Asylum seekers who are first-time applicants are entitled to material reception conditions during the entire asylum procedure until the final and effective conclusion of the asylum procedure.1 They are entitled to the reception conditions immediately after claiming asylum and not only when they receive a document for asylum seekers. First-time applicants are entitled to housing and food. With the effect of Decree 62/2016 the material conditions do not include pocket money anymore. Certain subsequent applicants do not have the right to material reception conditions (see section on Subsequent Applications).
With the amendments to the Asylum Act that entered into force on 1 July 2013, the Hungarian Government has decided to transpose the recast Reception Conditions Directive first and foremost with respect to the provisions concerning detention of asylum seekers whereas for instance provisions conferring obligations on Member States in relation to the assessment of the special reception needs of vulnerable persons have not yet been transposed.2 The adoption of the amendments therefore preceded the Directive’s adoption and thus also the beginning of the 2-year time-limit for its transposition into national law.
Only those asylum seekers who are deemed indigent are entitled to material reception conditions free of charge.3 If an asylum seeker is not indigent, the asylum authority may decide to order that the applicant pay for the full or partial costs of material conditions and health care. The level of resources is, however, not established in the Asylum Act and applicants have to make a statement regarding their financial situation. Presently, this condition does not pose an obstacle to accessing reception conditions. Access to reception conditions can be reduced or withdrawn in case it can be proven that the applicant deceived the authorities regarding his or her financial situation.
So far, there has been one case when an asylum seeker bearing Somali citizenship was not able to access material reception conditions as a whole in practice. In this particular case, after the closure of Bicske camp, the asylum seeker was transferred to Budapest since the IAO assigned a community hostel for him as a place to stay during his asylum procedure. Nonetheless, the client did not have appropriate access to food since it was given only once a day and it contained pork (and led to an obstacle for the asylum seeker because of his Muslim religion). Until today, the concern has not been resolved yet.