Legal alien – a Trinidadian in Hungary

Article published on Nov. 13, 2007
community published
Article published on Nov. 13, 2007
New series of posts on the Budapest blog in section 'A foreigner's diary'! Stories from the pen of a Trinidadian guy living in Budapest, and her young Hungarian wife, who decided to take all difficulties to finally find home in Budapest. We hope that this section will provide you, dear Reader, a new perspective of people's life in Budapest.
Having an insight into the everyday life of this sympathic couple could make us better understand and face weaknesses of our society, old-fashiend systems, way of thinking...

Altough they are living in Hungary, I am sure that their stories could happen not only in Budapest, but in any other Europen city.

Barry and Orsi, welcome to our community, the foor is Yours!

T_T.jpgIt is a free world – or at least so we are told. There is freedom of speech to begin with, the ability to voice our opinion, to express ourselves of course to a certain extent. We are free to travel if we posses the means enabling us to do so. We are also entitled to choose our partner; we are free to fall in love so to say. All of these forms of freedom come with boundaries and limits.

In order to express ourselves we travel in seek of carriers outside our home country, we follow our dreams in hope of success and financial stability. During this journey we encounter different people and we stand a chance of falling in love with a foreigner God forbid. This is the part where it gets tricky and this is where I come to the picture. I happened to fall in love abroad with a foreigner. We decided to tie our lives together in Budapest, Hungary instead of my home Trinidad and Tobago (for more information on the country visit

As of my nationality I am an outsider, not even being part of the EU, I fall into the category of third countries making simple procedures even more complicated. We were not married at the time of my first long term stay, we managed to obtain a year-long visa and I started to search for a job which proved to be difficult as a foreigner. Interview after interview I got weary of rejections since no Hungarian companies would take the risk of hiring a foreigner and receive a refused work permit request from the authorities.

Even getting married turned out to be impossible. After failing to find a job my visa expired, therefore I was forced to leave the country. Before leaving, we gathered all the information on what documents were necessary for us to get married. With a long list I returned home, began collecting the enlisted items from the local authorities. Having gathered all documents I applied for another Hungarian visa. Returning with the joy of a mission completed I was optimistic. Naturally all documents for the marriage request had to be translated by OFFI and I can assure you it was not cheap. Armed with document we visited the Municipal Council of our district where we faced the remnants of a socialist regime impersonated by an employee. As a foreigner who does not speak Hungarian when visiting the Municipal council an interpreter has to present so that my future wife would not trick me into marrying her, this person cannot be a family member, therefore we dragged one friend to fill her empty hours. The previously mentioned employee expressed the lack of a declaration stating my wish to marry my fiancé – of course written in Trinidad in front of a notary. So the question arose: Isn’t it enough that I am here expressing my wish to marry the person I love??? Clearly it wasn’t enough.

To be continued...

Written by Oosi