Has anyone gone through the simplified naturalization precedure?

SSSnoopz :

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.

The first sentence is incorrect - simplified naturalization does not give permanent residency.

Zif,

Can you explain what "the special two-fer rule for spouses under Simplified Naturalization" from 2013 is?  I have not been able to find anything about this, possibly because "two-fer" does not translate well into legislative Hungarian. ;-)  In my case, I am going through the process as much or more for my wife's benefit so this is of great interest to me. Thanks.

Willie

I know very little about this myself, just that I've read about it:

http://www.hungariansolutions.com/hungarian-citizenship (scroll down)

https://net.jogtar.hu/jogszabaly?docid=99300055.TV (the law, in Hungarian)

Thanks for the link, Zif!

I do not see this as meaning that my wife (who has no Hungarian DNA) and I can apply at the same time for simplified naturalization (which I might have misinterpreted you as saying...sorry!).

I believe I have to earn my citizenship first and only then can my wife start her own process (basically, just learning Hungarian as she would not have to gather so many documents). If we had been able to apply simultaneously, we would have been starting studying Hungarian in Budapest together.

Anyway, the link seems to talk about a 1993 law, while the original site talks about a 2013 law. I have written the language tutor whose site it is on to see if she can explain this supposed law. If she can, I will research it further.

It's the 1993 law, as amended!

You do seem to be underestimating the effort needed to learn Hungarian. Of course your wife should start studying when you start, even if she submits her application 9-12 months after you do. Of course she should.

Zif, I am 100% sure that I am underestimating the difficulty!  I am only beginning to decipher the basics of Hungarian grammar. Hungarian appears to be the Rubik cube of languages.

I apologize for asking so many questions but I have one a week before arriving in Hungary and I want to be sure to do everything correctly. 

My grandfather left Hungary in 1900 but he and his parents were all born in a small village outside of Miskolc in 1885 and before.  The record of his birth is digitized on the Internet but I understand that I need to obtain something more official.

Therefore, I plan to visit the church in the small town where he was born. Given that the town only has a population of 2000, I doubt they get many visitors from abroad. What exactly do I have to do to get a consulate-ready copy of his birth record? Does the church press some kind of official seal on the copy? Do I have to take the copy to some government office in Hungary afterwards?  Do I also need to do the same with the birth records of my great-grandparents?

worldwide_willie :

I apologize for asking so many questions but I have one a week before arriving in Hungary and I want to be sure to do everything correctly. 

My grandfather left Hungary in 1900 but he and his parents were all born in a small village outside of Miskolc in 1885 and before.  The record of his birth is digitized on the Internet but I understand that I need to obtain something more official.

Therefore, I plan to visit the church in the small town where he was born. Given that the town only has a population of 2000, I doubt they get many visitors from abroad. What exactly do I have to do to get a consulate-ready copy of his birth record? Does the church press some kind of official seal on the copy? Do I have to take the copy to some government office in Hungary afterwards?  Do I also need to do the same with the birth records of my great-grandparents?

I don't know about birth records from 1900 or what you want to do but I do know my better half (Mrs Fluffy) obtained a baptismal certificate recently from the church office where the ceremony took place.  And it had a nice "official" rubber stamp on it.  The church office might be at the priests house or next to it.  Usually here, even if it's not officially not needed, a nice looking stamp helps legitimise papers - old habits die hard in some officials' minds. 

Mrs Fluffy says the name of the office at the church you need is "plébánia hivatal".

Thanks, Mr. and Mrs. Fluffy.

I am now in Budapest. If one thing impresses me, it is the dependability of public transportation here. Wow!

worldwide_willie :

Thanks, Mr. and Mrs. Fluffy.

I am now in Budapest. If one thing impresses me, it is the dependability of public transportation here. Wow!

Yup, runs rain or shine, even in blizzards.   Relatively cheap as well!  Try Metro 4 from end to end.  Interesting stations and driverless trains!

Willie, I found so much information on this site I decided to give something back by sharing my journey.
I studied at a company called Hungarian Language Solutions [url][link moderated] and I think this was the best decision I’ve ever made. I had been in Hungary twice before and studied Hungarian at two different language schools. I did learn some Hungarian, but I think it was a complete waste of time and money compared to what I learnt at Hungarian Language Solutions.
Every time I travelled to Hungary I had to take off work for several weeks and it was difficult to set aside my life for these weeks. The course plus course materials cost around $1200 each trip plus airfare, train, lodging and food cost an additional $2000 each time I went. I paid this amount twice: first in 2015 and then in 2016. Then I read on this site that someone recommended Hungarian Language Solutions and I started their citizenship course. Even the language schools in Budapest gave me a lot of conflicting information about the Simplified procedure and they were not able to help with the forms. Renata of Hungarian Language Solutions knows everything about this procedure, she has an eye for detail and the paperwork she helped me with was flawless.
She told me that my wife was eligible too, but she could only apply once I have received my citizenship. So we did the course together over Skype, then I applied first. After I applied, my wife took one lesson per month in addition and got a lot of homework for in between lessons. As soon as I received my certificate she also applied and passed the interview – there were zero surprises.
Good luck to you and your wife!

