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New act on the employment of guest workers

The Hungarian Parliament adopted a new act on 13 June 2023 on the employment of third-country nationals. The purpose of the new regulations is to provide a transparent and unified background for the employment of guest workers coming to Hungary from outside the EU. The new act does not affect the employment of EU nationals and citizens of Ukraine and Serbia in Hungary.

The new act introduces a new residence and work permit that entitles employees coming from specific third countries (so-called guest workers) to stay in Hungary for a maximum of two years and to work for privileged employers (‘kedvezményes foglalkoztató’ in Hungarian) or to qualified temporary work agencies (‘minősített kölcsönbeadó’ in Hungarian). The ‘privileged employer means’ (i) an employer with a strategic partnership agreement with the Government, (ii) an employer who is implementing an investment of major importance for the national economy, (iii) an employer with a partnership agreement under the Priority Exporter Partnership Programme.

Compared to the current provisions, the new guest worker residence permit will be issued in a simplified procedure since the labour authority will not be involved. Instead, the employers will have to make a statement that they could not fulfil the position with a Hungarian applicant.

The government will determine the job positions in which the guest workers can be hired, the third countries from which the guest workers can come to Hungary and the maximum number of guest workers that may enter and work in Hungary per year.

The new Act will enter into force on 1 November 2023.