Jogi, adózási és számviteli szolgáltatások egy kézből

The new Hungarian immigration system will soon be put to test

The new Act XC of 2023 on the General Rules for the Entry and Residence of Third-Country Nationals, or the Btátv for short, was published in the Hungarian Gazette on 21 December 2023 and entered into force on 1 January 2024, but its application is still awaited.

Although there were earlier governmental attempts that the new legislation should only cover a part of the legal area – the most well-known of which was Act L of 2023 on the Employment of Guest Workers in Hungary, known in the press as the „Guest Workers Act” – the legislator eventually decided to create a new, unified law.

The new legislation replaces the previous Act II of 2007 on the Entry and Residence of Third-Country Nationals (abbreviated as Harmtv.), so with some simplification we can safely say that the Hungarian immigration law has been given a new code.

In practice, however, the new legislation has not yet had an impact. This is partly due to the fact that the implementing rules regulating the main issues of law enforcement have not yet been adopted, therefore the applicable legislation is incomplete – the draft government decree on the implementation of the Btátv. is currently under public debate.

The major changeover due to the new legislation will also challenge the Hungarian Immigration Office. Accordingly, the administration of residence permits is currently practically suspended, except for certain specific cases. According to the transitional provisions of the Btátv., the processing of applications submitted in 2023 – i.e. under the former Harmtv. – will be suspended from the beginning of this year until the end of February. Until the same date, no new applications for residence permits may be submitted.

Given the suspension of administrative procedures, the validity of residence permits and permanent residence permits expiring between 1 January 2024 and 29 February 2024 will be extended until 30 April 2024. It is important to note, however, that the same rule does not apply to visas, residence permits with other expiry dates and temporary residence permits issued before the entry into force of the Btátv. Therefore, those who stay in Hungary with such documents should pay particular attention to the expiry date of these documents.

Applications submitted last year will, as a general rule, still be examined under the previous rules. However, applications submitted this year will be subject to the new law. Under the current rules, previously issued applications will remain valid after the entry into force of the Btátv, but renewals will be subject to the new rules.

The suspension of the administrative procedures is currently causing significant disruption to the implementation of many domestic projects, but the first real challenges to the new system are likely to come in the first days of March, when the administrative procedures will start. Once the implementing rules have been clarified, we will cover the first practical experiences with the new legislation further in our newsletters.