Status and access to employment

In Hungary, workers are required to have a work permit depending on their nationality and status. 

The following do not require a work permit:

However, it is necessary in the following cases:

The most important offices and institutions for working in Hungary:

Immigration Office / Országos Idegenrendészeti Főigazgatóság (OIF)

The Immigration Office / Országos Idegenrendészeti Főigazgatóság (OIF)

is the apex body for the residence of foreign nationals arriving in Hungary. There are 7 regional directorates and 24 branches in the country to receive foreign clients. 

Its main tasks are:

In relation to employment, the OIF is the body that deals with residence permits for work purposes and also with asylum status. 

The National Directorate General for Aliens can be reached at:

Government Offices

Government offices are the territorial administrative bodies of the Hungarian government. In Hungary, there are 19 county government offices and one Budapest government office, which are divided into 197 district offices. These offices operate the so-called Government Offices (Kormányablak), which provide an integrated, one-stop shop for everything from obtaining various ID cards and other documents to family support and vehicle registration. For example, you can apply here for a tax ID number or a social security number, which is a prerequisite for employment (for more information, see the section on Tax ID and for information on Social Security numbers, see the section on IDs and Documents).

Employment Department - Foglalkoztatási Osztály

The most important units in government agencies from an employment point of view are the so-called employment, employment supervision and labour protection departments or divisions. This is where employment-related matters can be handled. For foreign workers, for example, they issue the so-called labour requisition, which is essential for employment in the country (for more information, see the section on the residence permit for employment purposes). These departments/departments also carry out labour inspection tasks.

What permits do you need to work in Hungary?

As a guest worker:

As a highly skilled worker:

What do these mean?

The common feature of the residence permits available as a guest worker is that:

The difference is the duration of the benefits and the type of employment for which they can be claimed:

The seasonal work permit

A permit issued for the purpose of carrying out an investment:

Residence permit for employment purposes

3. As a highly qualified worker, you can work in Hungary with the following permits:

  • With EU Blue Card
    • highly qualified EU nationals + third-country nationals who meet the legal requirements
  • With Hungarian Card 
    • may also be granted to third-country nationals with higher professional qualifications who are employed in Hungary on the basis of an employment relationship with an employer established in a third country in order to fulfill an agreement with a national employer
    • is engaged in one of the occupations provided for by law
    • The validity period of the Hungarian Card is up to three years, which may be extended by up to three years on occasion
  • Intra-corporate transferees (ICT)
    • An intra-corporate transferee is a third-country national residing outside the territory of the European Union at the time of application for a residence permit for an intra-corporate transferee who has been intra-corporately transferred.
  • With Business Card
    • To be issued a Company Card, the third-country national must be an officer or employee of an employer as defined by the government.
    • The Business Card entitles the holder to stay in Hungary for a fixed term of up to four years and may be extended for this purpose for a maximum of four years at a time.
  • or as a researcher
    • A researcher is a third-country national holding a doctorate or an appropriate higher education qualification giving access to doctoral programmes, who has entered and resides in the territory of a Member State and has been selected by a research organisation to carry out a research activity for which such qualifications are normally required.

Who can get these licences?

Third-country nationals who wish to reside in our country for work purposes. This permit is not required for nationals of the European Union or of a Member State of the European Economic Area.

Where can I apply for this authorisation?

As a general rule, you must apply for this before entry, and you can travel to Hungary once your application has been approved. The application must be made at the Hungarian embassy or consulate of the country of departure. However, there are exceptional cases where an application can be made from Hungary to the Immigration Office (OIF):

These cases can be the following:

The application for a work residence permit is made jointly with the employer and the prospective employer is involved in the process. 

Application process and documents required:

1. The workplace submits a request for labour:

The employer submits the job application for the position in question electronically (online) to the Employment Department of the relevant government office. In this application, the employer specifies the position to be filled, the qualifications and skills (e.g. language skills) required to fill it. When the government office returns the notification of the labour demand, the process of recruitment of the foreign national can continue.

2. Job offer

A job offer from the prospective employer is the most basic condition for submitting the application, as it is the proof of the purpose of the stay. The job offer is most often set out in a preliminary agreement between the prospective employer and the prospective employee, which must be signed by both parties. 

This agreement must include the following mandatory elements:

3. Required Annexes: Proof of residence in Hungary

The applicant for a work permit must prove that the basic conditions of their stay in Hungary are met. In practice, this means four things.

Material conditions

To do this, you must prove that you have the financial means to stay in Hungary. This means that the applicant has the financial means to cover the expenses incurred during the stay in the country. 

How can this be verified?

In the case of residence for employment purposes, the source of subsistence will be the income from employment.

B) Accommodation

This requires proof that the employee’s residence in Hungary is secure, i.e. that there is a place where he or she can live until the end of the employment contract.

How can it be verified?

C) Health care

Here you must prove that the incoming worker’s health care is covered. During the stay for employment, social security contributions are deducted from the employer’s salary, and the payment of these contributions creates an insurance relationship which entitles the worker to health care and social security benefits.

D) Conditions of entry

This is where you need to prove that the conditions for travelling to Hungary are met.

How can this be done?

Other certificates:

Temporary Protection and employment

Most people fleeing from Ukraine to our country are granted temporary protection. This status comes with the relief that it allows people to work without a work permit until the temporary protection expires.

However, the fact that a work permit is not required does not mean that there is nothing to do about employment. The employer has a notification obligation to the employment department of the government office, which can be fulfilled by sending the B1 notification form online. In addition, the employer must also report the employment (start, termination) to the Immigration Office (OIF) on the Enter Hungary platform.

Humanitarian protection status and employment

Humanitarian protection status is granted to people who are not recognised as refugees/under subsidiary protection or as someone under temporary protection but who would face the risk of death penalty, torture or inhuman treatment if returned to their country of origin . Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, this status has been granted mainly to Ukrainian citizens who were already in the country before the outbreak of the war but whose residence permit for other purposes (e.g. work, study) has expired. 

Work permits for persons in humanitarian protection status are subject to authorisation, and the employer must apply to the government office for a work permit.

Residence permit for the purpose of studies

Such residence permit holders are typically studying in Hungarian higher education, and the primary purpose of their stay is to continue their studies. However, in their case it is also possible to work without a work permit.

Residence permits for study and work

The primary purpose of the stay of such residence permit holders is to continue their studies, typically in Hungarian higher education. They can also work without a work permit, but there are time limits:

Employment of refugees and subsidiary protected persons (”oltalmazott”):

In these two cases, the employment itself does not require a permit , but as with asylum status, the employment must be registered with the employment department of the relevant government office.

The list of priority employers can be reached here.

Residence permits for the purpose of family reunification and work

In this case, employment is also possible through a single application, i.e. the process is the same as for a residence permit for work purposes. 

If the holder of such a residence permit wishes to establish an employment relationship abroad, he/she must notify the Immigration Office (OIF) of their intention to do so, fill in an application form and attach proof of the need for labour and a preliminary agreement.