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Hungary’s Updated Immigration Law Introduces New Residence Permits for Highly and Low Skilled Workers


Hungary has introduced a new immigration law, the application of which was planned to start in March 2024.

The new law includes several changes and stricter rules to existing regulations for citizens of third countries, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

One of the major changes is the introduction of different work permit categories: one for highly skilled workers, another for low-skilled guest workers, and a new permit for investors.

As further explained in the European Website on Integration, the guest worker residence permit will only be given by law to foreigners employed by certain employers from specific countries and in particular occupations.

In addition, the guest worker permit can now be extended for only a limited timeframe, with a maximum total duration of three years.

After this period, the permit cannot be extended, and a new application must be submitted. Guest workers, therefore, are not entitled to permanent residence in Hungary or to family reunification.

European Website on Integration

‘Hungary Belongs to Hungarians’

According to Hungarian authorities, implementing this new law is necessary due to the increased migration.

Furthermore, the Hungarian government explained that citizens from third countries can permanently live or work in Hungary with the approval of the Hungarian state, only if they serve the interests of Hungarian society and their employment does not disadvantage Hungarian citizens.

Hungary belongs to the Hungarians and Hungarian jobs belong first and foremost to Hungarians. We must clearly regulate who can stay in Hungary and for how long. Neither work nor other stays can be unlimited and cannot be extended automatically.

The Hungarian government

As published in the Hungarian National Database, types of residence permits include:

  • for business or investment purposes
    • as a guest who is self-employed,
    • as a guest investor,
  • for work purposes, as a guest worker
    • with a residence permit for seasonal employment,
    • with a residence permit for the purpose of employment issued for the purpose of implementing an investment,
    • with a residence permit for employment purposes,
    • with a guest worker residence permit,
  • as a highly qualified person for work purposes or as a person with expertise in a field of particular importance to the country
    • with a Hungarian Card,
    • with an EU Blue Card,
    • as a person transferred within the company,
    • as a researcher,
    • with a Company Card in case of relocation of a business to Hungary,
  • with a National Card for work related to citizenship or for other purposes in accordance with this Act,
  • for other reasons specified in this law, i.e
    • for study purposes,
    • for training purposes,
    • as a trainee,
    • for official purposes,
    • on the basis of an international agreement on the employment of tourists taking up temporary work,
    • With a White Card,
    • for the purpose of posting,
    • for the purpose of medical treatment,
    • for the purpose of continuing voluntary activities,
    • in the national interest,
    • for the purpose of ensuring family coexistence
    • for humanitarian reasons

In addition, Hungary has recently introduced a list of 300 occupations for which a guest worker residence permit will not be issued. Following this decision, third-country nationals with temporary work permits are excluded from those jobs.

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