Last update: June 1, 2021, 3:30 pm
We’ve probably all read the news by now that an immunity certificate will be needed in order to do anything meaningful in the next few months in Hungary, especially things we have not been able to do in the past few months. Moreover, the validity of this certificate will not be limited to this country alone. One after the other, foreign governments are signing bilateral agreements with Hungary to mutually accept each others’ vaccination documents. In other words, this card will allow us to finally cross some borders too. That’s right, this article might as well become your guide to freedom.
Now, as if it weren’t challenging enough to live in a country with such a ‘unique’ language in normal times, we’ve had this pandemic for over a year now, with all its intricacies. To ease the frustrations for non-Hungarians in what is hopefully the final stretch of the Covid restrictions, here’s a guide to getting the immunity certificate, a.k.a. the vaccination card. This is, of course, with the assumption that you’ve gotten at least your first dose of the vaccine (if not, then do it now) or can prove that you’ve recently had the virus.
At the ‘Kormányablak’ | Goverment Office
The good news: as of Tuesday, May 25, 2021, you no longer need an online appointment, though still recommended, you can also just walk into one of these offices after you’ve found one on Google Maps.
The two main reasons why you might have to visit one of these:
1. ‘Ügyfélkapu’ | Client Gate registration
Yes, in the vast majority of cases you have to do this in person, but it will really open up many ‘gates’ for you, and all you need is a passport or valid EU ID card. If you have other Hungarian documents, like a TAJ, Tax ID, or address card, all the better, but they’re not absolutely necessary just for the registration. Click here for more details provided by helpers.hu.
2. Requesting an Immunity Certificate – card format
You can also do this at the Kormányablak / Government Office if:
- You have received at least your first dose of the vaccine in Hungary. (Note: people with a National ID card receive the Immunity card automatically, there should be no need for this visit.)
- You can provide a recent serum antibody test from an accepted lab (ask lab if they are gov’t certified) or if you have a positive PCR test from a recognized lab (foreign PCR tests are not accepted). Technically, you can also use this method with no TAJ (social security) number, and for cases when you received the vaccine in a different country.
Note: this method is not free though, it generally costs 11,000 HUF to get a test, and an additional 3000 HUF to apply for the Immunity Certificate
Further details outlined on April 27th, at helpers.hu
No TAJ? No problem. (Well, almost.)
If you don’t have a Hungarian Social Security (TAJ) number, you can still get vaccinated and also get an immunity certificate in the card format, though not the app, unfortunately.
Getting the vaccine with no TAJ
- Option 1, the ‘official’ method — As of the latest update of this article, you should register as soon as possible at the site (also linked above): https://vakcinainfo.gov.hu/registration and wait. You cannot yet reserve an appointment for actually getting the shot, but it’s still important to register. In fact, this is how it first worked for local residents as well: you register and then you reserve an appointment when announced that it’s possible. After registration, don’t expect an email or SMS confirmation, at least not yet. You will be able to check up on it later, as they’re still working out the system. Local residents are usually also able to check if their registration is valid, but this tool is also not yet available for people without a TAJ. So please register, and be patient, and then check back. We will update you when we know more.
- Option 2, the ancient method: ‘try your luck’ — You can also simply find a GP who will administer the vaccine for you, or show up at a vaccination point where they will accept you. This has not been officially confirmed as a reliable method, but it’s perfectly legal if you find someone who is willing to do it. Bring your passport or other ID documents with you, and if you succeed, the paper they give you certifying your vaccination will enable you to walk into a gov’t office and request the Immunity Certificate, as outlined below.
So it’s up to you whether you want to wait or try your luck. If you choose the latter, read on. 😉
So where can I try my luck without wasting too much time?
The following vaccination points have been recently reported to be helpful toward foreigners with no TAJ number, so it’s probably worth a try:
- Saint Cosmas Health Center of Joseph Town reported to have administered Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen single-dose vaccine without TAJ or an address card.
- Zuglói Egészségügyi Szolgálat, reported to have administered Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen single-dose vaccine without TAJ.
- Ferencvárosi Egészségügyi Szolgáltató Közhasznú Nonprofit Kft. (+36 1 455 4500), reported to have administered Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen single-dose vaccine without TAJ or an address card.
- Oltópont at Fő utca 52, reported to have administered Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen single-dose vaccine without TAJ or an address card.
- Honvéd Kórház (Army Hospital)
- Szent Rókus Hospital
- Nyírő Gyula Vaccination Point
Note: If you think you have any useful info to share with others, please contact us on the form below.
Getting the Immunity Certificate card with no TAJ
Now, if you’ve got your first dose and you don’t feel sick you can go straight to a government office and tell the clerk what your story is: no TAJ. You can also do this with a positive antibody test, which should also apply in cases where people got vaccinated in another country.
Usually, they have someone who speaks English. You should then present the same ID document you used to get the vaccine, your vaccination papers, and they will make you fill out a form, even help you with it, if you’re lucky. On the form they will ask for a mailing address of your choice, which doesn’t have to be anything official; you can even choose whether you want the card sent by simple or registered mail.
That’s about all. You can expect your card to be mailed to you within two weeks.
The downloadable vaccine certificate for travel
As the official Hungarian Immunity certificate does not specify which vaccine you have received and the date of your second shot, there is an international form that will show all relevant info. You can download, print, and have your vaccination point sign and stamp it: https://turizmus.com/html/data/cikk/117/4952/cikk_1174952/oltasi_igazolas_angol.pdf
If you didn’t know about this form when you were jabbed, you should be able to go back to the vaccination point and have them authenticate it.
Many countries, for example Greece, accept all vaccine types, but a minimum of 14 days have to elapse after your second dose. The linked form can be helpful in these cases.
Immunity Certificate – app format
Once you have set up your Ügyfélkapu / Client Gate registration, watch this bilingual tutorial in the comfort of your home/office. (You can turn off the music, it’s meaningless.)
What you need for the Immunity Certificate App
- Ügyfélkapu (Client Gate) registration (see above)
- TAJ (Social Security) number (which you must have to use the app)
- A computer to start the registration process on the EESZT website’s registration page, by which you set yourself a 6-digit pin number.
- A smartphone to download the app (“EESZT alkalmazás” on Google Play, “EESZT Lakossagi” on App Store), log in with your pin and validate it with a QR code pointing at the computer screen.
- You can start using the app immediately after your first dose of the vaccine, as you are registered in the system right away
- You can only use the app if you have been vaccinated. If you would like an immunity certificate based on a recent case of the virus, you need to apply for the card format, as outlined above.
Frequent issues, tips, additional resources
- Here is a description of the process for activating the app, dated May 14, 2021, from helpers.hu
- There have been reports that the app can only be downloaded on a Hungarian Google Account, and it may not work, for instance, on a UK Google account. First of all, you should try it on the account you have, as you might have already switched your country to Hungary, or create a new account, and select English (or whatever applies) as the language.
- Various settings on your computer, like auto-translate and adblocks can affect the registration process. There have been cases when simply switching to another computer eliminated the glitch altogether.
- Careful: when you enter your pin, the keypad layout will change every time. (It’s probably to test how sober you are when required to show it at a pub. 😉 ). When selecting a pin, you should consider the fact that you will probably have to enter it many times in the future, as requested at each venue.
- For the Immunity Certificate card you can provide any address, it does not have to be identical to what is on your official address card.
- Have they lost you in the system? If they can’t find you, for example, at the gov’t office, have them double-check the spelling of your name AND your mother’s maiden name. It’s a very common problem.
If you need help, write to us and we’ll try to walk you through the process. Seriously:
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