I did enjoy my week in Hungary, even if it was cold and rainy every day but one.

I was able to visit the village church where my grandfather and great-grandmother were baptized. The priest found handwritten mention of them in the yellowing pages of some large old books. (I would have loved to have gone back another one hundred years but I will leave that additional research for another day.) He told me that I was the first person that ever visited and asked him to certify the birth of ancestors. This did not surprise me that much as the village near Miskolc only has 2000 residents.
Anyway, it was very emotional for me to see these records in company of my relatives.

I did visit five language schools in Budapest and liked two of them a lot. I found several textbook options in local bookstores and opted for Péter Durst's Hungarian The Easy Way. I am also kicking off my studies right now with a Udemy course taught by a young Hungarian woman living in Hawaii.

In my case, it does not create a great hardship to spend a month or two in Budapest as all the part-time jobs I have are virtual (online). Plus, the language schools and living costs seem very reasonable.  AirBnB offers lots of cheap, high quality housing, especially during these cold, off-season months.

I had been considering the course offered online from the UK that you mentioned. I might decide to combine it with a month or two in Budapest. I would probably want to spend weekends in smallish villages, as fewer people will speak English. Should I return for a month or two, I would go in the winter (unfortunately).

worldwide_willie :

....
I had been considering the course offered online from the UK that you mentioned. I might decide to combine it with a month or two in Budapest. I would probably want to spend weekends in smallish villages, as fewer people will speak English. Should I return for a month or two, I would go in the winter (unfortunately).

This is how the British Embassy train their diplomats.  They place the person with a family for total immersion in the language for considerable periods of time (for some languages it can be years),  It's been a tried and trusted method for eons.

Hi All,

My paternal grandmother is the daughter of a Hungarian citizen who gave birth to her in New York City. But alas, the record of her birth seems to have been lost and all we have is a document from the 1920's stating that a search had been made but could not be found. This document does include the names of her parents who were Hungarian. Does anyone know if the lack of a proper birth certificate weakens my citizenship to the point of impossibility? I know there's some gray areas in this process and wanted to see if you all had any experience.

Additionally, it seems that my grandmother was born after her father became a naturalized US citizen. I'm reading conflicting reports on whether that breaks the chain of citizenship or not. Does anyone have any advice on this point?

Thanks!

As you may have read here, there are two main routes to Hungarian citizenship.

Under the first route, Hungary recognizes you are and have always been a Hungarian citizen because you are descended from an unbroken line of Hungarian citizens. There are, however, often legal and practical difficulties establishing that unbroken line, especially when your initial Hungarian ancestor is as far back as your great-grandmother.

Hungarian citizenship law is complicated, especially because it has often changed over the years, and many factors can break the passing of citizenship in the chain. Determining whether you in fact qualify on this basis would require serious effort, and as I said, given the passage of time, it's hard to be optimistic about the outcome. Going this route, however, does have the advantage that there's no Hungarian language requirement.

Under the second route, Simplified Naturalization, you simply need to show that you have an ancestor who was at some point a Hungarian citizen. You normally prove the ancestor was a Hungarian citizen with a record showing birth on Hungarian territory. And you normally show ancestory with an unbroken chain of birth and marriage certificates from the ancestor to you. Oh, you also need to speak Hungarian under this route, usually taken to mean around B1-B2 level.

When there's a break in your chain of documents, as seems to be the case in your situation, you have to ask at the consulate or embassy beforehand what other substantiating documents, if any, would be accepted. (My guess, though, is that they'll be relatively non-committal, since the final decision rests with the relevant bureau in Budapest, not the consulate or embassy.)

If you do go the Simplified Naturalization route, you will take an oath and be formally naturalized, after your application is approved.

Hello All!

I have been gone for a bit, but now I am back! I have been tracking documents, and trying to find a Hungarian tutor (no luck locally, I may try the resources listed here).

