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Filled with gothic architecture, mineral spas, and rich cultural heritage, Hungary is an attractive destination for workers who want to experience this unique country. It's also a part of the Schengen Area, which gives privileges to citizens from other eligible countries.
Depending on where your employee lives, you may have to secure a visa and permit for them before they are legally allowed to start working for you in Hungary.
Below is an in-depth review of the Hungary work permits and visas and what your company needs to do to secure legal Hungary immigration for your employee.
Types of Hungary work permits
Depending on your employee's country, they may or may not have to obtain a work permit or visa before visiting and performing job duties in Hungary. The country is part of a specific area and participates in the Schengen Treaty. This treaty allows for visa-free travel between member states within the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA).
Any EU citizen can travel freely within the Schengen area without needing to secure a visa or permit. The arrangement is valid for up to 90 days and even members of the European Economic Area are also included.
Any foreign national outside of these two areas will need to secure both a visa and a work permit before relocating to Hungary. Fortunately, there are several types of permits available depending on how long your employee plans on staying.
Joint work permits
Individuals who plan to stay in Hungary for more than 90 days and do not qualify for the Schengen visa will want to apply for a joint work permit. Even though the total length of time for the permit is for more than 90 days, the employee can only stay in Hungary 180 days before needing to file an extension.
Individual work permits
Individual work permits in Hungary function just like a joint work permit except the duration is different. This Hungary work permit is for employees who plan on staying in the country for no more than 90 days. Employees still have 180 days to complete a total of 90 days in Hungary so employees may be able to leave and come back as they please.
A residence permit is also called a tartózkodási engedély and allows non-EU/EEA nationals to stay for a total of 90 days. There is no specific time period in which the residence permit must be used, unlike the 180-day restrictions put on the permits already described.
Single application procedure
Employees who are seeking work in Hungary for more than 90 days but less than 180 days will be eligible for the single application procedure. However, the exact duration will depend on the employment contract and what has been stated in the application process.
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Types of work visas in Hungary
Once your employee is able to secure a Hungary work permit, the next step is the visa application process. Both are needed to be considered fully compliant with Hungary immigration policy.
Below are the various types of visas available in Hungary and how they might apply to your employee.
Schengen business visa
If your employee plans on staying in Hungary because of business purposes such as meetings, contract signings, research, etc., then they should apply for a Schengen business visa. Employees will be able to stay in the country for a total of 90 days over a period of six months.
Working Schengen visa
Employees who plan on having a short-term stay in Hungary for business purposes should stick with the working Schengen visa. The exact duration may depend on the employment contract but what's nice about this type of visa is it applies to the entire Schengen area. This means your employee may even travel to countries that participate in the Schengen agreement without having to stay in Hungary for the entire length of the visa.
EU blue card
The EU blue card is a work visa issued by EU countries to allow individuals from non-EU countries to move and work legally in the European Union. It grants them the right to live and work in any of the 28 EU Member States under very specific conditions. The card generally requires that individuals demonstrate they have a minimum annual salary, language proficiency, certain training or qualifications, and, potentially, other related characteristics.
The EU blue card is an attractive option for foreign workers looking to gain legal status in an EU country, as it allows for greater mobility among member states than a nation-specific work visa does. Additionally, it’s typically quicker and easier than seeking permanent residency or citizenship in one of those countries.
Seasonal employment visa
A seasonal employment visa is largely reserved for employees who participate in work that is dependent on the seasons, Yu by like agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, or fishing. The Hungary work visa has options for single and multiple entries depending on the arrangement you have with your employee. Once granted, the visa is valid for no more than 180 days but employees will need to stay for longer than 90 days according to the visa rules.
When applying, you will need to state the exact time and workplace in the application and the visa duration will be dependent on what you fill out. If the employee has different roles or positions they will be performing, multiple seasonal employment visas will have to define the detailed information of each employment.
Requirements for a Hungary work visa and permit
Although there are advantages to having global employees, there are specific Hungary visa requirements that must be met before bringing them on payroll. The length of time your employee stays in Hungary will ultimately determine what type of permit and visa you apply for. Official documents and forms must be filed correctly for your employee to be considered fully compliant with local laws and regulations.
Any mistakes or errors, no matter if they are unintentional or not, will result in significant fines and penalties for your company. Because of this, it's often safer to acquire a global partner that can handle the process for you. They will have a team of experts in Hungary law to ensure your employee's visa is granted in a timely manner with minimal risk.
