Who needs a work permit in Hungary?

Work-related residence permit in Hungary

The short answer is: every third country national who wants to work in Hungary needs a work permit. The long answer is: there are several types of work permits, and several types of work. They key is to match your residency to what you want to do in Hungary.

Third-country nationals need a work permit

The rule of thumb is that if you are a third-country national just arriving to Hungary, you will need a work permit to work in Hungary. People who do NOT need a work permit are:

  • Hungarian citizens
  • EU citizens
  • Third-country nationals who have obtained permanent residency after living in Hungary for a few years

Work-related residence permits in Hungary

If you do not belong to any of the above three categories, you will need a work permit. The “work permit” is in fact a residence permit that allows work, and with the introduction of the new immigration law that came into force as of 1 January 2024, the number of such permits increased.

Learn more here about the types of residence permits relevant for employment.

Learn more here about the types of residency available in Hungary.

Work related residence permits are typically tied to one specific employer or other host organization. If you want to switch to another job, that changes the basis of your Hungarian residency, so you will need to apply for a new permit. The only exception if the Blue Card, which allows changing jobs without applying for a new permit after the first year.

Working with family unification

Unless you are married to an EEA national, residency based on family unification does not allow you to work in employment in Hungary. For that, you will need a work permit. However, family unification allows you to set up a freelance business. In this case, the only condition is that your income cannot exceed that of the primary residence permit holder (your spouse). Learn more about working under family unification here.

Working with student residency

Students in Hungary typically work not directly to employers but through student organizations. Even if you are a foreign student, studying in Hungary with a student residence permit, you can register with a student organization and work through them without affecting your Hungarian residency. Learn more about work as a student here.

Is it possible to work in Hungary with a residence permit not related to work?

Yes, it is possible to perform work without a work-related residence permit, but not in a regular employment relationship. You can work in Hungary if you

  • Have a work related residence permit
  • Are a student and work for a student organization
  • Start a freelance business while still observing the conditions of your existing work permit

Work permits with Helpers Hungary

The Helpers Team has almost 20 years of experience supporting foreigners living, working, and doing business in Hungary. Our main focus is working with business owners, supporting them with company setup and residency applications for themselves, their family members, and their employees.

Can we help you too? Contact us today, tell us about your plans in Hungary, and let’s discuss how we can help you best.

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