Hungary Visas and Work Permit Guide

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Hungary Visas and Work Permits

With an attractive balance of labor costs and work quality, advantageous business incentives, a competitive tax system, and investment-friendly economic policies, Hungary is a notable business expansion option that is ripe with opportunity for foreign companies and entrepreneurs. 

Hungarian visa and permit regulations vary according to the zones foreign nationals reside in – The European Union, the European Economic Area, and outside zones are all affected by these regulations.

However, not all companies have the resources or the time to do all the legwork. At Bradford Jacobs, as a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) with years of experience in Employer of Record (EOR) services, we have plenty of both to help you arrange the required visas and permits.

The required Visas and Permits in Hungary

Acquiring the required documents, as well as implementing your employees in a new territory (both foreign and domestic) require an in-house specialist department – and every new country comes with its own demands. We are experts in Hungarian recruitment and payroll and can ensure an employee’s swift implementation in Hungary with the correct visa and permit documentation.

What types of Work Visas and Permits in Hungary are there?

For a foreign national to enter Hungary in order to work, there are a few work permits and visas one can apply for:

Types of Permits 

  • Individual work permit – For foreign nationals who want to work in Hungary for not more than 90 days over a 180-day period. 
  • Joint work permit – For foreign nationals who wish to work in Hungary for more than 90 days within a 180-day period. 
  • Residence permits – permits residency in Hungary for up to 90 days. 
  • Single application procedure – For non-EEA nationals who wish to reside in Hungary for more than 90 days within a 180-day period. This permit type can only be applied for through an employment relationship with a Hungarian employer. 

Types of Visas

  • Long Stay Visa (D) – For those who wish to stay in Hungary long-term, and also acts as a pre-approved residency permit.
  • Working Schengen Visa – This visa type is used for short-term employment opportunities.
  • Schengen Business Visa – For foreign, non-EEA nationals who wish to travel to a Schengen area for temporary purposes. This visa can be used for single or multiple entries. It allows holders to stay for 90 days within six months.
  • Seasonal Employment Visa – for foreign nationals who wish to work in agriculture, animal husbandry, or fishing are eligible for this visa. This allows the applicant to work for no more than 180 days.
  • EU Blue Card – a highly-skilled non-EU worker residing in an EU-member country can apply for this card as long as a residence permit is also acquired. To be eligible for this card, the foreign national will need to prove 18 months of lawful stay in a member state.

How to obtain a Hungarian Work Visa?

For non-EEA employees to work in Hungary, they will need a Long-Stay Visa, a work permit, and a residence permit. A common process is to get these done through the single application procedure of the work permit.

The documentation for the application of a work permit depends on the type of permit being applied for, but the process involves the collaboration of the employer and the national immigration authorities, as well as the foreign national.

The single application procedure is specific to applications made by non-EEA nationals, who want to apply to work in Hungary and are in an employment relationship with a Hungarian employer for more than 90 days within a 180-day period.

For the visa/residence permit application, the following documents that must be translated to Hungarian or English and legalized (although documentation requirements may vary according to country of the non-EEA employee):

  • The application form: which can be submitted electronically or by hand
  • A valid passport: Your passport must be issued within the last 10 years, contain at least two blank pages, and be valid at least 3 months after the visa’s duration
  • Photos: Passport photos that have been taken around the time of application, in color
  • Reference letter from prospective employer (original and copy from government e-portal)
  • Proof of sufficient funds and means
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Plane ticket reservations
  • Proof of health insurance
  • A certified copy of a valid employment contract
  • Proof of employee’s qualifications and experience
  • Any relevant certifications, licenses, references, or authorization

How to Apply for work visa/work permit in Hungary

Before the application of a visa/residence permit, a work permit must be applied for by the employer, which follows this process:

  1. Advertise the job in the Hungarian Labor Office for 15 days to allow sufficient time for an unemployed Hungarian national to compete for the position.

