1.1 Has any guidance already been issued in relation to Brexit, for example on residence or work permits in the event of a no-deal Brexit?

    Yes, the Hungarian Parliament has adopted an Act [Act XV of 2019] on a potential no-deal Brexit. The act will enter into force from the date when UK leaves the EU without an agreement, if this happens.

    The Act covers the following topics:

    • unemployment benefits;
    • health care;
    • pensions;
    • immigration status;
    • the legal status of lawyers working in Hungary.

    No guidance has been issued regarding evidence of residence in Hungary or on the status of UK frontier workers.

    Regarding the immigration status of UK citizens, the Act states the following:

    UK citizens can continue to hold the same status as EU citizens for three years after leaving the EU if they have a Registration Certificate for EEA Nationals or a Permanent Residence Card prior to the date of the UK’s exit. Further, after three years uninterrupted stay in Hungary they may request a National Permanent Residence Permit, and after 5 years of uninterrupted stay in Hungary, UK citizens may also apply for EC residence permit.

    UK citizens coming to Hungary after Brexit shall be considered as third-country nationals (i.e. they will have to request residence and a work permit according to the general rules applicable to any other third-country nationals).

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    Business visas

    2.1 When UK employees become third country nationals will they require a business visa?

    No, Regulation (EU) 2019/592 of 10 April 2019 exempts UK citizens from the requirement for a Schengen visa. It will apply from the day the UK is no longer subject to EU law. When it takes effect, UK citizens will be able to enter and stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days in any rolling 180-day period.

    The Schengen exemption will apply:

    • from Brexit date in the event of no deal;

    from 1 January 2021 if the Withdrawal Agreement (‘WA’) is ratified (under the WA, UK nationals keep their EU free movement rights until 31 December 2020).

    Third-country nationals coming to stay and work in Hungary for more than 90 days require a residence and work permit. The permit is obtained via a single application procedure encompassing both permission to work and to reside in Hungary for more than 90 days. The type of the permit depends on the purpose of the residence in Hungary.

    2.2 What documentation will be required for business travel on arrival at the border once UK citizens are considered third-country nationals?

    Travel documents (valid passport) with a validity of no more than ten years that is valid for at least three months after departure from Hungary.

    Proof of duration and purpose of stay as border control may ask additional questions concerning duration and purpose of stay.

    Unless they stay in a hotel or guest house, UK business travellers will need to notify the appropriate communal administration of their place of stay within three days if they stay for more than 30 days.

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    Permission to work

    3.1 When UK citizens become third-country nationals will they need permission to work?   

    UK citizens with a Registration Certificate for EEA Nationals or a Permanent Residence Card prior to the date of Brexit will not need to apply for a work permit.

    In any other cases, UK citizens have to apply for a work permit, unless they can rely on an exemption such as:

    • family members of an EU national or a non-EU national who has authorisation to work (subject to conditions);
    • they work as a head of the branch and representative office of the third country company;
    • holders of an EU Blue Card.

    3.2 If permission to work is needed, do any quotas apply for employing third-country nationals?

    Yes, the highest number of third-country nationals that can be employed in Hungary is laid down in a ministerial decree [19/2015. (VII.3.) NMG decree, Section 2 (2)]. It provides that the number of third-country nationals employed simultaneously with a work permit in Hungary may not exceed the monthly average of employment demand notified in the year preceding the year in question (i.e. in 2018: 55.000 employees).

    3.3 If permission to work is needed, as of when will it be needed?

    Current status:

    • from 1 November 2019 in the event of no deal;
    • from 1 January 2021 (for new arrivals) if the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified before 30 March 2019.

    3.4 If permission to work is needed, what are the most common categories?

    The most common categories are the followings:

    • leading personnel;
    • trainees (subject to conditions);
    • highly qualified and special profiles (subject to conditions);
    • certain medium-skilled profiles (only for shortage professions listed in a dynamic shortage profession list);
    • profiles that fall into a residual category subject to a labour market test;
    • seasonal permits for works not exceeding six months (can be extended by a maximum of six additional months);
    • work permit for assignment purposes.

    3.5 If permission to work or stay is needed, how long does the procedure take?

    The procedure may take up to 70 days.

    3.6 If permission to work and stay is needed, what Government fees would be due for this permission?

    EUR 60 / HUF 18,000

    (Additional costs e.g. translation, photographs should be taken into consideration).

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    Permanent residence

    4.1 From when third-country nationals obtain permanent residence?

    Five years of legal and uninterrupted stay in Hungary or in the EU (subject to conditions).

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    Residence Status

    5.1 What steps could UK nationals still take to secure their residence status?

    • Applying for an EU residence card as soon as possible.
    • Applying for an EU permanent residence card if conditions are met.
    • Applying for Hungarian nationality if conditions are met, but individuals should consider consequences before doing so.
    • Preparing documents for family reunification with an EU national if relevant.
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