Filling the new residence permit application

Details of the new immigration law 2024 – with the published background legislation

On 29.02.2024, legislation supplementing the new immigration law (Act XC of 2023) regulating the residence and work of third-country nationals (Btátv.) was published, and previous related legislation was amended.

Based on these, from 01.03.2024 the reception of residence permit applications at the immigration office and consulates started again. New license types can also be requested online in the EnterHungary system.


Extension of permits issued under the previous law

The transitional provisions of Act XC of 2023 stipulate that upon expiry of previously issued residence permits, only the types of permits detailed therein may be applied for.

Due to the change between the types of permits defined by the old and the new law, it does not qualify as an extension, each new permit is issued as a first permit, even in cases where there is no change in license type (e.g. family members).

This regulation also affects the possibility of obtaining long-term residence rights (permanent residence), as previous years do not count towards the time spent in Hungary by issuing a permit under the new law.

Holders of residence permits issued under the previous law may submit an application for a new permit no earlier than 45 days before its expiry. In the case of employment-related permits, the 45-day submission limit does not apply in cases where the employee’s job title, place of work or employer changes.

Applications for new permits should be submitted no later than 30 days before their expiry. Exceptions to this are permits expiring in March 2024, for which a new application must be submitted no later than the expiry date of the permit.

The processing fee payable at the time of submission of the application is also the higher amount linked to the submission of the first application.

Work during the application process

An employee may continue to be employed with a temporary residence permit if his current permit expires during the procedure for applying for a residence permit to work under the new law. Conditions for continued employment:

  • previously held a residence permit entitling him to work
  • employer, job title, place of work have not changed

If there has been a change in job data, the employment must be terminated upon expiry of the previous permit. After the new permit has been issued, you can return to work in the position detailed therein.

Situation of family members

The opportunities of family members will also be significantly affected by the new law. Certain types of permits – typically guest worker cases – cannot be linked to family members’ permits, but permit types requiring higher education can.

In our previous post, the question of whether a new family member can join an employee who has a residence permit issued under the previous law for work purposes was still an open question. In this topic, the Immigration Office has positively shaped its position, so the family member may submit an application for a residence permit for the purpose of a first family member after 01.03.2024.

A family member who held a residence permit valid for family reunification purposes at the time of entry into force of the new law may extend his/her permit even if he/she would no longer be entitled to a family member’s permit for the type of residence permit issued to the dependant under the new law.

IMPORTANT: A civil partnership is not considered a family relationship under the law, therefore partners cannot apply for a residence permit for family reunification. With the abolition of the type of residence permit for ‘other’ purposes, residence permits cannot be issued on the basis of a civil partnership in the future.


In our previous post we wrote about multiple types of permits related to employment, in which cases they apply. Now we will give you a more detailed description of the most important types of permits.

Guest workers

The total number of guest worker residence permits and residence permits for employment purposes that may be issued in 2024 on the basis of the relevant decree is not more than 65,000, but may not exceed the average number of vacancies measured by the statistics bureau (KSH).

Residence permit for employment purposes

It can be requested in the following cases:

  • Employment under an employment contract;
  • When the third-country national is employed in Hungary on the basis of his/her employment relationship with an employer established in a third country in order to fulfil an agreement concluded with a domestic employer – in this case, no employment contract relationship is established with the Hungarian company.

The permit can be requested for a maximum of 2 years and can be extended for 1 more year, so the maximum total stay in Hungary with an employment permit is 3 years. After three years, an application for the issuance (and not renewal) of a new residence permit for employment purposes can be submitted within the period of validity domestically.

During or after the period of validity, no application for a residence permit may be submitted on any other grounds within the territory of the country.

In the event of a change of employer, job title or place of work, a new permit must be applied for, taking into account the maximum period of validity.

Family members may not join the employee.

The decision-making deadline of the application is 70 days.

With regard to the employment permit:

  • There are currently no restrictions on the nationality of the applicant
  • no excluded occupations (FEOR numbers)
Employers' obligations in relation to the employment of guest workers

Special rules have been introduced in connection with termination of employment with an employment permit:

  • If the employment relationship is terminated within the period of validity of the residence permit, the employer must notify the OIF within 5 days. In such a case, the employee’s residence permit automatically expires from the 6th day after the employer’s notification.
  • The employer is obliged to ensure that the employee leaves its territory no later than the 6th day after the termination of Hungary the employment relationship for any reason – if this is not fulfilled, the aliens police authority may impose a fine of HUF 5 million on the employer.
  • Where applicable, the employer shall also be obliged to pay expulsion or travel costs.

Permit types for highly qualified people

Common features of permit types in this group
  • It can be requested by a third-country national who has a higher education degree and works in a job that requires that qualification.
  • With these types of permits it is possible to stay longer in Hungary
  • It is also possible to apply for permits for family members.
  • There is no limit to the number of permits that can be issued per year
  • There are no restrictions based on the nationality of the applicant
Hungarian Card

It can be requested in the following cases:

  • Can be requested to work in a legal relationship aimed at employment in a job requiring higher professional qualifications
  • It can be requested by the manager or owner of the company, who, in addition to this position, actually performs work in the company
  • Whose employment in Hungary is based on their employment relationship with an employer established in a third country in order to fulfil an agreement concluded with a domestic employer
  • It can also be requested by professional athletes and coaches, performers and those working in film production

Its validity is limited to 3 years, renewable for up to 3 years at a time.

The decision-making deadline of the application is 70 days.

