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What is the EU Blue Card?

Those arriving in Hungary for long-term employment (more than 90 days) must have the appropriate permit to start the employment relationship. One form of this is the EU Blue Card, which is a type of permit specifically available to highly qualified workers. The permit type is one of the types of permits subject to the merged permit procedure, which provides the right to reside and work at the same time.

This type of permit is regulated by an EU directive aimed at making it more favorable for professionals from outside the EU to work in Europe and facilitating the flow of expertise within the EU. The EU directive sets out common objectives in general terms, and it is up to each Member State to formulate precise regulations. As a result, there may be even more significant differences between Member States regarding related rights and administrative processes.

Who can apply for EU Blue Card?

Highly qualified non-EEA nationals who plan to work in jobs requiring such qualifications and whose salary is at least the statutory minimum wage.

For which employment cases can the EU Blue Card be applied?

The EU Blue Card can be applied for in case of a local employment contract with a domestic employer.

Workforce leasing is not permitted.

What does the EU Blue Card entitle to?

The EU Blue Card entitles its holder to work for a specific employer, place, and position for the first year from its issuance.

After the first year, the EU Blue Card holder can take up another position or even change jobs, we will write about this in detail in the section “Changing jobs with the EU Blue Card”.

How long is the EU Blue Card valid for?

The maximum validity period of the permit is 4 years and may be extended by up to 4 years at a time. The validity of the permit issued shall be determined by the authority on the basis of the planned length of employment.

The legislation stipulates that the EU Blue Card must be issued for at least 2 years. An exception to this is when the planned duration of employment is less than two years, in which case the validity of the EU Blue Card will be three months longer than the planned period of employment.

The validity of the permit is also affected by the applicant’s passport: the EU Blue Card can be valid until the date of expiry of the passport.

When considering the application for a permit, the authority is entitled to limit the permit to a shorter period than the requested time, if it considers it justified on the basis of any circumstances (e.g. health insurance, housing).

Situation of family members

The holder of the EU Blue Card may also be joined by their family members in Hungary, and the authority issues them a residence permit for family reunification purposes based on the employee’s (the family’s supporter) EU Blue Card.

In Hungary, a family member of the holder of the EU Blue Card can only work with a valid work permit.

Specific requirements for applying for an EU Blue Card

When applying for an EU Blue Card, the job defined by the employer must comply with the legal requirements in every detail:

  • The EU Blue Card can only be applied for highly qualified jobs in FEOR Divisions 1 and 2.
  • The employee must have a higher professional qualification relevant to the job (in some cases it can be replaced by verified professional experience)
  • In the case of the EU Blue Card, the law sets a minimum wage, the amount of which is HUF 773,649 gross in 2024.


In addition to the above, the salary must comply with the generally applicable minimum wage (based on FEOR number) for the job.

Application process

An important change compared to the previous regulation is that an EU Blue Card can be applied for as a first permit, i.e. previous residence in Hungary or within the EU is not a prerequisite.

An application for an EU Blue Card must be accompanied by a specific job offer and prior agreement on a specific employer, place of work and position.

The first application for a citizen of a country subject to visa requirements shall be submitted in person at the Hungarian consulate located in the country of origin or residence.

If you are a citizen of a non-visa country and entered Hungary as a tourist, you can apply for your first application online, through the EnterHungary website of the immigration office.

If the applicant is already in Hungary and renews his/her permit, he/she must submit his/her application for extension online. Applications for renewal of permits shall be submitted not later than 30 days before expiry of the period of validity.

If you have an EU Blue Card issued in another EU country, you can submit your application via the immigration office’s website called EnterHungary.

An application for an EU Blue Card may also be submitted by an employer without the applicant’s personal presence, in which case the application must be submitted via the EnterHungary website of the immigration office.

The EU Blue Card application is assessed for 60 days. For intra-EU mobility, the evaluation period is 30 days.

Change jobs with the EU Blue Card

The EU Blue Card issued under Act XC of 2023 (applied for after 31.12.2023) allows the holder to change jobs or employers in Hungary, but not without limitations.

The most important criterion for changing jobs is that the new position must also meet the conditions of the EU Blue Card in terms of position, salary and education.

The EU Blue Card holder is always obliged to notify the National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing of the intention to change job/workplace. The process depends on whether the employee has held an EU Blue Card for more than a year.

It is also important that occasions of changing jobs cannot be unlimited. The EU Blue Card will be withdrawn if the holder is unemployed for a long period or changes jobs too often.

  • During the period of validity of the EU Blue Card, employment may be terminated no more than twice.
  • The EU Blue Card holder may be unemployed for a maximum of three consecutive months in the first two years from the date of issue of the card and for a maximum of six consecutive months after the expiry of two years.

In these cases, too, employers must report the commencement or termination of employment to the National Directorate General for Aliens Policing in the usual way.

Possibility of permanent residence

EU Blue Card holders and their family members can apply for long-term residence rights in Hungary if the related conditions are met.

Mobility within the EU

An important aim of the EU directive is to ensure a simple flow of expertise between Member States. Considering this, the Hungarian legislation also simplifies the process for employees who already hold an EU Blue Card valid in another EU Member State. Employees who have held an EU Blue Card in another EU Member State for at least one year can apply for this type of permit in Hungary in an accelerated procedure.

The other conditions for issuing the permit remain unchanged.

If you need help applying for an EU Blue Card, please contact our office using the contact details on the website.

Official information about the application process and the necessary forms can be found on the website of the National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing.

Information on the processing fees for licence applications can be found here.

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