Nationals of countries that are members of the European Economic Area (EEA) may work in other member states, like Hungary, with only a passport – so no visa or work permit is necessary. European Union (EU) member state nationals have the same privilege.

Unfortunately, expats from countries who are not a member of these organisations are not as lucky and will have to deal with the paperwork required to secure a work permit in Hungary.

Applying for a work permit in Hungary

The work permit application is submitted in cooperation with the employer, who must obtain permission from the labour office to hire a foreigner. Permission is granted in the form of a labour agreement should the employer be able to prove that a suitable candidate could not be found within the EU and EEA areas or Hungary.

The work permit application hinges on the labour agreement as well as a signed employment contract. Therefore, it is not possible to apply for a work permit in advance and then look for a job at a later stage. It should also be noted that if expats wish to work for a different employer, they will need to apply for a new work permit.

The Hungarian work permit is usually issued within 30 to 60 days of the submission of the application, but can take longer if the volume of applications is unusually high. The period of validity, which is three years, begins when the visa is issued.

* Visa requirements can change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.