Access to the labour market


Country Report: Access to the labour market Last updated: 15/04/21


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In times of state of crisis due to mass migration, asylum seekers who had stayed in the transit zones prior to 21 May 2020 had no access to the labour market at all. [1] Between March 2017 and January 2019 the same rules were applicable also to asylum-seekers staying at either in exceptional cases in reception centres or having private accommodation, meaning that they had no access to work at all. As of January 2019, due to the amendment of the Asylum Act, they again 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. In this case, the employer had to request a work permit – valid for 1 year and renewable – from the local employment office. Asylum seekers could only apply for jobs, which were not taken by Hungarians or nationals of the European Economic Area. However, Menedék Association reported that in practice employers are not willing to offer jobs to people under asylum procedure, since they have only humanitarian residence permit with a 2-3-month-long definite time of validity.[2] The Menedék Association is not aware of any asylum-seeker applying for or actually undertaking a job in 2020.

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, HHC is not aware of any such example from the last years.



[1]Section 80/J (4) 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.

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