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Law on guest workers, 3rd country citizens passed

Parliament on Tuesday adopted a law on the entry and stay of third-country citizens in Hungary. The law was adopted with 141 votes in favour and 49 against.

The law states that sojourn in Hungary is not a fundamental right for third-country citizens. Foreigners may stay only for reasons and on the legal grounds accepted by the state, for the permitted time and under the conditions outlined by the relevant regulations.

Under the law, guest workers may enter the country only in numbers not exceeding the number of vacancies, and their stay may not exceed three years.

Visas issued for short-term stays allow holders to stay in the country for 90 days within a six-month period. Long-term visas allow stays between 90 and 180 days, while permanent visas have no time limits as a rule.

The new law replaces Hungary’s law on guest workers and establishes a unified law on aliens.

It excludes guest workers from the circle of those entitled to family unification in the country.

The government offices must investigate whether the positions the guest workers are applying for, be it seasonal or not, could be filled with Hungarian workers, it says.

Employers must conclude an agreement with the Hungarian state. The number of permits issued annually is determined by the economic development minister. Among permit holders, nationals of one country must not exceed 25 percent.

Long-term visas can be granted for guest workers, entrepreneurs and investors, for highly qualified work force or double nationals, as well as for purposes of study, health-care reasons or as a delegated worker.

Permanent visas will be issued to third-country citizens who earlier obtained a residency or immigration permit, and those holding a temporary residence card, national residence card or EU residence card.

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