling.

I think name changes and misspellings are the norm on chains of old documents. It's the perfect set of documents that's the exception.

I don't recall any posts here or on other forums suggesting the Hungarian authorities are real picky on name inconsistencies. When you submit your documents you are vouching they show your ancestors, whatever their names. Of course birthdates rarely get mangled, and they provide a backstop.

When I think about it with the helpful old map that Csheppa posted for us, I can see that my grandmother was born in Hungarian territory.
I saw with a look at a list of names in my family tree that there were many Hungarian names listed as well as the classic Polish/Ruysn names through marriages over the past 275 years.
It is very interesting to find your family roots.

Check the official 1913 gazetteer I mentioned earlier. Every village is there.

http://konyvtar.ksh.hu/inc/kb_statiszti … r-1913.pdf

zif :

Check the official 1913 gazetteer I mentioned earlier. Every village is there.

http://konyvtar.ksh.hu/inc/kb_statiszti … r-1913.pdf

This is great.Will have my husband help me look it over since it's in Hungarian. thanks!

Thanks guys!

Well, I guess now there are a couple new steps then. I'm really worried that my grandfather's birth certificate will hold me up--it is the one where my great grandmother indicated that her maiden name was that of her stepfather, and it is different from the marriage certificate. I'm mostly worried that the authorities won't be convinced that the documents I can find belong to my ancestors/that they're not the same people.

At this point, I sure hope I will not need to track down my great great grandmother's parents' marriage certificate. The birth record says she is a legitimate birth, so hopefully that is enough.

Thankfully I've got plenty of time to learn Hungarian sufficiently (which I wanted to do anyway) while I track down how to get an "official" copy of the birth record. Wish me luck!

Ooh, new question guys!

Upon review of the birth certificate that was attached to my ancestor (darn FamilySearch!) it appears like it might not *actually* belong to my relative and the indexed record on Family search is incorrect. The birth date on the indexed record matches, but the birth date on the actual document does not.

The record I *did* find based on reaching out to the person who originally found the potentially incorrect record (she indicated that the town is in present day Slovakia and not in Austria) matches name and date of birth, but indicates the birth is illegitimate. Is this a concern for Simplified Naturalization, since I only need to show where they were born and not their citizenship status?

Thanks!

Sziasztok! I passed my simplified naturalization interview today in the US and just wanted to add some info as I used this very long thread (and messaged some members here) to help me prepare for it.

I have been studying Hungarian somewhat intensively for a year, including 1 month at a language school in Budapest (1-on-1 private lessons for 3x/week, 3 hours/day), around 30 Skype lessons with a tutor, and much self-study. My school evaluated my language skills at the end as B1 reading & between A2/B1 speaking - I should note that I studied for another 5 months after finishing this school, so I am likely at B1 speaking now.

The interview itself was simple and based off of my CV (önéletrajz), i.e., about my Hungarian-citizen ancestor (my great grandmother), my family, my time in Hungary, how I studied Hungarian, did I like Hungary, does anyone in my family speak Hungarian, etc. There were no "gotchas" such as asking me to recite Himnusz or the dates of the revolutions.. The interview took around 10 minutes. I know there must be much variation depending on where you are and who the consul is, but I think if you can speak around a B1 level and are sincere (honestly interested in the culture, language, and people), then the interview will be very short, for all the right reasons.

Feel free to message me or reply here if you have questions. Like I said, I don't know how applicable my experience will be to everyone else's, but the experiences of a few people I've talked to who have also passed their interview recently would seem to corroborate a B1-ish level of speaking & questions mostly focused on family and personal life.

Just 10 minutes! Congratulations!

How did you handle translation of your English documents?

I used a Hungarian translator in the US after finding her website on Google. I still have her email/website if anyone needs it (not sure I should openly post it here).

Thank you, that's interesting. I somehow thought it had to be an "official" translation, either by the consul or by that government translation office in Hungary.

Ah I misunderstood then. Yes, they must be certified, but the consulate does that on the spot, for a fee ($24 per document in my case). You don't need to send your translations out somewhere to get certified - just do it at the consulate.

Thanks again. I asked because I had the impression that some but not all consuls would actually do the translations, for maybe $50-$60 per document, saving the hassle of sending them off somewhere to be done.

First of all, thanks to all who have come before me on this thread. I have read most of the pages and they provide lots of great information as well as leave others feeling they are not alone when embarking on this journey.

I have visited Hungary several times since 1987 and would be very interested in acquiring Hungarian citizenship in order to split my time between Hungary and other European countries where I have many friends.

Until two weeks ago, I had no idea that Hungary had changed their citizenship law 7 or 8 years ago. I was born in the US and later acquired Brazilian citizenship so I am a dual national.

