Registration procedures and residence permits
Kinds of employment
- EEA and Swiss nationals (EU nationals) may enter Hungary with a valid passport or a personal identity card. They enter not more than three months on presentation of a valid ordinary passport or expired passport no more than a year out of date or a valid identity card or expired identity card no more than a year out of date.
- Family members who are not EU nationals may enter Hungary with a travel document and, in the case of countries requiring a visa, an entry visa, which may be obtained free of charge under an accelerated procedure. EU nationals and family members arriving with them or to join them are not required to register their arrival in Hungary with the competent immigration authorities.
- If a family member who is a non-EU national arrives in the country for some other reason and therefore does not qualify as a family member accompanying or joining an EU national, they are subject to the rules applicable to third-country nationals and must register their place of accommodation with the authorities within three days.
- If, however, there is other legislation that requires Hungarian nationals to fill in the visitor’s book (e.g. at an accommodation establishment at Lake Balaton for tax purposes) or the residential address has changed, then it also applies to EU nationals and their family members.
- EU nationals and their family members are entitled to stay for longer than three months if they are in active, paid employment or studying, or support themselves and their family members with their own funds, including health care coverage.
- A stay exceeding three months must be reported, and the legality of stay must be certified by the relevant document. The relevant authority will issue a registration certificate for the EU national and a residence card for family members who are not EU nationals. The Central Office for Administrative and Electronic Public Services (Közigazgatási és Elektronikus Közszolgáltatások Központi Hivatala, KEKKH) then sends the card proving the residential address to the person concerned automatically. Subsequent changes in residence must be notified to the document office of the competent local authority.
- The registration certificate is issued for an indefinite period and will lose its validity if the right of residence itself is terminated (i.e. the EU national leaves Hungary for a lengthy period). Residence cards for family members who are not EU nationals are issued according to the length of stay and are valid for up to five years. Both EU nationals and their family members are entitled to permanent residence after residing legally in Hungary for five years, and receive a permanent residence permit accordingly.
As a rule, anyone 16 or over may take up employment. Unless agreed otherwise, employment is established for full-time work, for an indefinite period. Hungarian law recognises other forms of employment and also forms of employment not based on an worker-employer relationship. Examples of the former include temporary employment, part-time employment, employment for a definite period, distance work, contract work, and legal relationships within a foster family. In addition to these, there is work carried out for various public purposes (public benefit work, community service). A contract worker employment relationship may be established for work that can be performed independently, for which the worker receives performance-related pay, i.e. the requirements on the worker may be defined in terms of quantity or quality indicators.
Distance work is employment where the worker does not work within a work organisation, at the registered office or place of business of the employer, but typically at his or her place of residence, using a computer to carry out the work and send it to the employer.
The temporary employment agency concludes a contract with the worker, while the temporary employment undertaking and the actual employer conclude an outsourcing contract or work contract with each other. However, there is no contractual relationship between the employer and the worker.
There is also a simplified employment scheme. The simplified scheme may be used for seasonal work in agriculture and tourism or for casual work. In this case, simplification means that only the most important rules of labour law (e.g. minimum wage) need to be applied. It also involves less paperwork to register and de-register.
In the case of public service employment, persons eligible for rehabilitative care or registered as jobseekers (public service workers) can be employed for 4, 6 or 8 working hours per day, for a period of 1-11 months. The public service employer concludes an official contract with the competent body of the state employment service, in which it undertakes to employ public service workers. The employer receives a subsidy for this. On the basis of the official contract, a public service employment relationship is established between the public service employer and the public service worker, which may cover statutory, optional and public-utility tasks undertaken by central or local government.
Work as an au pair involves helping individuals (families) look after, bring up and care for children in exchange for an allowance, board and lodging, help with language learning etc., but not as a regulated profession.
Specific labour legislation relating to artists and athletes does not exist in Hungary.