How to prepare for your Hungarian citizenship interview?

Welcome to my first blog post!

Hungarian passport

Hungarian passport

I decided to start blogging as there are so many topics that interest me professionally and I’m hoping others may find interesting, too.  I also wanted to have a dedicated space on my website where I can collect all these thoughts together.

The third reason is that I have recently been contacted by a few people asking for my thoughts, experience and advice on various topics and that was the point when I realised: I do have things to say, would love to share my passion for languages, and for the Hungarian language in particular, and there might be people out there interested in hearing this. I’d like to encourage you to leave a comment and get in touch with me; I am certainly interested in your feedback!

You might have already heard that in May 2010 the Hungarian National Assembly approved a new law on Hungarian citizenship and introduced a simplified naturalisation procedure. You can find the eligibility criteria widely communicated on the Internet (or here on my website as well) and I would also like to urge you to contact your local consulate and check your exact circumstances.

One area however which you probably won’t find a huge amount of information on, is the level of Hungarian knowledge you will need in order to be successful at the interview. In the past year I have helped a number of clients prepare for their interview and their feedback was as follows:

  1. Helpfulness.
    All my clients have said the people conducting the interviews were very helpful. We all know that the Hungarian language is a difficult one to master and I am delighted to see that they are not expecting fluent, native speakers; but they are certainly expecting you to be able to communicate in Hungarian.
  2. Small talk.
    Most of my clients had a little chat at the beginning of the interview about how they felt, the weather, etc.
  3. Application form.
    This probably comes as no surprise, but they will go through your filled-in application form, ask you questions (in Hungarian, of course), etc.
  4. Biography.
    Some people were asked questions with regards to their biography.
  5. Next steps.
    During the course of the interview the next steps of the process were discussed and applicants always had a chance to ask questions.
  6. Connection.
    Most of my clients commented after the interview that they had a chance to prove they had a place for Hungary and the Hungarian language in their hearts.

These are things we can prepare for during the lessons and of course we do that, and a lot more.

So this is the gist of the feedbacks I received from applicants who have already passed their interviews. I would like to thank these clients of mine who were kind enough and took the time to share this information with me.

If you would like to add your thoughts or share your experience on this topic, please do not hesitate to do so.

If you are currently preparing for your interview you might be interested to know that as a sign of my support I offer a discount on Hungarian citizenship interview courses. Please feel free to contact me and ask for more details.

12 thoughts on “How to prepare for your Hungarian citizenship interview?

  1. Interesting post and I haven’t found any other info out there via google on this. So how many lessons does it take before someone can confidently get through this….assuming they start with ZERO knowledge of the language?

    • Hi Dave! Sorry I’m a bit late getting back to you – for some reason I haven’t received a notification of your reply. )-: But I did receive the message you sent me and we have had a chat since then. Please feel free to ask if you have anymore questions.

        • Hi Nafe! It totally depends on how much time you are able to put in and dedicate each week. If you are able to study every day, or at least every second day, then it shouldn’t be many, many months. We seem to have a problem with the notifications here (i.e. I have just received a notification about your comment), but please feel free to catch me at renata.forgacs@googlemail.com or on Skype if you would like to hear more about our experience.

  2. Hi, I intend to apply for the Hungarian citizenship and I have been informed that in order to apply I first need to pass an exam based on Hungarian history, culture, geography and Constitutional Knowledge. The procedure consists in a written and oral examination. One will have to answer in Hungarian, in written, 2 questions: one from Hungarian history or geography or culture and another one from Constitutional Knowledge. If one passes the written exam, there is an oral exam, again with 2 questions. I have received a flyer with 20 questions to prepare for the exam and a book to help the candidates prepare for it (the book costs 3500 HUF and you’ll have buy it from their office, when you skedule the date of the exam). For example, it is expected of the candidate to be familiar with the Hungarian flag and coat of arms, to be able to say the first verse of the National Anthem, to know how is the mandate of the president generated and terminated, What are the main responsibilities of the president, to know: the date of the extinction of the House of Árpád, the legislative activities of Parliament, government, the local government legislation, party, trade unions and other representative bodies. All this in Hungarian, verbal and oral.
    It doesn’t sound like they are going to ask you about the weather. It doesn’t sound easy at all. Has anybody has experience with this type of exam? If yes, please let me know how it went 🙂 Thank you.

    • Hi Monica,

      First of all apologies: we seem to have a problem with the notifications here (i.e. I have just received a notification about the last three comments). I’m wondering whether since then you have passed and perhaps I’m too late with this reply?
      If not: I think we are talking about different procedures here. The post above is about the procedure called Simplified Naturalisation – this is applicable to you, if you have Hungarian ancestry.
      There are other procedures, which might be applicable to you, if you don’t have Hungarian ancestry, but have lived in Hungary for a certain period of time. My colleague Julia is currently working with a gentleman helping him prepare for this exam (called Alkotmányos Alapismeretek). You are correct: it is a LOT more than what we are talking about in this post. Please catch us in an email (renata.forgacs@googlemail.com) or on Skype if you would like more info.

  3. Hello,

    I would like to come to Hungary to learn the language, Budapest to be specific, could you suggest me any language school that provides preparation for the interview?

    Many thanks

    • Hi Ana,

      I’m sorry, I’m unable to suggest such a language school. I deliver lessons in London, or on Skype, and my colleague lives and delivers lessons in Hungary, but in the countryside, and also on Skype so we don’t have any knowledge on Budapest language schools. However, if anytime you would like to try how learning Hungarian on Skype works, your first lesson is free and then you can decide based on your experience.

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