There is still uncertainty about the entry into force of the immigration law amendment
The promulgation of a comprehensive amendment to the law regulating the employment and residence of third-country nationals in Hungary is still pending. Our article was prepared on the basis of the currently available, approved draft immigration law amendment, as well as the modification proposal submitted to it. The amendment to the law becomes final with the official announcement, which has not yet happened.
Since the new law fundamentally reorganizes the possibility of third-country nationals to work in Hungary, as well as the types of residence permits, it is necessary to create a number of background rules, and the authorities must also prepare for the transition. In light of these, the originally planned entry into force of the law amendment was September 2024.
In the proposal to modify the law submitted at the last moment, instead of the entry into force in September, a proposal was made to enter into force on January 1, 2024. As part of this, in connection with certain provisions of the new law, several schedules for entry into force and hitherto unprecedented immigration enforcement procedures were proposed.
The modification proposal contains the following schedule:
- Between January 1, 2024 and February 29, 2024, applications for residence permits, permanent residence permits, and residence cards cannot be submitted to the immigration authorities.
- Applications for a residence permit issued in the national interest and a national residence card issued in the national interest are an exception to this. (these permit types would be newly introduced)
- The validity of residence permits and settlement permits expiring between January 1, 2024 and February 29, 2024 will be automatically extended until April 30, 2024 (presumably without the issuance of a new permit card).
- With regard to applications for residence permits and settlement permits submitted before January 1, 2024, the procedure will be paused between January 1, 2024 and February 29, 2024, so the handling of the already submitted applications will be suspended.
- All visas and residence documents (including temporary residence permits as well) issued before the entry into force of the new law, entitles one to stay in accordance with its provisions within the period of validity.
The amendment to the law also brings significant changes to the types of permits available. Among other things, it differentiates between highly qualified workers and guest workers, and introduces a special type of permit for Serbian and Ukrainian workers employed in shortage occupations.