Summary on the employment of guest workers in Hungary


On 1 November 2023, Act L of 2023 on the Employment of Guest Workers in Hungary will enter into force, introducing a new type of residence permit (i.e. the guest worker residence permit). The government and ministerial decrees for the detailed rules of the Act have not yet been published, but the following is a summary of what is known about the legislation.

Who can apply for a guest worker residence permit?

Citizens of countries that are not neighbours of Hungary and located outside the European Economic Area. (These countries will be listed in the relevant ministerial decree). The permit can be applied exclusively for employment purposes and entitles the applicant to stay for more than 90 days within a period of 180 days.

Who can employ guest workers?

a) Preferential employers:

  • employers with a strategic partnership agreement with the Hungarian government.
  • an employer undertaking an investment of major importance for the national economy.
  • an employer with a partnership agreement under the Priority Exporter Partnership Programme.

b) temporary employment agencies registered as qualified temporary employment agencies.

Additional conditions of employment

The relevant ministerial decree will regulate the total number of all guest workers in Hungary, as well as the maximum total number of workers broken down by country.

Guest workers can only be employed in the positions specified in the relevant ministerial decree.

Period of validity

The permit is valid for a maximum of two years. It may be renewed for a maximum of three years from the date of the first issue. During its validity, no other residence permit may be applied for. The guest worker must leave EU territory at the end of the period of validity.


The administration period will be 21 days for the guest worker residence permit, compared to 70 days for applications for residence permits for the purpose of employment.

A resolution from the competent authorities is the only requirement for extending a guest worker residence permit, which can also speed up the process.

Obligations on the employer

The employer bears increased responsibility for ensuring that the guest worker leaves the EU after the expiry of the permit. If the worker fails to do so, the costs of expulsion, deportation and immigration detention will be charged to the employer if the guest worker is unable to pay these penalties.

For more information on Hungary’s new law on guest workers and how it could affect your Hungary-based business, contact your CMS client partner or these local CMS experts.