Even though the war is in Ukraine, Hungarians seem to be quite afraid – or at least cautious – because these past few days, the number of passport applications highly increased.
Four times more people applied to renew their travel documents in Hungary after the outbreak of the war than in the previous months, according to Interior Ministry data sent to the Népszava news portal.
Several government offices in the capital have also seen an increase in traffic in recent days, with many people now wanting to renew their passports or extend their validity, Napi.hu was the first to report.
Data from the Interior Ministry shows, as Népszava reported, that in 2019, before the COVID-19 outbreak, there were on average 1,500 to 2,000 passport applications per day. Later, this dropped to 1,200-1,500 during the epidemic. After a government decree was issued at the end of the year, stating that expired documents could only be used until the end of June, the number of daily applications rose to 2,200-2,300.
By comparison, on Monday, 28 February, which was the fifth day of the Russian-Ukrainian war, many more, almost 9,800 applications were submitted.
By Tuesday, this number fell to 7,200. The Interior Ministry underscored the fact that these figures alone are not sufficient to draw far-reaching conclusions, and that a longer period should be examined, Népszava said.
According to the Interior Ministry’s Communications Department, no delay in processing passport applications is expected, as there is sufficient capacity for production. The question is, of course, how long the increased workload will last, as reported by Napi.hu.
As we can read in Népszava’s article, a passport costs HUF 7,500 (EUR~20) for five years and HUF 14,000 (EUR ~37) for ten years, but there is a surcharge if you need it urgently.
The document is usually ready within 8 days. Those who want it within 5 days pay HUF 19,000 (EUR ~50), those who want it within 3 days pay HUF 29,000 (EUR ~76) and those who want it within 24 hours pay a surcharge of HUF 39,000 (EUR ~102).
According to Napi.hu, there were some people who said they wanted the version that would be ready within 24 hours without hesitation. The receptionist told people arriving at the entrance that they should expect to wait at least 3-4 hours if they wanted to apply for a passport.
Source: Népszava, Napi.hu