My mother was born in the US in 1924 to a father who was born in what is now Hungary in 1885 and who emigrated to the US in 1900. My mother's mother was born in the US in 1893 to parents who had emigrated from what is now Hungary.

My grandmother nevertheless lost her American citizenship when she married my grandfather in 1910 because he was a foreign national (different laws back then). Both became American citizens in 1929. To do so, my grandfather had to renounce his Hungarian citizenship. (He never returned to Hungary after 1900 so while he was Hungarian in the eyes of the US government, I am not sure what the Hungarian government would have considered him.)

I imagine I have to apply for simplified naturalization because my grandfather left Hungary in 1900. Or is it possible to apply for citizenship by lineage because he would have been considered to be a Hungarian from 1920 to 1929?

While I learned two foreign languages extremely well as a younger adult, I am now 60 and my ability to learn a fourth language, especially one as disconnected from the other three as Hungarian is,  will be a supreme challenge.  If necessary, I will put in the hours but, I would be much relieved to be able to apply on the basis of my grandfather being Hungarian.

Any guidance?

Under the old citizenship law, Hungarians usually lost their citizenship ten years after leaving Hungary. So your grandfather who left Hungary in 1900 probably wasn't a Hungarian citizen by the time your mother was born in 1924. There were special cases in which Hungarian citizenship could nonetheless be retained, but after the passage of so many years it can be very difficult to show that one of these cases applies. E.g., did your grandfather hold a valid Hungarian passport at the time your mother was born?

In short, you'd probably have a quite an uphill battle demonstrating you are now a Hungarian citizen by descent. So better to start learning Hungarian and go the Simplified Naturalization route.

Note that whichever route you follow, you'll need your grandfather's birth record, which in 1885 would be a church record. Best to make sure you can obtain this record before investing lots of time learning Hungarian.

Zif,

Many thanks. That makes a lot of sense and was pretty much what I feared.

I have an appointment at the Hungarian consulate in DC this week to see what guidance they can give me. (I have questions about just how much paperwork to submit and if my wife, who has no ties to Hungary, can become a permanent resident or citizen with or without learning Hungarian if I succeed in passing the test.)

I do know where and when my grandfather was born and will visit Hungary over Thanksgiving in order to visit the church in that small town of two thousand souls. (I have relatives whom I have stayed with a few times just one village down the road.)   

While in Hungary, assuming I can find proof of my grandfather (or my grandmother's parents) having been born there, I will also check out the Hungarian language schools I have seen on the Internet. My plan would be to then return in January for two months, after doing what I can on my own here in Florida. Too bad the language exam is not multiple choice---I have been nailing all the basic phrases on Duolingo but cannot remember them when not given aided recall! ;-)

Willie

FamilySearch, the free Mormon site, has a 95 percent-complete collection of Hungarian Roman Catholic Church birth records, 1636-1895, and you can search it online:

https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1743180

As the site notes, the original birth records are stored by the National Archives in each county, though individual churches might retain copies. The records, although made by the church, are held by the government since they have civil status as official birth records and since the church was required by law to make the records.

(This collection only covers records of births within the boundaries of  present-day Hungary.)

Thanks again, Zif. I found lots of new documents there. I imagine I need to get more legible copies in Hungary and have them certified locally.

Worldwidewilly.. umm.. Basic Phrases may not be enough to cut it. I got asked a very wide range of questions. The 2nd telephone verification interview was more direct, I guess because it was over the phone.

* HungarianPod has a lot of good free content.
* Know how to conjugate verbs: past, present, future
* Know how to fill out the application form. Some questions should come from that.

I have an appointment at the Hungarian consulate in DC this week to see what guidance they can give me. (I have questions about just how much paperwork to submit and if my wife, who has no ties to Hungary, can become a permanent resident or citizen with or without learning Hungarian if I succeed in passing the test.)

I know people that got citizenship and moved there with their non-hungarian spouses.
If you have been married for 5 years, and have a child, your spouse can also get citizenship if they speak the language. That's a reaaaally good deal! I'm constantly telling my wife to study!

Also, the only document you need from Hungary is an official copy of your grandfather's 1885 church birth record from the National Archives. Possibly the embassy can obtain this for you.

Your records from the US will need translation into Hungarian, and you should ask the embassy what they will accept. Perhaps they will do it, for a fee. Remember you'll need your grandparents' marriage certificate. Sometimes old marriage certificates are difficult to find, especially if they're kept locally and nobody remembers precisely where the marriage took place.

The general feeling is that your Hungarian should at a minumum be around B1-B2 level, but ask the embassy for confirmation. Getting there after two months of study in Hungary may be very optimistic, but everyone takes differently to language study.

Note that if your wife goes the citizenship route after five years, the language requirement is much higher than under Simplified Naturalization.

