Posted on August 7, 2023

Hungary to Welcome Up to 300,000 Migrant Workers Under Strict Conditions to Fill Gaps in Labor Market

Remix, August 4, 2023

Hungary’s shortage of skilled workers will force it to invite migrant workers from the Far East and Central Asia to accommodate the needs of factories being constructed mostly by foreign investors, business daily Világgazdaság reports.

“Recruitment is in full swing, with 25 temporary employment agencies so far certified to bring migrant workers to Hungary under a simplified procedure,” said Zoltán Karácsony, a job market expert at HR Portal.

He told Világgazdaság that the range of clients is constantly expanding; the list includes not only manufacturing companies but also service companies that would like to employ migrant workers to clean in hotels, for example.

Around half a million new jobs could be created in Hungary in the next few years, which, based on the current labor market situation, would require at least 200,000-300,000 migrant workers, on top of the current number of around 100,000.

While up to now foreign workers have mainly come to Hungary from neighboring countries, and the number of third-country nationals is estimated at only a few thousand, this will change, according to Sándor Czomba, state secretary for employment policy. This is why the Hungarian parliament adopted the legislation, which will enter into force in November, allowing the domestic employment of migrant workers under strict conditions, including zero right to settle in Hungary.

According to Karácsony, the Philippines is now the number one source country, but workers are also being recruited in larger numbers from Vietnam, Indonesia, Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan.

Most of them are brought in for skilled work, such as welders, truck drivers, and forklift drivers. However, the problem, according to the expert, is that the lead time for recruitment is 14 to 15 weeks, with administrative tasks like issuing official permits slowing down the process.