A few questions, now that I have everything sorted out. The ancestor that I am using is my Great, Great-Grandmother. This is allowed, right? I haven't seen anything dis-allowing it but most people on here have been using great grandparents instead. I think am much younger than those people, though our ancestors were born around the same time (my parents generation just had kids when they were much older than my ancestors). Further, the location of birth is Feltorony, Moson, Hungary. My understanding is this is present-day halbturn, Burgenland, Austria. Since my ancestor was born in Feltorony in 1888, and is legitimate, they count?

So, if I have this right, the documents I need are the following:

Great Great Grandma's Birth Record
Great Great Grandma's Marriage Certificate
Her Daughter (My Great Grandma)'s Birth Certificate
Great Grandma's Marriage Certificate
Her Son (My Grandpa)'s Birth Certificate
Grandpa's Marriage Certificate
His Son (My Father)'s Birth Certificate
My Father's Marriage Certificate
My Birth Certificate

The hiccups I foresee are these:
Great Great Grandma got remarried. Her daughter's (My Great Grandma) birth certificate has the correct birth name for the child on it. They split shortly after the birth of their children, and she got with another guy while the children were very young.
However, her daughter's son (My Grandpa) has the step-father's last name as Mother's maiden name on his birth certificate. The daughter was never officially adopted, from what I can tell, because the marriage certificate for Great Grandma and Great Grandpa has the wife's original name as her true maiden name.
As a result, the father's names match on the birth certificate for my Grandpa and the marriage certificate for his parents, but the mother on the birth certificate has a different maiden name than the woman on the marriage certificate.


I do not need the birth records of the spouses, since they are not directly related to me, right? Further, I do not need Great Great Grandma's Birth Record translated as long as it is in Hungarian? It's in Hungarian and Latin, from what I can see. Also, does anyone have tricks on tracking down a physical copy? Familysearch brought me to the indexed record but I'm not sure how to go about getting an official hard copy. People were talking about churches and the National Archives? Help. :( I tried searching the National Archives but since the location isn't present day Hungary would they even have the document I'm looking for? I can provide a link to the indexed record on Familysearch but I need help finding a place where I can request an official copy.

Bonus question: If this all works out and I get citizenship, and I get married *after* I get citizenship, would my spouse be eligible for simplified naturalization or no? Would our children be eligible for citizenship by descent as long as we register the marriage and birth(s)?

I didn't really address language because at this point I want the documents either way, for my own self gratification. lol

Cheers!

-- You must have an ancestor however far back who was at least for a time a Hungarian citizen. Normally, birth on Hungarian territory suffices. Since your GGGM was born in Moson when it was Hungarian territory she would normally have been a Hungarian citizen at birth.

-- I can't follow the problems with the birth/marriage certificates -- too complicated!

-- No, you don't normally need birth certificates for spouses outside the chain of ancestry.

-- Hungarian language documents do not need to be translated.

-- Normally I'd expect the birth records for Moson to remain in modern-day Austria somewhere. But FamilySearch says they copied them from records held at the Hungarian National Archives in Budapest, so that's where you should look. You'll need a stamped copy from the archives.

https://www.familysearch.org/search/cat … %20Library
See the remark under "Notes" in Hungarian beginning, "Az eredeti iratok . . . " ("The original documents . . .").

Your other questions perhaps others can answer.

zif :

-- You must have an ancestor however far back who was at least for a time a Hungarian citizen. Normally, birth on Hungarian territory suffices. Since your GGGM was born in Moson when it was Hungarian territory she would normally have been a Hungarian citizen at birth.

-- I can't follow the problems with the birth/marriage certificates -- too complicated!

-- No, you don't normally need birth certificates for spouses outside the chain of ancestry.

-- Hungarian language documents do not need to be translated.

-- Normally I'd expect the birth records for Moson to remain in modern-day Austria somewhere. But FamilySearch says they copied them from records held at the Hungarian National Archives in Budapest, so that's where you should look. You'll need a stamped copy from the archives.

https://www.familysearch.org/search/cat … %20Library
See the remark under "Notes" in Hungarian beginning, "Az eredeti iratok . . . " ("The original documents . . .").

Your other questions perhaps others can answer.

Thanks for the link! I thought I'd be looking at Austria too, I didn't even see the note! It's great that these are specified as Roman Catholic too, as the National Archives help page says they may be able to search for the exact record if I can give birth date, location, and religion. Otherwise it would be too broad. This particular indexed book only has about 6 baptisms in GGGM's birth month and year. It's super neat!

