The number of Hungarian citizens turned away at the United States border has risen sharply over the past week, Hungary’s consul general in New York told public radio on Thursday morning.
It is up to the border patrol agent to decide whether tourists can be allowed to enter the country or if there is a risk that they will take on illegal work, Ferenc Kumin told Kossuth Radio.
He said that obtaining all the necessary documents needed to take up legal work in the US is an “unbelievably complex” process that could take years to complete. Kumin added, at the same time, that many people get conned by organised crime rings into thinking that they can work in the US legally and as a result end up in a vulnerable position.
In a statement, the Hungarian foreign ministry said US authorities tend to deny entry to Hungarian tourists due to a high number of entrants planning to take up seasonal jobs without a work permit.
According to the statement, the majority of applicants for ESTA visas “do not know or overlook the fact that this visa is solely for tourist visits; any other purpose requires a relevant visa”.
The ministry warned all people wishing to travel to the US to find employment to acquire appropriate visas before leaving Hungary.
The Hungarian government respects travel restriction measures introduced by the United States, the foreign ministry‘s press chief said on Wednesday.
The Hungarian government considers the restrictions to be a US domestic issue and it respects other countries’ domestic decisions and expects the same from them, Tamas Menczer told public news channel M1.
The US president’s aim is to protect the American people and tighten security. This is a respectable goal, he said, adding that the Hungarian government’s aim is the same in connection with illegal migration.