  2. Submit a manpower request to the applicable regional branch of the Labor Centre – this request must be done with the following requirements: a valid workforce requirement for the overseas individual, an absence of local workers to fill the position, and the foreign national satisfying the employment conditions.

  3. Requests for a work permit must be made within 60 days of making the labor demand request, which requires the following documents: certificate of vocational qualification required to perform job activities, employment conditions certificate/contract, document certifying the employer’s title of operation, and a medical certificate.

    There are two types of procedures when applying for the work permit: General and Simplified. They vary according to the position the foreign national will have in the company, as well as possible exemptions.

  4. The Labor Centre will 10-30 days to process the work permit application. Once approved, a resolution must be issued which specifies the information of the employer who is engaging the foreign national, workplace details, job description, work activities, and the employment term.

Once the work permit is acquired, the long-stay visa, which acts as a pre-approved residence permit, may be applied for, which follows these steps (although this can vary according to the country you are applying from):

  • Fill in the visa application form
  • Present documents: You need to present/attach the required documents you have collected to your application.
  • Schedule an appointment with your embassy/consulate: Once application is done, you must make an appointment at your local Hungarian embassy or consulate. This process may vary according to the regulation in your country of residence and might include an interview.
  • Go to the embassy/consulate & give your biometrics: Your fingerprints need to be scanned and facial image taken (if you have not travelled to the Schengen Area in the last 5 years) at the Hungarian embassy/consulate.
  • Pay the visa fee: The payment process/requirements may also vary according to the country of residence.

It takes up to 60 days to approve a Long-Stay visa.

How much is a Hungary Work Visa?

Visa applicants are subject to a visa fee of EUR 60. If submitted in Hungary, the administrative fee is HUF 18,000.

Working Visa / Permit for Hungary

To legally work in Hungary, members of the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) do not require a work visa or work permit. Non-EEA nationals, however, require both.

A Long-Stay Visa acts as a pre-approved permit, so the foreign national is only entitled to a stay of 30 days under this visa. Therefore, they must visit the regional office of the National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing that is responsible for the area in which their accommodation is located as soon as possible after entering Hungary, in order to apply for receive a resident permit and register their accommodation.

Non-EEA nationals will also need to apply for a Social Insurance Identification Number from the National Health Insurance Fund Administration, as well as a Tax Identification Number from the Tax Authority.

A residence permit is valid for up to 3 years. A work permit is valid for two years, whilst the visa can be valid for a year.

Non-EU and non-EEA nationals may also apply for an EU Blue Card – this works both as a work and residence permit for highly-qualified non-EU workers who wish to work and live in the EU. To meet the qualifications, you will need:

  • Proof of your higher education qualification (university degree, transcripts, etc.), or in some case, proof of at least 5 years of relevant professional experience.
  • An employment contract of at least a year (does not apply for self-employed work or entrepreneurs).
  • A higher-than-average salary compared to the average salary of Hungary (except when the lower salary threshold applies).
  • Long-Stay Visa application.
  • The necessary travel documents – passport, health insurance, travel itinerary, etc.
  • Proof you completed the legal requirements to practice your profession, where this is regulated.

Business Visa Hungary

To engage in business-related activities in Hungary, any non-EEA national will need to apply for a Business Visa. The type of Visa needed is a Short-Stay Visa C. The application for this visa requires the following documents:

  • An invitation letter from the Hungarian company you will be visiting, which includes their address and the dates of your visit.
  • A certificate from your employer stating your business travel.
  • A business bank statement of the last 6 months.
  • Proof of previous trade relations between the two companies (if applicable)
  • An original certified copy of the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association (registered with joint stock companies), their trade license (first issue and most recent renewal), as well as any proprietorship or partnership documents.
  • Expenses: the employer or partner company must state expense coverage on the letter or invitation.

The maximum validity of a Short Stay Visa C is 3 months within a 6-month period, and costs EUR 80. However, the time validity of this visa may vary, according to what your embassy grants you.

Hungary Visa for EU citizens

Work visas and permits for Hungary are not required for EU and EEA nationals, regardless of the purpose or length of stay. However, EU nationals must have a National ID Card or passport that is valid for the duration of their stay.

EU/EEA nationals and their family members are entitled to stay in Hungary for more than 3 months if they are in active and paid employment, studying, or support themselves with their own funds (which includes full healthcare coverage). However, a stay exceeding 3 months must be notified to the regional National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing office of the person’s residence and apply for residence documentation.

The Directorate will issue a registration certificate, as well as a residence card which is valid for a maximum of 5 years for family members who are non-EU Nationals that taking up residence in Hungary. Any changes in residence must be notified to the Directorate.

If an EU national wishes to stay in Hungary to work, they must also register with the local tax authority for a Tax Identification Number and a Social Security Identification Number to make payments to the National Health Insurance Fund Administration.

Hungary Visa for USA citizens

American Citizens who wish to enter Hungary do not require a visa for stays of up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes, due to the Schengen Agreement. From end 2022, however, they will need an ETIAS – which is an electronic travel authorization for short stays in the Schengen Area within a 180-day period.

If required to travel to Hungary for longer than 90 days, however, an application for a long-stay visa and residence permit is required, which must include the following documents (with some variation):

  • The application form – fill out by hand or fill it in electronically.
  • 2 passport photos – recent, whole-face with a light background.
  • Your passport, which must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the return date, and have at least 2 blank pages, as well as copies of previous Schengen Visas (if applicable).
  • A copy of your travel itinerary.
  • Proof of European travel medical insurance of a minimum of EUR 30,000 coverage within the entire Schengen Area.
  • Proof of accommodation.
  • Proof of sufficient funds.
  • Proof of civil status (if required).

Hungary Visa for Canadian citizens

Canadian citizens do not require a Schengen visa to travel to Hungary, or any other country in the Schengen Area. From end 2022, however, Canadian citizens must apply for an ETIAS, an electronic travel authorization for short stays in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.

However, if you plan to travel for more than 90 days, especially for work or study, you will need to apply for the appropriate visa, a work permit, and a residence permit, which provide the following documents (with some variation):

  • The application form – to be filled out by hand or electronically.
  • 2 passport photos – recent, whole-face with a light background.
  • Your passport, which must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the return date, and have at least 2 blank pages, as well as copies of previous Schengen Visas (if applicable).
  • A copy of your travel itinerary.
  • Proof of European travel medical insurance, which covers the entire length of your stay.
  • Proof of accommodation.
  • Proof of sufficient funds.

Hungary Visa for China

Chinese citizens require a valid visa to enter the Schengen Area, regardless of the duration of their stay. However, they will be exempt from requiring an ETIAS certificate after it has been implemented.

For applications to enter Hungary, they will need to present the following documents (at least):

  • The application form – to be filled out by hand or electronically.
  • 2 passport photos – recent, whole-face with a light background.
  • Your passport, which must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the return date, and have at least 2 blank pages, as well as copies of previous Schengen Visas (if applicable).
  • A copy of your travel itinerary.
  • Proof of European travel medical insurance, which covers the entire length of your stay.
  • Proof of accommodation.
  • Proof of sufficient funds.

To find employment in Hungary, Chinese citizens require a work visa, a work permit, and a residence permit. Documents must be submitted with an English or Hungarian translation, and legalized.

Hungary Visa for UK Citizens

In January 2021, the rules for traveling to the Schengen Area changed, due to Brexit. UK citizens can travel to the Schengen Area without a visa for up to 90 days within any 180-day period, regardless of the purpose of their visit.

However, to stay longer than 90 days (for work or study), they will have to apply for a visa and the relevant permits.

UK Nationals must have at least 6 months validity after the departure date on their passport, and you may have to show proof of travel (itinerary, accommodation, etc.), health insurance, and funds at border control.

Get in touch with Bradford Jacobs

If you are expanding your business into Hungary and would like to know more about the country’s visa and work permit requirements and compliance, contact us today!