Further clarification on the birth/marriage thing:
Person A - Great Great Grandma
Person B - Great Grandma

So Person A got married and gave birth to Person B. Person A and Person B's birth certificates are correct. Person A got divorced and seemingly remarried after having Person B. Thus, Person B has a step-parent and step-siblings. Person A took on many combinations of names during their lifetime, so they may not have actually married the step-parent; given the time period, I'm just going to assume they were married since they had children.

Person B married their spouse, and the marriage certificate has Person B's correct original last name.
Person B had children with their spouse, but the birth certificates for Person B's children lists Person B's maiden last name as the last name of their step parent (this was a pain to figure out, as you can imagine). As a result of this last name switching, Person B's marriage certificate and the birth certificates for Person B's children do not have the same maiden last name for Person B--the children's mother. My understanding of the birth certificate procedures at the time (early-ish 1900's) is that you basically just said your name and they recorded it, which allowed Person B to use their step-parents last name as maiden instead of the name on Person B's birth certificate.

I'm worried that the decision makers won't believe that Person B listed on their children's birth certificates is the same person as Person B on the marriage certificate, and will deny because of this. Is this a big thing or small thing to worry about?

Thanks!

I gather what you're saying is that the marriage certificate recites, for example, that John Fitzgerald Kennedy married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, while the birth certificate for your grandmother Caroline gives her father's name as John Fitzgerald Kennedy but her mother's maiden name as Jacqueline Lee Auchincloss, not Jacqueline Lee Bouvier.

Obviously the cleaner your documents the smoother the sailing, but offhand I wouldn't regard this discrepancy as fatal. The father's name is the same on both documents. The mother's first and middle names are the same. The ages are consistent, and so I assume are the places of marriage and birth.

Indeed, I suspect a perfect set of documents is rare.

When you submit your application you have to write out a CV, and you can use that as an opportunity to briefly explain why the names don't match.

If there is nonetheless a problem getting your papers approved, it is possible in some states in the U.S., if that's where you are, to start proceedings to correct errors in birth certificates.

Of course you can also ask your nearest Hungarian consul for advice, but since the final decision will be made by bureaucrats in Budapest not the consul, you'll probably get a non-committal response.

zif :

I gather what you're saying is that the marriage certificate recites, for example, that John Fitzgerald Kennedy married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, while the birth certificate for your grandmother Caroline gives her father's name as John Fitzgerald Kennedy but her mother's maiden name as Jacqueline Lee Auchincloss, not Jacqueline Lee Bouvier.

Obviously the cleaner your documents the smoother the sailing, but offhand I wouldn't regard this discrepancy as fatal. The father's name is the same on both documents. The mother's first and middle names are the same. The ages are consistent, and so I assume are the places of marriage and birth.

Indeed, I suspect a perfect set of documents is rare.

When you submit your application you have to write out a CV, and you can use that as an opportunity to briefly explain why the names don't match.

If there is nonetheless a problem getting your papers approved, it is possible in some states in the U.S., if that's where you are, to start proceedings to correct errors in birth certificates.

Of course you can also ask your nearest Hungarian consul for advice, but since the final decision will be made by bureaucrats in Budapest not the consul, you'll probably get a non-committal response.

This is precisely the case, save for the middle name part. Ah, the naming conventions of the early 1900s. I'm a sucker for sentimentalism, but it's a pain when there isn't much available to prove that they are indeed the same people. If it sounds like it could *maybe* be approved, I suppose there's no harm in pursuing everything since 1) I want those documents anyway because I know they're correct, 2) I like learning new languages and Hungarian is fascinating, and 3) What if it gets approved? haha.

Thank you all so much!

Hello all –

I’ve been working on the simplified naturalization process for about 10 months. I’ve obtained apostilled copies all of the relevant documentation (with the exception of one, see below), and have been working diligently on the language as well.  A bit of background: both of my maternal great-grandparents were born in Hungary proper in the early 1870s, and came to the US in the late 1880s. They married in 1892 and had my grandmother in 1896.

On to my questions and concerns:

1. As I stated earlier, I have all of the required documentation, except one: I have been doing everything possible to find my great grandparents’ marriage certificate, but I’ve come up empty so far. It may have been lost, handled by a religious institution, or who knows what. In conversations with the Hungarian consulate, this may be a showstopper for the reviewers in Budapest. I plan to address the issue by writing and translating an affidavit that explains the situation, supported by US census records from 1900, 1910, and 1920 showing the intact family unit. To make things even more airtight, the address where the family lived in 1920 precisely matches the address on my grandmother’s marriage certificate. With that said, though, I’m going to be at the mercy Budapest. Read point 2 below and you’ll see why I’m very troubled by this.