Note that if your wife goes the citizenship route after five years, the language requirement is much higher than under Simplified Naturalization.

I've never heard of this. Where I live. I've seen dozens of spouses that study with the Hungarian descendant and get citizenship at the same time/ceremony. The consul that interviewed me was the one who told me about this 5 year thing, in the presence of my wife too.

Yet we all know, it's an extremely hard language. I really think one needs a lot of motivation and desire to study it. Sometimes I hear my wife playing DuoLingo, and I always tell her that it's [almost a [complete] waste of time, and to study my books or videos.

Sorry!

I confused the traditional route to citizenship after years of residence in Hungary, usually requiring an applicant take the difficult constitutional studies exam in Hungarian, with the special two-fer rule for spouses under Simplified Naturalization. This special rule was added in 2013 after the initial enactment of Simplified Naturalization in 2011, and I don't recall we've had much discussion of it here.

congrats on getting your citizenship! i was curious how long it took from passing your interview / submitting your application, to getting notified by the consulate that your application had been approved. I passed my interview in late March 2018 and am still waiting to hear a decision. thanks!

I enjoyed my visit to the Hungarian consulate and was received in a very personable way by all staff. They do not handle that many simplified naturalizations (two a month) so this will be exciting for both sides.

I have gathered some of the supporting documents needed from Pennsylvania and Ohio and requested all the birth/marriage/death certificates for my grandparents and my mother.

I will be in Hungary (mostly Budapest) from November 22 to 28 to look for my grandfather's official 1885 birth/baptism records from a church a few kilometers outside of Miskolc and/or the National Archives.

I also plan to visit several language schools that offer intensive Hungarian language courses starting in early 2019: Magyar Iskola, Balassi Institute, Ulysses, Euro Language, and Babilon. If the University of Peçs offers a winter course, I will visit them too. Any feedback on intensive courses to take or avoid would be appreciated.

I still have not found information on what my wife's status would be in Hungary and the EU if I am able to successfully complete the simplified naturalization process. For example, could she work in Hungary or Spain or Portugal? We have been married over ten years and I was told to submit our marriage certificate (translated into Hungarian) along with the other paperwork. If I understand correctly, she would become a permanent resident of Hungary and the EU but not a citizen (unless she can pass the same Hungarian language requirement I will have to). Note: I mentioned Spain and Portugal because we both speak Spanish and Portuguese.

Also, I am always up for meeting new people while in Budapest so just message me if you would like to grab a beer in late November.

Willie

Your wife would have to apply for permanent residency once you arrive in Hungary.

The reasoning for the marriage certificate is that your marriage needs to be registered in Hungary. This makes things 10,000 easier when you do apply for your wife's permanent residency. She doesn't automatically get it.

It takes about 70 days to receive a reply and then she's given a five year visa but you want to do that within 90 days of arriving. They extend the 90 day visa for three months but you can't leave the country while the application is being processed, at least it's not recommended. She can work with that visa in Hungary. It costs 10k ($35) forint to submit the application and you need basic health insurance (about $70/year). Very cheap compared to the nearly $2k to do it in the USA.

As far as Spain...not sure about that process.

trollspinky :

congrats on getting your citizenship! i was curious how long it took from passing your interview / submitting your application, to getting notified by the consulate that your application had been approved. I passed my interview in late March 2018 and am still waiting to hear a decision. thanks!

I'd say about 9 months, so anytime now...

To raise a practical question, what did they say about translation of your U.S. documents? Would they do it?

Zif,

The Consul told me that she would recommend at least two options for official translations into Hungarian, one being a woman in Cleveland. She did say that I could not just ask a bilingual friend to do the work. She did not offer to have the Consulate do this for me. Once I have all the documents that need to be translated, I will contact her in order to get the names of these official translators in the US.

Willie

Your wife would neither be a citizen nor a permanent resident unless she applies for simplified naturalization herself (if she's eligible). But once you are a Hungarian citizen, you are entitled under EU law to bring your dependents (wife, kids, etc) anywhere you go in Europe. She will have the right to work in whatever EU country you move to.

Thanks, Jesperss. I know Zif mentioned a "2 for 1" citizenship process but I imagine that would possibly only be the case if my wife studied Hungarian with me and we each demonstrated basic fluency at the consulate. (And who know what would happen if my wife passed and I did not!)

worldwide_willie :

Thanks, Jesperss. I know Zif mentioned a "2 for 1" citizenship process but I imagine that would possibly only be the case if my wife studied Hungarian with me and we each demonstrated basic fluency at the consulate. (And who know what would happen if my wife passed and I did not!)

There's no 2 for 1. The only way your wife is eligible for simp nat is if she has a Hungarian background.

Once you get citizenship and you've been married for ten plus years she can apply for citizenship. However she'll have to show knowledge of Hungarian to get it.

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