My partner lives in Hungary and I'd like to move there from Canada. I read that you need a work permit and a residence permit. I just have a few questions. For the work permit, can you apply if you're self-employed or do you need to get hired by a company first? For the residence permit, how much money do you need to prove you can support yourself in Hungary for however long the permit lasts and do you need an apartment in your own name or can you live with someone and use their address? Thanks.
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The move sounds fantastic and I am sure you will love living in Hungary. Have you checked out our pages on Work Permits and Visas for Hungary? Those guides give some useful information, though do not currently explicitly explain the process for self-employed expats.
Yes, it is possible to get a work permit if you are self-employed, and in that case you do not first need to be hired by a company. Visas are subject to change and especially now with the COVID-19 health crisis, there have been changes worldwide to work permit processes. Have you contacted the nearest embassy directly? This page has Embassy Contacts for Hungary – they will be able to give you the most up-to-date advice and info.
On top of a work permit, you may consider looking into a 'Residence permit for paid activity' or a 'Residence permit for the purpose of employment or other gainful activities'.
If you are self-employed you will need proof that you are self-employed, this could include: a sole trader certificate/business license/tax return forms. A business plan in the case of starting a new company may be required as well as proof of finances (both at your disposal and what you expect to earn over a year).
It should be fine that the apartment is in someone else's name, but a supplementary letter from them may also be necessary to show that they are welcoming you to stay with them.
It may also be useful to check the Cost of Living in Hungary to see how you would budget as well as Banking, Money and Taxes in Hungary.
When are you planning to move?
I hope this helps, all the best!