Asylum seekers have restricted access to the labour market. They may work in the premises of the reception centre,1 without obtaining a work permit. As a result of Decree 62/2016 there is no limitation on asylum seekers’ employment to a maximum working time anymore.
Only after 9 months can asylum seekers also work outside the centres, in accordance with the general rules applicable to foreigners.
The employer has to request a working permit – valid for 1 year, renewable – from the local employment office. Asylum seekers can only apply for jobs which are not available for Hungarians or nationals of the European Economic Area, therefore subject to a labour market test.
Asylum seekers in general complain about the lack of employment opportunities in practice. In all reception centres, there is greater demand than available job opportunities. Reportedly there is no available employment in Körmend and in Balassagyarmat for asylum seekers.
In practice, however, asylum seekers face a variety of difficulties in finding employment due to the high unemployment rate in Hungary, their lack of knowledge of the Hungarian language and the non-recognition of foreign certificates, diplomas or degrees by the Hungarian authorities.
Asylum seekers are only rarely given access to vocational training schemes.
- 1. Section 21(3) Decree 301/2007.