In 2020, 44 000 new immigrants obtained a residence permit longer than 12 months in Hungary (excluding EU citizens), -0.3% compared to 2019. This figure comprises 62% labour migrants, 6.1% family members (including accompanying family), 13% who came for education reasons and 18.9% other migrants. Around 3 300 short-term permits were issued to international students and 4 600 to temporary and seasonal labour migrants (excluding intra-EU migration). In addition, 29 000 intra-EU postings were recorded in 2020, an increase of 42% compared to 2019. These posted workers are generally on short-term contracts.

Ukraine, the Slovak Republic and Germany were the top three nationalities of newcomers in 2020. Among the top 15 countries of origin, the Slovak Republic registered the strongest increase (4 500) and Ukraine the largest decrease (-12 000) in flows to Hungary compared to the previous year.

In 2021, the number of first asylum applicants decreased by -55.6% to reach around 40. The majority of applicants came from Iran (10), Afghanistan (5) and Ethiopia (5). The largest increase since 2020 concerned nationals of Iran (5). Of the 60 decisions taken in 2021, 67% were positive.

In 2020 and 2021, no legislative or administrative changes occurred relating to the status, conditions of access to the labour market and entitlement for jobseeker’s benefit of foreign workers.

In August 2021, Hungary carried out its own rescue operation from Afghanistan to bring Hungarian, allied and EU citizens, as well as Afghan citizens and their families who have been working with Hungarian troops in recent years, to Hungary. As a result of the operation, a total of 540 people were evacuated, including 57 Afghan families and 180 Afghan children. Evacuated Afghan citizens are offered the opportunity to restart their lives in Hungary. There are no plans to admit additional Afghan nationals.

Third-country nationals legally in Hungary and unable to leave during the COVID-19 pandemic and after the expiry of a visa were granted a temporary residence certificate. This was extended during successive waves of the pandemic until 28 February 2022.

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