In 2019, 72,6% of the immigrants who obtained residence permit longer than 12 months came for the purpose of work, making labor the most popular entitlement of residence. Labor migration of Hungarian citizens has increased, and as a result, Hungary is gradually becoming a country in need of foreign workers in certain economic sectors. According to Manpower Group, more than 50% of Hungarian firms have significant difficulties filling jobs, especially in the field of information technology and health care. The country also has a serious demand for manual labor workers. The Hungarian Migration Strategy, adopted in October 2013, also emphasizes that although it is important to ensure the protection of the national labor market, receiving additional migrant labor is a necessity. Attracting knowledge-based migration has been set as a goal, but there is no developing tendency of highly qualified third-country nationals applying for the EU Blue Card as a possible way to gain residence permit in an EU country. 

In 2016 and 2017, the Government of Hungary has repeatedly stated the country’s need for skilled labor. Indeed, several reports confirm that Hungary have been affected by labor shortages. According to Friedrich Ebert Stigung Foundation, this urgency led Hungarian government to adopt measures in order to recruit foreign labor by targeting Ukraine, Serbia, and China mainly. Furthermore, employment residence permit is allowed to employers that are engaged in a strategic partnership agreement with Hungarian government, in the case of Ukrainian and Serbian citizens who would be employed in hard-to-fill vacancies or employers implementing projects of strategic importance to the national economy. 


Learn more about IOM's Labour Migration programming in Hungary.