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New Immigration Law in Hungary

New Immigration Law in Hungary

In this article, we will explore the recent changes in Immigration Law in Hungary, detailing the impact on third-country nationals seeking admission and residency. With new legislation effective since January 1, 2024, and specific rules for guest investors from July 1, 2024, we’ll discuss the introduction of new permit categories and their implications for highly qualified workers, guest workers, and investors.

Changes in Residence Permit and Visa Categories in Immigration Law in Hungary

With the Hungarian Parliament´s recent enactment of groundbreaking legislation, the landscape of admission and residency for third-country nationals under the Immigration Law in Hungary has undergone a significant transformation. The regulation has been in effect since January 1, 2024, however, the majority of the provisions will take effect from March 1, 2024, and the rules pertaining to guest investors will only be enforceable from July 1, 2024. The main changes include: (i) two permit categories for foreign workers: one for skilled and one for guest workers; (ii) a new 10-year permit will be introduced for individuals investing at least EUR 250,000 in Hungary.

So far we have assisted over 400 companies.

Highly-Qualified Workers

The new immigration law in Hungary introduces several new categories of residence permits and visas. The Regulation makes a distinction between highly qualified workers and guest worker’s permits.

Highly-Qualified Workers are described as having a higher education, such as a BA/MA degree, or working in a position categorized under the Hungarian Standard Classification of Occupations (FEOR 2) with professional qualifications listed by the appropriate ministry.

Please contact us for the latest information on the accepted diplomas and work categories.

These types of workers are eligible to obtain a Hungarian Card starting from March 1, 2024, which offers the following advantages to the applicant:

  • The Hungarian Card is initially valid for three years
  • It can be extended as many times as needed
  • The allows for family reunification 
  • It must be taken into account during the settlement on the legal grounds of the National Card 

Along with the Hungarian Card, the newly approved law established the National Card, which is available to applicants from Serbia and Ukraine seeking work in Hungary. 

Gurcan Partners stands ready to provide comprehensive support under the new Immigration Law in Hungary. Please feel free to contact us via email at [email protected].

Guest Workers

The Immigration Law in Hungary implements quite stringent restrictions on the category of guest workers. One of them is that the applicant who is considered to be a guest worker is not eligible for family reunification. These are the type of work permits, which do not require higher qualifications. 

Permits that fall under the “guest worker” category:

  • residence permit for employment purposes
  • seasonal guest worker residence permit
  • residence permit for guest workers employed for investment projects
  • guest worker residence permit 

Furthermore, according to the Immigration Law in Hungary, guest workers are limited to an initial two-year work permit, with a possibility for a one-year extension, after which they must leave the country. Holders of the guest workers permit are also not eligible to submit applications for permanent residence.

The former “gainful activity” permit, also known as business immigration, now corresponds to the guest self-employment residence permit under the Immigration Law in Hungary. Unlike the category of guest workers, this residence permit allows for family unification after one year. If the permit holder possesses a higher-level education, they may also qualify for the Hungarian Card.

Guest Investor Residence Permit

Starting from July 1, 2024, Hungary launches a golden visa program, granting 10-year residency with no stay requirement with investment options in: 

  • bonds (EUR 250,000), 
  • real estate (EUR 500,000), or 
  • donations to education/culture (EUR 1 million).

Find out more about the Guest Investor Program in our article Permanent Residence Program through Real Estate Purchase in Hungary: Real Estate Investment In Hungary

The purpose of family reunification

A residence permit for the purpose of family reunification may not be granted to a third-country national if the sponsor:
  • does not hold a residence permit for the purpose of guest self-employment for at least a year,
  • holds a residence permit for the purpose of seasonal employment,
  • holds a residence permit for the purpose of employment for the purpose of investment,
  • holds a residence permit for the purpose of employment,
  • holds a residence permit for guest workers,
  • is a holder of a White Card,
  • holds a residence permit for the purpose of studies, training,
  • holds a residence permit for the purpose of traineeship,
  • holds a residence permit for the purpose of voluntary service.
The spouse of the sponsor cannot be granted a residence permit if the other spouse of the sponsor is in possession of a residence visa or a residence permit issued for the purpose of family reunification.
There is another option for highly qualified workers, which is the EU Blue Card, please contact us for more information about this opportunity.

How Does the Immigration Law in Hungary Impact Existing and Expiring Permits? 

It is noteworthy that, according to the Immigration Law in Hungary, third-country nationals who have already acquired residency under the existing regulations will be able to maintain their status until its expiration date. Exploring the evolving regulations, applicants will need to consider the new residency categories during the renewal process.

Our dedicated team is here to guide you through every step of your process under the new Immigration Law in Hungary. For expert assistance with your process, feel free to reach out to us anytime at: info [@] gurcanconsultancygermanyugg.sg-host.com

Practical Implications for Employees and Businesses

Employers should watch out for these changes, as outlined in the Immigration Law in Hungary, since between January and February 2024 residency applications are paused, which could impact the hiring process of businesses. New applications will only be processed by the Immigration Office starting from March 1, 2024. Work permit applications lodged before January 1, 2024, will be assessed according to the former regulations. Additionally, residence permits that expire in January and February will be automatically renewed until April 30, 2024.

The attractiveness of obtaining a work permit in Hungary to foreign nationals is anticipated to diminish as a result of the shorter stay period and the lack of opportunities for permanent residence or citizenship.

New Immigration Law in Hungary
New Immigration Law in Hungary


Hungary’s recent immigration legislation has introduced significant changes. Key aspects include distinct categories for highly qualified and guest workers. The legislation demonstrates increased flexibility for investors and third-country nationals with high-level qualifications. On the other hand, it imposes restrictions on guest workers, who do not possess these qualities. The shorter stay and limited pathways to permanent residence or citizenship may reduce Hungary’s work permit attractiveness. Practically, the temporary pause in residency applications may impact business hiring in early 2024. Stay informed for effective adaptation.

Hilary Agbo

Source: https://net.jogtar.hu/jogszabaly?docid=a2300090.tv#lbj0id42d1  – 2023. évi XC. törvény a harmadik országbeli állampolgárok beutazására és tartózkodására vonatkozó általános szabályokról