President Bush announced in 2008 that Hungary would be added to the United States Visa Waiver Program (VWP) later that same year on November 17th. Since then, Hungarian citizens have been able to apply for admittance to the U.S. without a visa through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). ESTA is an online application that grants Hungarians access to the U.S. for up to 90 days without a visa for the purpose of business, tourism (including medical purposes), and non-credit study programs. If your purpose of traveling to the U.S. does not fit these criteria’s, then you may apply for a B-2 tourist visa at the nearest U.S. Embassy.
U.S. Immigration statistics about Hungarians (2017):
- The total amount of visitors from Hungary: 108 588
- Approved ESTA applications: 90 997
- Students and exchange visitors: 4 808
- Temporary workers and family-related applications: 4 252
- Diplomats and other official representatives: 1 351
- Other types of visitor categories: 712
How to get from Hungary to the United States
There are six airports in Hungary: Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD), Debrecen International Airport, Győr-Pér International Airport, Nyíregyháza Airport, Hévíz–Balaton Airport, and Pécs-Pogány International Airport. And from Budapest International Airport, you can fly to New York and Chicago.
With LOT Polish Airlines, you can fly directly on a nonstop flight to Chicago in 10.45 hours. If you are flying to New York, you have 60+ connecting flights to choose from. If you want to check out which carriers that fly from Budapest, you can check out this page here.
How to get to the airport from Budapest city center
Getting to the airport by car is a breeze. Depending on the traffic, you can drive from the city center to the airport in 20-60 minutes on the high-speed road. The high-speed road is separated from the public traffic with a sting barrier making it less prone to delays.
Főtaxi is the preferred taxi service in Budapest. Drivers speak at least one foreign language and accept credit cards. A ride from the city center will set you back 7200 HUF (26 EUR) depending on traffic conditions.
Check out miniBud.
With public transportation:
Bus line 100E is a direct line from the city center to the airport. The bus drives in 30-minute intervals and runs from 04:00 to 23:00 (if you are taking it from the airport: 05:00 to 0:30). More information can be found here: bud.hu/public-transport
You can also travel by train. Get more info here: bud.hu/train-transport
When should you apply for ESTA?
Since December 2018 it has been obligatory for travelers to apply for an ESTA at least 72 hours before boarding a plane. To be on the safe side, travelers are recommended to apply weeks or months in advance to make sure that their travel authorization (ESTA) is approved. If you need a visa, then apply for a B-2 visa at the nearest U.S. Embassy. But be aware that it can take a very long time to complete. If you have plans to visit the United States in the near future, then apply today. Read more about the ESTA application here.
Hungarians with an approved ESTA can check its status or make updates. Visit this page for more information: verify/update ESTA.
Hungarian citizens can apply for ESTA online
The ESTA is valid for 2 years for visitors from Hungary
Hungarians can stay in the U.S. for up to 90 days with an approved ESTA
Hungary’s overstay rate is only: 1.55%