In the last nine months the number of job roles that are open to non-EU citizens without a Hungarian work permit has risen by 20. Therefore we can meet Serbian shelf-stackers and Ukrainians working in customer service.


As reported by, according to EU and Hungarian labour regulations, those coming from outside the EU can only work in Hungary if they receive a permit from a governmental bureau. New regulations had to be introduced due to Brexit, as British citizens will immediately qualify as non-EU nationals in the event of a no-deal scenario. However, Hungarian regulation makes an exception with non-EU countries bordering Hungary, in essence Serbia and Ukraine – those arriving from these countries do not need a work permit for certain positions.

In the last few years labour shortages have become a common occurrence in certain positions. Due to the low salaries they offer, companies are not able to find employees for some of their roles. In these instances they try to meet their demand by employing people from non-EU states.

From time to time, the Ministry of Finance reviews what positions are open to Serbian and Ukrainian citizens without a work permit – the type of job roles that are available has risen from 99 to 1119.

The country is facing the highest shortages in professional occupations, including architects, mechanical engineers and software developers. Shortages can also be found in roles involving manual labour. Companies and firms are looking for employees in the building and assembly industries. The transport system is also in desperate need for workers to drive buses, trams and subways.

With Hungary’s low wages and the country facing an unprecedented labour force exodus, it might be time to re-evaluate its migration policy. If Hungary is unable to tempt home its citizens from other EU countries and wants to maintain its economic growth, it may need to adopt a more lax work permit policy to attract workers from outside its borders.

On Monday we reported that up to 3000 non-EU migrants will be constructing a chemical plant in Tiszaújváros. The government is also letting in 350 Venezuelan migrants into Hungary.




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