A TCN’s pocket guide to success in Hungary

Nov 3, 2021

Navigating the ‘Work Permit’ in Hungary: Part 2 – Popping the “Big Question” to your Hungarian Employer

So, you’ve decided you would like to apply for the Residence Permit for the Purpose of Employment (employment RP)? Fantastic. This permit is for those TCNs that have successfully secured an employment offer from an organization based in Hungary. It offers stability to TCNs by granting them residence in Hungary for a maximum of two years[1] with a single employer, a stable income each month, and access to the TAJ card.

However, TCNs need to be aware that securing an employment offer does not automatically guarantee that you will get an employment RP. To get an employment RP, you need your future employer to fully cooperate with you throughout the application process. Don’t forget – many employers in Hungary (especially small companies and civil society organizations) have probably never employed a TCN. Many are not aware that employing an EU foreigner is a completely different animal than employing a TCN, and tend to get a little nervous about the costs and effort that it may require when they are caught unawares.

Consequently,  approaching your future employer about this procedure can be a rather tricky situation. On the one hand, you need to find a way to explain that this must be done. On the other hand, you need to be sure you don’t scare them off whilst explaining the requirements.

So, how  and when to pop the big question… “will you…sponsor my employment RP?”

Before you pop the big question, you need to think carefully about who you are asking –  who is your employer? What resources do they have at their disposal? Do they have any familiarity with TCNs? How much capacity do they have as an organization to assist you?

If your future employer is a big multinational company with a full HR team, and experience in employing TCNs, you don’t need to stress about this. They are probably well-aware of the requirements and have an HR team who will assist you throughout this process. In this case,  simply ask whomever is coordinating the RP application what documents they need from you and the accompanying deadlines.

If your future employer is a relatively small company with little-to-no experience employing TCNs, you will want to be careful how you phrase the amount of time, effort, and cost of the process. Present yourself as being both confident and competent in this area – explain that you know the requirements and you are happy to assist the organization every step of the way. The effort on their end will be minimal – they will just need to submit a couple of forms on your behalf (which you can help them with if needed), and provide documents (like a pre-contractual agreement) which can be used to prove the employment offer to the immgiration office. In our experience, Hungarian companies are usually just nervous about the unknown, the learning curve, and the price tag. Once you demystify the process, most employers will have no problem saying, “yes!”

Congratulations, they said, “yes!” 😉 but what does your employer need to do, specifically?

To get the resident permit for the purpose of employment, you have to apply for it through the National Directorate-General for Aliens Policing authority (the Hungarian Immigration Office). The majority of  documents that are required can actually be put together by you, the TCN. However, there are a couple of documents that you absolutely need your employer’s cooperation on:

First, to be eligible to apply for this residence permit, you must have a valid employment contract between yourself and a Hungarian company – it is not possible to apply for a work permit in advance and look for a job later.   So, you need to have your future employers create a “pre-contractual agreement.” This agreement is basically a placeholder for your real employment contract. It lays out: scope of duties, specification of professional qualifications required to perform duties, salary.[2] You will submit this document as part of your employment RP application to prove you have a legitimate job offer from a real organization based in Hungary.

Second, your employer needs to then demonstrate that there are no Hungarian nationals that want the job, or there are no Hungarians that have the qualifications needed to perform the work. To do this, tell your employer that they need to fill out a manpower request form and submit it through their official profile to the regional branch of the labour center (munkaügyi központ).   The form itself should only take 15-20 minutes to complete. You simply need to know the specific terms of the position (how many hours will the position require, what qualifications would the ideal candidate possess, what is the compensation, etc.).[3] 

Once this has been submitted, you will usually need to wait about 15 days, after which your organization should receive a certificate from the local district office certifying that the correct authority has accepted the labor demand. When applying for your employment RP, you will submit both the submitted and signed manpower request form, as well as the certificate approving the labour demand. 

What’s next?

Once you have completed the above process, the employer can take it easy while you compile the rest of the required documents. Of course, depending on your specific case and history in Hungary,  there may be additional things you need your employer’s help on.[4] The above list just includes the most basic things that all TCNs will need their future employer’s cooperation on. 

So, what should you be doing while your employer is submitting these documents? Find out in part three of this series Navigating the ‘Work Permit’ in Hungary: Part 3 – What do TCNs need to do?

Photo’s credit: Andrea Piacquadio, https://www.pexels.com/hu-hu/@olly

[1] Usually the maximum is two years. However,  we have heard anecdotally that there may be cases which allow for a longer period. Please consult a lawyer with experience in TCN residence permits if you think you may qualify.

[2]  TCN TIP: always ask for both NET and GROSS salaries to be included), determination of the employment relationship, expected duration of the employment relationship, etc. 

[3]  TCN TIP: always make sure that the credentials listed in the labour demand request match your CV and the requirements listed in your pre-contractual agreement. Your own professional qualifications and the needs listed by your future employer need to match.

[4] For example, if you did any type of work (and were paid) in Hungary previously, you will need to provide  an income certificate for the previous year, issued by the tax authority. This is true, even for students. If you need assistance with this, simply contact the relevant NAV office and explain your requirements. They are generally very helpful, so long as you have a bit of time and patience.

This project was funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. The content of this document represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility. The European Commission does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.


This project was funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. The content of this document represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility. The European Commission does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.