Many people stood in long queues at the doors of the government offices yesterday. The waiting time was already hours for those who arrived at the opening of the offices. Many people would gladly pay 104 EUR to get their passport in 24 hours. Furthermore, people started to buy up foreign currencies.
According to napi.hu, people keep saying that everybody should have a valid passport and low-denomination foreign currency banknotes since Russia attacked Ukraine. The war is far from the borders of Hungary yet. However, many Hungarians already decided to collect all their necessary belongings, provided they had to flee their homes. Therefore, people stood in long queues at the doors of the government offices yesterday. One of the readers told napi.hu that they had to wait hours to submit their request for a passport.
The same happened in many government offices in Budapest yesterday. Forty people waited to enter the building of the Central Administration Office on Visegrádi street. Many of them stood in the queue with children. Only one or two wanted to prolong their expired documents, while some lost their documents.
But most of them wanted a new passport.
A Hungarian passport valid for five years costs 20 EUR. For 40 EUR, it will be valid for 10 years. However, the normal process of getting it takes eight days. If somebody wants it urgently, they have to pay an additional fee. Reducing the waiting time to 5 days costs 50 EUR. To receive a new passport in three days, you need to pay 77 EUR. 104 EUR, in addition, means you can have your new passport in 24 hours. There were a lot who opted for this last option – napi.hu said. A co-worker at one of the Central Administration Offices welcomed clients at 8 am saying that
they should expect 3-4 hours waiting time.
The same happened in the office of the 12th district yesterday. There, 14-15 people waited in the queue. One of them told napi.hu that he was not afraid of the war, but it is good to have a passport. In the Attila út office in Budapest, there were already 20-22 clients waiting at 8 am. Interestingly, 4-5 young families with children waited hours for a photo ID.
The business has been skyrocketing in the currency exchange market since the start of the Russian invasion. Some customers would like to exchange their EUR or USD to forint because the Hungarian currency is rapidly losing its value.
Others arrive to buy foreign currency. They want to buy dollars, Euro, Swiss franc or GBP.
There is no panic among Hungarians, but the tension is palpable. Furthermore, currency exchanges still have enough money in store. Hungarians have not exchanged fortunes yet. The trend shows that everybody would like to get their hands on some euro or dollar banknotes.