Citizens of EU member states are automatically citizens of the European Union. This means that they can move freely around the countries of the EU, and have the right to live in those other countries if they meet certain conditions. Freedom of movement applies to all EU member states, although restrictions can be placed on new members to the EU. It also applies to Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein (who make up the EEA alongside the 27 EU member states) and Switzerland.

The Directive 2004/38/EC (Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States) extends the right to mobility within the territory of EU/EEA/CH to family members of EU/EEA/CH citizens too. Member States shall grant family members every facility to obtain the necessary visas, as long as the family member travels with or visits the EU/EEA/CH national.


The definition of ‘family member’

According to the regulations the following categories of applicants are considered as ’core’ EU/EEA/CH family members and may obtain a visa for family members of a citizen of the Union:

  • The spouse
  • The partner with whom the EU/EEA/CH citizen has contracted a registered partnership, on the basis of the legislation of any Member State, if the legislation of the host Member State treats registered partnership as equivalent to marriage;
  • The direct descendants who are under the age of 21 or are dependant as well as those of the spouse or partner as defined above; or
  • The dependant direct relatives in the ascending line and those of the spouse or partner as defined above.

The following persons are defined as ‘extended’ family members:

  • Any other persons not falling under the abovementioned scope of ’core’ family members, who are:
    • dependants;
    • members of the household of the EU/EEA/CH citizen;
    • strictly require the personal care by the EU/EEA/CH citizen on serious health grounds; or
  •  Partners with whom the EU/EEA/CH citizen has a durable relationship, duly attested.


Derogations from the general rules of the Visa Code applying for family members

  • No visa fee can be charged.
  • Family members can lodge their application directly at the consulate without any costs. This possibility must be genuine and effective, and the appointment must be allocated without delay. Where family members decide not to make use of their right to lodge their application directly at the consulate but to use the extra services, they should pay for these services
  • Third country family members of EU/EEA/CH nationals are entitled to apply for a C-EGT Schengen visa for stays of up to 90 days (in any 180-day period).
  • The visas must be issued as soon as possible to make it possible to distinguish between the rights of a third-country national who is a family member of an EU/EEA/CH citizen and those of other third-country nationals.


Supporting documents:

(Checklist for EEA family members)

  • completed application form signed by the traveler,
  • passport,
    • it should have been issued within the previous 10 years,
    • it should be valid for at least three months after the intended date of departure from the territory of the Schengen states;
    • it should contain at least two empty pages.
  • photo,
    • it should be a passport-size photo taken within the last 6 months
  • Documents proving family relationship with a citizen of the Union or a State of the European Economic Area or Switzerland:
    • Civil registry certificates (birth or marriage, accordingly), certificate of registration as an unmarried couple or any other document proving that the partnership is analogous to a marital relationship.
  • In the case of descendants over 21, ascendant relatives or other relatives, documents proving they are in the care of a citizen of the Union or a State of the European Economic Area or Switzerland or, if applicable, their state of health.
  • Proof that the applicant is travelling with a citizen of the Union or a State of the European Union, European Economic Area or Switzerland or is on the way to joining them.

Please be noted, that EEA family members may submit the application directly at the choosen Mission! Schengen visa applications can be also submitted at Embassy of Hungary in Beijing, or at the Consulate Generals of Hungary in Chongqing and Shanghai.

As of 1 January 2019, the article about the third-country family members of Hungarian citizens was removed from under the scope of the Act I of 2007 and its implementing decree. The Schengen visa provision of EEA citizen’s family members was therefore transferred to the scope of Act II of 2007 on the Entry and Residence of Third-Country Nationals (Harmtv.) and its implementing decree (Harmvhr.).

As a result the possibility of applying for the so-called C-EGT/visitor visa and subsequent Hungarian residence card has been abolished, which means that family members of a Hungarian citizen should undergo the same visa procedure as other third country nationals.