Marriage in Hungary
Marriage of American citizens in Hungary must be performed in accordance with Hungarian law. A marriage that is valid under Hungarian law is generally valid in any state of the United States. The information furnished below is only for general information, since the interpretation of Hungarian laws and regulations does not fall within the competence of the U.S. Embassy.
If you wish to get married in Hungary, contact the district office of the town in which you, or your spouse-to-be, is a resident or the nearest Hungarian Consulate in the United States to ascertain the local marriage requirements. An American citizen who wants to get married in Hungary must establish to the satisfaction of the Hungarian authorities that s/he is free to marry under the laws of the state of his/her residence in the United States. Hungarian authorities have generally accepted affidavits of civil status – Tanusítvány. This document can be obtained through ACS for 50 USD or HUF equivalent. To make an appointment for this service, please follow this link: Make Appointment!
Be prepared to present an original birth certificate, any previous divorce decrees, and any other relevant documents needed to get married. Non-Hungarian documents must be presented to Hungarian authorities with certified Hungarian translations. [Note: A suggested location for obtaining certified translations is the Hungarian Office for Translation and Attestation (Országos Fordító és Fordításhitelesítő Iroda Rt.) at Bajza u. 52., 1062 Budapest, telephone: 269-3831; telefax: 428-9622; e-mail: email@example.com.].
There is a thirty-day waiting period before an American citizen can get married. However, in extenuating circumstances, the appropriate Hungarian authorities can waive this waiting period. To apply for the waiver, the U.S. citizen will need to write an explanation of why the waiver is needed and provide supporting proof to the Hungarian authorities at the local district office where the marriage will take place. This procedure usually takes 10-14 days.
To be legal, all marriages must be performed by a Hungarian civil authority. Religious ceremonies do not have legal validity under Hungarian law.
(Dual Nationals: American citizens who are considered to be Hungarian citizens under Hungarian law may contract marriage in Hungary only as Hungarian citizens. Dual citizens who have changed their names in the United States may contract marriage in Hungary only under their original Hungarian names.)
The “free-to-marry” statement is available at the ACS, or can be downloaded here: Free-to-Marry Statement (Microsoft Word, 39 KB).
Immigration of Alien Spouse to the United States
The alien spouse of an American citizen does not acquire United States citizenship through marriage. S/he must obtain an immigrant visa to be able to immigrate to the United States.
For further information on immigration, please visit the Alien Spouse of a U.S. Citizen page of our Immigrant Visas Section. Please do not call the American Citizens Services Section about visa matters.
Divorce in Hungary
Foreigners in Hungary are not required to reside in Hungary for a specified period before filing for a divorce. The same legal rules apply to both U.S. citizens and Hungarian citizens.
Divorces are generally arranged with the assistance of a lawyer because the process is complex. Depending on the circumstances, various documents (such as the marriage certificate, birth certificates, financial documents, etc.) must be submitted to the local court that is handling the case. Court jurisdiction is usually based upon where one of the parties lives in Hungary. Foreign-language documents must be translated into Hungarian by the Hungarian Office for Translation and Attestation (Országos Fordító és Fordításhitelesítő Iroda Rt.), at Bajza u. 52., 1062 Budapest, telephone: 36-1-269-3831; telefax: 36-1-428-9622; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. In cases where the address of one party is unknown, the assistance of the Ministry of Justice at Roosevelt tér 1-2, 1055 Budapest, tel.: 441-3003, may be sought.
The Embassy provides a list of Hungarian attorneys for your reference. The Embassy assumes no responsibility for their professional ability and integrity.