Access to the labour market


Country Report: Access to the labour market Last updated: 19/04/23


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Asylum seekers have the right to work after 9 months have passed since the start of their procedure in accordance with the general rules applicable to foreigners.[1] In this case, the employer has to request a work permit – valid for 1 year and renewable – from the local employment office. Asylum seekers can only apply for jobs which are not taken by Hungarians or nationals of the European Economic Area. As per the experience of the HHC and the account of the Menedék Association, in practice employers are not willing to offer a job to people currently in an asylum procedure, who only have a humanitarian residence permit with a 2-3-month-long definite time of validity.[2] The HHC is aware of a case in which an asylum-seeker sought employment in 2021, but failed to find one due to employers’ unwillingness to hire him. No such case was reported in 2022.

According to the Asylum Act,[3] asylum seekers are also able to undertake employment in the premises of the reception centre, without obtaining a work permit. However, the HHC is not aware of any such example from the last two years. Asylum seekers who stayed in the transit zones prior to 21 May 2020 had no access to the labour market at all. [4]




[1] Section 5(1)(c) Asylum Act.

[2] i.e. the humanitarian residence permit is prolonged every 2-3 months with further 2-3 months.

[3] Section 5(1)(c) Asylum Act.

[4] Section 80/J (4) Asylum Act.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation