Brexit Update From British Ambassador For UK Nationals Living In Hungary

  • 15 Nov 2018 5:56 PM
Brexit Update From British Ambassador For UK Nationals Living In Hungary
UK and EU negotiators have now agreed in principle the full legal text of a Withdrawal Agreement, setting the terms of the UK’s smooth and orderly exit from the EU. This is a decisive step forward and puts us close to a Brexit deal. 

I know many XpatLoop readers, and in particular my fellow UK nationals, will continue to be concerned about what this means for them.



From the beginning of this process, the Prime Minister has been clear that safeguarding citizens’ rights has been her first priority.  The draft Agreement contains provisions securing the rights of around one million UK nationals living in the EU and more than three million EU citizens living in the UK. 

The draft includes provisions to allow UK nationals in Hungary, along with their family members, to be able to carry on living their lives as they do now.  They will be able to carry on living, working or studying in Hungary for as long as they want to. Their right to remain in Hungary will be protected now, during the implementation period and beyond.

Under the text agreed in principle, UK nationals will also continue to be able to access entitlements to social security on the same basis as Hungarian citizens living in Hungary.

They will be entitled to have their social security contributions made before and after exit in the UK, or in another Member State, count towards a future UK or EU Member State pension.

Their children will continue to enjoy access to education on the same basis that Hungarian children do. In short, most of what they do (or are entitled to do) on a daily basis will not change.

This is a major step forward, but is not the end of the process.  UK and EU leaders will need to agree a Political Declaration on the future relationship, alongside the Withdrawal Agreement, at a special European Council on 25 November.  

Then UK and EU Parliaments must approve the deal.  As the Prime Minister said following the Cabinet meeting on 14 November, there will be difficult days ahead.

As I said in my September open letter published on XpatLoop, I would strongly urge UK nationals here to register with the Hungarian authorities.

All UK nationals who have been residing in Hungary for 3 months and wish to continue to live here through self-sufficient means, or wish to continue studying or working here, must register with the relevant regional directorate of the Hungarian Immigration and Asylum Office.

This is a long-standing requirement. The application fee is HUF 1,000. For further information, visit the website of the Immigration and Asylum Office.

The Hungarian Government, along with other Member States, are making plans for the practical aspects of applying the Withdrawal Agreement. This includes any administrative procedures UK nationals will need to follow after our departure from the EU. 

We do not yet have exact details of this, but are working closely with the Hungarian Government to ensure information is provided to UK nationals in a timely manner.

We will publicise information provided by the Hungarian Government when this becomes available.

To build on this, the British Embassy is planning to hold another town hall meeting for UK nationals in December in Budapest.  

We expect to have a senior representative of the Hungarian government joining us.  If you would like to attend, you can follow the Embassy’s Facebook and Twitter pages, where more details will appear in due course, as it will on XpatLoop.

Where you can find out more

The UK Government website has a range of documents that concern the UK’s departure from the EU, including a section on what you need to know as a British citizen living in the EU

The online ‘Do I Need a Visa’ tool will be useful for those who are thinking of going on holiday to the UK with family members who are not British or EU citizens.

For those thinking about returning to the UK with family members who are not British or EU citizens click here.

If you are unsure if your family member is a British Citizen click here for related info.

You can also find out more information about processes while in Hungary, including applying for a British passport or naturalisation by following this link.

Our contact with UK nationals has shown that some of you are not sure what your entitlements and obligations are as EU citizens living in another Member State. 

It is impossible to put in writing detailed information that would reflect all of your individual circumstances and situations. I would, however, encourage you to use the resources of the European Union’s website.

The EU's website has a whole range of easy-to-follow explanations of how pensions, social security payments, driving licences, education and a whole range of other topics in the EU work. The Your Europe” website is available in all community languages.

One particular area of interest is how state pensions are calculated, particularly where you have been making contributions in more than one Member State, for example both in the UK and in Hungary.

The above website explains how the relevant departments in EU Member States calculate entitlements. HM Revenue and Customs also have an online portal that allows you to check your National Insurance record.

And the UK government’s International Pension Centre provides more information on pension entitlements while overseas.

Finally, as more information is released, we will publish this through the Embassy’s social media channels on Facebook (UKinHungary) and on Twitter (@UKinHungary), and you can look here on XpatLoop.

We continue to talk to the Hungarian Government to discuss what UK nationals may need to do in the future and to encourage information to be shared when decisions are made.

I would also recommend that you subscribe to Brexit e-mail alerts and Living in Hungary which will be the quickest way to get up-to-date information.

Should you have any questions to which you are unable to find answers using these online resources please contact the Embassy at Consular.Budapest@fco.gov.uk.

I hope you have found this update helpful.  
Iain Lindsay, British Ambassador To Hungary

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