If you choose to take on the process yourself, keep in mind that it will be long and complicated. You will need to seek guidance from an attorney or other legal professional. Here is a set of general visa requirements that must be met due to Hungary immigration policy:
- Valid passport
- Completed application form
- Two passport-sized photos
- medical insurance
- Registered address in Hungary
- Letter of intent from employer
- Financial status
Depending on the type of visa you apply for, the exact requirements, documents, and forms needed will differ. There is also supporting documentation that must be given to prove some of the Hungary visa requirements listed above.
For example, if you want to prove your financial status, you will need to provide bank account information or pay stubs that prove you have the salary or income claimed in the application. Evidence of Hungary accommodation will need either a rental agreement, contract of sale or purchase of real estate, or evidence of reserved and paid accommodation.
How to apply for Hungary work visa and permits
Before you even begin the application process to bring your employee overseas to Hungary to work, you must first prove that a local citizen cannot fulfill the role. Create a job posting and advertise in the Hungarian Labor Office for up to 15 days to give all unemployed Hungarian nationals a chance to apply.
When you don't find the help you need, submit a manpower request to the regional branch of the Labor Center. This agency monitors quotas for foreign workers. Your company cannot have work permits for foreign workers that exceed the average number of workers requested by employers in the previous year.
The exact application process will depend on the type of permit and visa for which you are applying. Contact the local Hungary embassy in your employee's home country for more specific instructions on the application process.
When the application is submitted you'll have to wait for a few weeks to a month to receive an answer. If the visa and permit are granted, your employee is 100% fully compliant to work and live in Hungary. Your employee should take further steps to register their place of accommodation with the Hungarian government within three days of receiving approval.
Employees are also eligible for health insurance in Hungary when a permit and visa are acquired. There are no fees to apply and even short-stay employees should apply for the benefit. Finally, if the employee is ever terminated or seeking new employment, they'll need to notify the Hungarian government of the change in employment status within five days of receiving the announcement or termination.
Of course, citizens of EU/EEA countries don't need to seek visas or permits to work legally in Hungary. You as the employer will, however, need to notify the Labor Center about employee data like the age of the employee, citizenship, qualifications, and more. You'll receive a notification from the center and they will keep the request on file for up to three years.
Application processing time
Once all files and documents have been submitted, you can expect the process to take anywhere from two to three months to secure your global workforce. The exact time will depend on what type of visa and permit is being applied for. The Hungarian government will prioritize specific types of visas depending on their local economic needs.
If you happen to make a mistake or forget a document during the process the application will take even longer. That's why it's important to seek out help from an attorney or global payroll provider who has experience in this area and can help guide you along the way. At worst, your employee will be denied legal work status and be forced to leave the country if they have already made the move. Your company will also have to go through the application process again if you choose to continue.
Planning to hire or work in Hungary? Here’s how Skuad can help
With the right set of documents and forms, you can legally employ a foreign national in Hungary. The government offers several types of visas and permits you can choose from depending on how long you want your employee in the country. The only problem is the time, effort and resources required to apply.
To make the process more efficient and remove your company's risk, it's best to work with an employer of record like Skuad. Our experts help with document preparation, filing for permits and visas, preparing for government audits, notifying the Labor Center about foreign hires, and more.
Whether you’re moving team members to manage your projects or want to empower your employees to work from wherever they’d like, check out where we’re making mobility possible. Hire talent in Hungary and beyond and build globally-distributed teams easily with Skuad.
1. How long can I stay in Hungary as a U.S. citizen?
How long a U.S. citizen can stay in Hungary will depend entirely on the type of visa and permit they apply for. If the U.S. citizen plans on staying in Hungary for less than 90 days they do not need to apply for a visa and permit.
2. How can an American get a job in Hungary?
For an American to gain legal employment in Hungary, they need to obtain both a work permit and visa. There are several types available depending on the length of employment.
3. What type of work permits are there in Hungary?
There are several types of work permits available in Hungary that are dependent on the length of stay. They include the individual work permit, joint work permit, residence permit, and single application procedure.
4. Can foreigners work in Hungary?
Foreigners are allowed to work in Hungary but whether or not they need a visa and permit will depend on their country of residence and the duration of their stay. EU/EEA citizens can work in Hungary for up to 90 days without a visa or permit. Foreign nationals not a part of these countries will need to obtain a permit and visa to work in the country.
5. Can U.S. citizens work in Hungary?
Yes, U.S. citizens can work in Hungary as long as they have acquired the correct work permit and visa type. The exact type of permit and visa will depend on how long the U.S. citizen plans on working in Hungary.