When it comes to job titles, it is important to consider:

  • In his statement (number of the relevant announcement at the end of the newsletter), the Minister responsible for culture and innovation significantly restricted the areas for which Hungarian Cards can be requested. The restriction dictates in which fields qualifications are acceptable for the issuance of a permit. These areas are: IT, engineering and natural sciences.
EU Blue Card

A permit may be requested to work in a legal relationship aimed at employment in a job requiring higher professional qualifications. This type of license already existed, but there are several significant changes in the conditions:

  • You can apply for an EU Blue Card as a first application, the requirement for previous stays in Hungary or within the EU is no longer a condition.
  • The applicant must have the professional qualifications required for the post or relevant high-level professional qualifications for a specified period of time as required by law.
  • The EU Blue Card holder can work freely in Hungary after 1 year.

It can be issued for up to 4 years, it can be extended.

The decision-making deadline of the application is 60 days.

Residence permit for intra-corporate transfer (ICT)

There are no substantive changes for this type of permission. Based on previous conditions, you can apply for manager, expert or trainee positions.

The maximum duration is 3 years for managerial or expert positions, and 1 year for trainee positions. It may not be extended domestically beyond the maximum period.

It is important to note that when applying for a ICT permit applied for after 01 March 2024, although technically it qualifies as a first permit issuance, the time spent in Hungary with a ICT permit before that also counts towards the maximum time that can be requested.

The deadline for considering the application is 70 days.

Residence permit for research purposes

There are no substantive changes for this type of permission. Condition:

  • The researcher holds a doctoral degree or a higher education degree giving access to a doctoral programme.
  • The host party must be an accredited research organisation
  • A hosting agreement for research work shall accompany the application

Its validity is limited to 2 years, renewable by up to 2 years at a time.

Special employment permit types


Type of permit that can be issued to posted workers in Hungary coming from an EU country.

The applicant:

  • holds a residence permit for work purposes in an EU Member State, valid for the entire duration of the posting
  • has an employment relationship with a posting undertaking during the period of posting
  • Work in Hungary for a limited time in one of the following cases:
    • on the basis of a service contract between the sending and receiving companies under the direction of the posting company,
    • Intra-group posting
    • within the framework of temporary agency work

It is valid for a maximum of 2 years (renewable only within this period of validity) and cannot exceed the validity of the residence permit issued by the sending EU Member State.

The decision-making deadline of the application is 21 days.

National card

A type of permit designed for Serbian and Ukrainian citizens, corresponding to previous shortage employment.

  • Serbian and Ukrainian citizens can request
  • It can be requested in any kind of employment, the list of shortage professions has been phased out

Workforce-leasing is also possible in any job.

The first national card shall be valid for a maximum period of 2 years, renewable for 3 years at a time.

The Labour Department does not act as a specialised authority in the application procedure.

The decision-making deadline of the application is 21 days.

There is no change in the fact that the employment of Ukrainian and Serbian citizens can be started without permission with a 90-day employment contract, tax identification number and social security number, Employment declaration. (Provided that the employee has not previously worked in Hungary or has not resided in Schengen area for six months since his previous employment in Hungary and within 6 months before starting work). In parallel with the start of employment, the application for the National Card can be launched.

Guest self-employed residence permit

In the new legal environment, the former so-called “gainful” residence permit category, which could be applied for as a sole proprietor or in the case of a senior executive of a company, was abolished. Instead, a guest self-employed residence permit was introduced for them, with much stricter conditions than before.

  • An important criterion is that the executive officer must also be a member of the company
  • In connection with the operation of the company, it is expected:
    • The company has been effectively employing at least five Hungarian or EU citizens full-time for at least six months without interruption, or
    • The applicant’s stay in Hungary is essential for the operation of the company, and based on the documentation attached to the application, it is likely that the company will generate income that also ensures the applicant’s livelihood.

At the first issue, it can be requested with a maximum validity of 1 year, in case of extension the aggregate validity may not exceed 3 years.

Family members can’t join.

Employment of students in Hungary

Residence permits for study purposes will continue to be issued to those pursuing higher education in Hungary. In connection with this permit, the possibility of student employment remains unchanged (30 hours per week during the semester, 40 hours per week outside of it), however, an additional reporting obligation has been introduced on the part of the employer.

An important change is that it is no longer possible to apply for a permit for family members in connection with a study permit.

After completing studies, it is still possible to apply for permit for the purpose of job seeking or start a business. In the case of hiring of holders of such permits, account shall be taken of the fact that their permit may only be converted by domestic application into the following types of permits:

  • Hungarian Card
  • EU Blue Card
  • Guest self-employed residence permit


There have been several significant changes to the rules for applying for residence permits. The most important changes for our customers are collected below:

  • Certain types of residence permits can be submitted through the employer, on the Enter Hungary system, even at the time of the first application. For applications normally lodged at a consulate, this will certainly simplify the application process because the applicant does not have to appear in person at the consulate to submit them. The main types of such permits are: EU Blue Card, National Card, residence permit for intra-corporate transfer and research purposes and family members joining them, and residence permit for guest workers
  • Benefits for employers with strategic partnership agreements with the government have been abolished. In future, the decision making deadline of permit applications will not be shorter.
  • Under the law, the immigration office does not issue a decision document on each application case.
  • The start of work is possible with the completed permit card, which can extend the process.
  • There have also been substantial changes to employers’ reporting obligations, an increase in the range of cases and changes in deadlines.

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