Issuance of emergency passports

Hungarian citizens are issued an emergency passport by the consul if their passport or identity card is lost or stolen abroad. Emergency passports allow Hungarian citizens to return to Hungary or, in certain cases, to continue their stay abroad or travel further.

Kulcsszavak: emergency passport, right to return, loss of the passport, passport stolen, theft of the passport, minors, emergency passport for return, emergency passport for continued travel

There are two types of emergency passport:

  1. emergency passport for return,
  2.  emergency passport for continued stay, travel or return.

Please note that only Hungarian citizens can apply for an emergency passport which entitles the holder to a single entry to Hungary or their usual place of residence.

To start the procedure, you must submit an application form.  To submit your application, you must appear in person before the consul (also when you submit your application to an honorary consul). However, in exceptional circumstances – when it would cause undue difficulties – there is no need for you to appear in person and you can submit your application by post (this is to be decided by the consul in consideration of all circumstances).

If your document is lost or stolen in a state where there is no Hungarian diplomatic mission or an honorary consular officer, you have two options. Submit your application by post with the help of a nearby Hungarian diplomatic mission or by appearing in person at the diplomatic mission of an EU Member State in the country of your stay to request an ETD (emergency travel document).

If your travel document is lost or stolen, you should do the following: You must notify the diplomatic mission of the loss or theft of your travel document immediately but not later than within 3 working days of gaining cognizance thereof. If you are unable to present your former and still valid travel document, you must make a statement on its whereabouts or theft, loss or destruction. A statement on theft can be substituted by a police report concerning the theft of your travel document. If you can return to Hungary after your passport has been stolen because you have an identity card, you can report the theft of your passport in Hungary at a government customer service, within 3 days.

If you are unable to appear in person at the diplomatic mission, you can report the loss or theft of your travel document in person to the honorary consular officer by completing the corresponding paper files. If you are unable to appear in person before the honorary consular officer, you can complete and sign a scanned copy of the files sent by the diplomatic mission in an e-mail or by fax or post, and then return them with a copy of the police report attached.

If the travel document assumed to be lost or stolen is found, you must notify the diplomatic mission thereof within 3 working days.

Emergency passport for return issued ex officio:

Upon request, Hungarian citizens are issued an emergency passport for return if their passport or identity card is no longer suitable to prove their identity, has been damaged, lost, stolen or has expired, and no ordinary passport can be issued by the time of their return.

Emergency passports are valid for a maximum period of six months.

Emergency passport for continued travel:

Hungarian citizens are issued an emergency passport for continued stay abroad, travel or return with a maximum validity of one year if their passport for travelling abroad or identity card is no longer suitable to prove their identity, has been damaged, lost, stolen or has expired, and no ordinary passport can be issued by the time of their return. The same requirements apply as with an ordinary passport.

Special rules pertaining to minors:

Applications of minors (persons under legal guardianship) for an emergency passport for return must be submitted by the legal guardian or parent. As a general rule, both parents (legal guardians) must consent to the issuance of the document. The application can be submitted by one parent and there is no need to present any of the above listed documents if the minor already had a valid ordinary passport or identity card used for travelling abroad but it has been damaged, lost, stolen or is no longer suitable to establish the identity of the holder. Emergency passports for return are issued by the consul with a maximum validity of 6 months but their period of validity may not exceed that of the previous ordinary passport (identity card).

If the travel document of a minor is lost (stolen, damaged) abroad and the minor is not accompanied by the legal guardian during his/her travel or the legal guardian is unable to appear in person at the diplomatic mission, s/he may be issued an emergency passport only for return with a validity not exceeding that of the previous ordinary passport or identity card, but with a maximum validity of 6 months.

Please note that if an emergency passport for return is requested for a minor whose birth is not registered in Hungary yet, such document will entitle the holder to a single entry to Hungary but not to travelling to the child’s country of birth; this may only be done once the child’s birth is registered in Hungary (applications for registering birth in Hungary can be submitted at the diplomatic mission as well) and an ordinary passport (identity card) is issued.

Hungarian citizens in distress are issued an emergency passport by the consul with no delay to facilitate their return.

Otherwise the procedural time-limit is eight days. For emergency passports, the procedural time-limit for issuing the document starts on the day the application is submitted.

Clients are not bound by any deadline when submitting an application for an emergency passport. (However, you must notify the diplomatic mission of the loss or theft of your travel document immediately but not later than within 3 working days of gaining cognizance thereof. If the travel document assumed to be lost or stolen is found, you must notify the diplomatic mission thereof within 3 working days.)

Special rules pertaining to minors:

When applications of minors or persons under legal guardianship are considered, it should be checked whether the parents (legal guardian) have made a statement granting their consent to the issuance of the document or if parental responsibility has been withdrawn or suspended.  If only one of the parents is present when the application is submitted, it should be checked whether the other parent has made a statement granting his/her consent to the issuance of the document. The consent statement is valid for 15 days from the day on which it is made.

Emergency passports are issued for a consular fee of EUR 30. Emergency passports for return are free of charge if they are issued ex officio or in connection with consular assistance lent to help the return of a Hungarian citizen in distress abroad.

Applications for an emergency passport are considered by the consul at his/her discretion.

Applicants may lodge an appeal against the decision of the consular officer on the issuance of an emergency passport. The appeal must be filed with the consular officer within 15 days of the communication of the challenged decision. There are no specific formal rules of appeal, but clients must state the reasons for their appeal.

Appeals submitted against the decision of the consular officer made as an authority are assessed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Emergency passports are to facilitate the actual exercise of Hungarian citizens’ right to return to Hungary from abroad any time, whose right to return cannot be denied, limited or be subject to any condition. For emergency passports, consuls act as a passport issuing authority, meaning that after the receipt of an application they are responsible for examining the statutory requirements for issuing the document and, depending on the fulfilment of such requirements, deciding on the issuance of an emergency passport.

An emergency passport entitles the holder to a single entry to Hungary.

Consular districts have no relevance to the issuance of emergency passports, applications can be filed with any of the diplomatic missions operating in the host country.

It is important to note that if the requirements for the issuance of an emergency passport are not met and the application is rejected, the consular officer must inform the applicant thereof in a decision stating the grounds for refusal.

Description last updated on: 16/07/2020

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