Hungary to Crack Down on Illegal Foreign Workers

Hungary to Crack Down on Illegal Foreign Workers

The Hungarian government is cracking down on foreign workers who are in the country illegally. They recently found some workers using fake work permits, prompting vows to enforce the rules very strictly.

Foreign workers face more restrictions

Hungarian officials have instituted new policies limiting jobs available to guest workers. A list of nearly 300 excluded occupations aims to prioritize Hungarian citizens for employment.

The National Economy Ministry stated that it is the responsibility of the state to determine if certain requirements have been fulfilled before foreigners can live and work temporarily in Hungary.

The ministry emphasized that foreigners could only fill jobs if no Hungarian worker was available.

Falsified work permits spark backlash

A controversy arose in Hajdú-Bihar county where people from other countries were caught working illegally using fake work permits. This criminal offense carries up to a three-year prison sentence.

Authorities in Hajdú-Bihar reported the violations to the police, which prompted a strong response from the economy ministry.

The ministry pledged to punish any foreigner working illegally to the fullest extent possible.

20-year quota system now more restrictive

For 20 years, Hungary has utilized a quota system for guest workers based on average job vacancies.

While this year's maximum value sat at 81,000, officials lowered the cap to 65,000.

The new excluded jobs list ensures that Hungarians receive priority regarding domestic employment opportunities.

Authorities maintain rigorous oversight throughout the immigration and work permit processes.

Tougher stance impacts EU regulations

As a European Union (EU) member, Hungary’s current labor policies seem at odds with the open borders that the Schengen zone guarantees.

The recent uproar over falsified work permits suggests that immigration routes into Hungary will narrow further.

The broader implications for Hungary’s future in the EU remain unclear, but the hardline stance on foreign workers hints at a drifting alignment with the bloc’s core principles.

Job seekers at record lows

The controversy comes despite Hungary seeing a record-low number of registered unemployed citizens seeking work opportunities.

Over 4.7 million Hungarian residents currently hold jobs across the country.

The ministry stated that 39,000 work permits were issued last year to foreign nationals, all subject to strict immigration controls.

In recent years, third-country worker levels have remained at the maximum quota value allowed.