2. I’ve been studying the language nonstop for about 8 months. I’ve primarily been focused on gaining vocabulary and understanding sentence structure and grammar (Pimsleur, Hungarianpod, Duolingo, listening to Hungarian radio, etc.), figuring that I’d work on building conversational skills as I approached the time for the interview. I had always understood that the consulate meeting would attempt to gauge your ability to have a basic Hungarian conversation (‘answer questions in short sentences’). However, when I called the consulate yesterday to set a date for the interview, they told me that a) they wouldn’t even book a meeting unless I had the initial phone conversation solely in Hungarian, and b) the in-person meeting would need to be 100% in Hungarian, including going over the application and CV. To me, this feels like needing to attain near-fluency, rather than just conversational skills. That's going to be a big task.

So now I’m in a bit of a conundrum, with lots of questions that I hope someone can help with:

1. Do I take the plunge and go all-out on conversational skill building (focused on what’s likely to come up in the meeting) over the next few months (via a Skype tutor most likely)?  I am very comfortable in other languages (Spanish, French, Italian, and even Mandarin). Hungarian is in a league of its own as we all know.

2. I’m going to be in Budapest in April. Should I attempt to do the meeting there, or here in the US at a consulate?

I really wish there was a way to get a pre-approval when there’s an extenuating circumstance such as mine. If I knew that the affidavit and census records would suffice, I'd feel much better about investing the time and money in working towards fluency.

Thanks for any insights/guidance the group can provide!

I would definitely get a Skype tutor, one who has experience prepping people for the simplified naturalization interview. I don't think I would have passed if I didn't have a lot of time prepping with one, both on Skype (via italki) and with a school in Budapest - you can message me if you want the contact info for either.

By the way my interview took like 3-4 minutes tops. The consul walked in, asked me basic questions while reviewing my application (who in your family was Hungarian? where were they from? where did you study Hungarian? does anyone else in your family speak Hungarian? why do you want to be Hungarian? do you like Hungary? do you like Hungarian food? is Hungarian hard to learn? etc.) Was told congrats I passed, now still waiting on the answer from Budapest - was told it would take 8-9 months and it's been 4 so far. In your case you'll be asked in Hungarian about your great grandparents' marriage certificate so better have that explanation memorized by heart.

Yeah they did a bit of a phone "pre-test" thing to me too in Hungarian. Just asking who in my family was Hungarian and if I had filled out the application, then asking what date I could come in for the interview. One of the basic requirements is to be able to do the whole simplified naturalization "process" in Hungarian by yourself, so I guess that would be considered part of the process to them.

My impression is that the consulates in the US are a bit more helpful when it comes to the process and more lenient/forgiving about the language requirements.

Hi again. I have been taking Italki classes with two native Hungarian speakers via Skype. I plan on continuing for another two months and then spending a month in Budapest in classes four hours a day and maybe taking a local tutor on in addition. We are focusing on vocabulary that would come in handy for the simplified naturalization conversation test.

I would like to take the conversation test in Hungary in late April. Obviously my Hungarian will be only so-so but I like the idea of a shorter wait time if I pass. (Plan B would be to apply in the US.)

My questions are:

1) Where (to what ministry) do I go in Hungary to schedule this test? Is it only administered in Budapest or all over the country?

2) Should my Hungarian be judged not good enough, would they tell me this at the interview in Hungary?

3) If so, how long is an applicant required to wait before reapplying (the time between tests)? 

I am enjoying the challenge of Hungarian grammar and identifying more with the language and country with each passing week. Now if I could only distinguish better some of the vowels and pronounce these consonant combos (gy, ly, ny, etc.) like a native...

I also believe it varies from one Hungarian consulate to another in the US. I went into one just to get a feel for the ground rules (with an appointment) and spent 30 minutes chatting informally (in English) at a table with the friendly consul, who would be the person who would interview me.

Another guy I know took the test in a second US city and had to show off his Hungarian thru a thick glass window (like banks have in many parts of the world). That was half a year ago and he is still waiting to hear how he did.

A third contact told me the New York consulate (a third option) was the friendliest option.

Of course, any ranking of difficulty could change as consuls come and go.

I would imagine the same randomness holds true to applying in Hungary.

I will be in Hungary, mostly Budapest, during all on April. If anyone wants to get together for a beer, let me know!

After talking to someone that just applied for simplified naturalization in Budapest, I have decided to try locally. I understand that I may apply at any one of 21 district offices in Budapest alone, as well as in the provinces. Should I have a bad day linguistically, does anyone know if you can apply a week later at another office? I would really like to get this done while in Hungary and it appears there are no real rules as to  trying a second time (assuming the worst). Thanks.

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