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Lakatos, Koves & Partners: Advice to Ukrainians in Hungary

Lakatos, Koves & Partners: Advice to Ukrainians in Hungary

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This review was prepared for Ukrainian refugees by the law firm Lakatos, Köves and Partners Law Firm upon request and in coordination with the international legal network Multilaw and Ukrainian law firm Arzinger. The review is as of March 11, 2022. The review is not a legal advice and is for informational purposes only. For updates, please follow www.multilaw.com and/or www.arzinger.ua

Цей огляд був підготований для українських біженців юридичною фірмою Lakatos, Köves and Partners Law Firm на запит та під координацією міжнародної юридичної мережі Multilaw та української юридичної фірми Арцінгер. Огляд підготований станом на 11 березня 2022 року та буде оновлюватись відповідно, також будуть додаватись українські переклади. Цей огляд не є юридичною консультацією і має лише інформаційний характер. Слідкуйте, будь ласка за оновленнями на www.multilaw.com та/або www.arzinger.ua

(1)   Entering the country

1.1. Is any mandatory quarantine applied for UA citizens? If yes, please provide details (duration, where to stay, who pays for the stay, any exceptions)? Currently no mandatory quarantine is applied.

1.2. Is any visa required for UA citizen to enter the country? If yes, how UA citizen may obtain it under the circumstances? No visa is required for UA citizens to enter Hungary

1.3. Is entry without passport allowed? Yes, currently this is allowed.

1.4. Shall UA citizen apply for any special status (refugee etc.) right after entering the country, or this can be done later? If yes, what is the further deadline to apply for special status? For UA citizens with a valid biometric passport, this is not a requirement, please see below in 2.1. UA citizens without a valid biometric passport also need a title for stay in Hungary from day 1, unless they intend to travel on. In the absence of a passport, their title to stay could be a temporary refugee status (see below at 6). 

(2)   Stay in the country

2.1. For how long UA citizen may stay in the country if entered based on visa-free regime without any additional formalities? UA citizens with a valid biometric passport can stay for 90 days within any 180 days without further formalities.

2.2. Are temporary residency permits available for UA citizens? Temporary residence permits which grant a right of stay for up to 5 years are available under the general regime (unrelated to the war).

2.3. Are permanent residency permits available for UA citizens? Permanent residence permits are available under the general regime (unrelated to the war). These permits would require additional preconditions, such as lawful stay in Hungary for 3 years before the application, or being a dependent relative and living in one household for at least one year in Hungary of a Hungarian citizen etc., or being married for at least 2 years with a Hungarian citizen etc. or having a parent or grandparent who is or was a Hungarian citizen, or who is a child of a person who has permanent residence.

2.4. Is refugee status available for UA citizens? UA citizens fleeing from the war can apply for temporary protection (in line with Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/382 of 4 March 2022), which grants them a right of stay as long as the war is ongoing. (For clarification: refugee status would only be granted if the individuals could prove that they would be subject to persecution for racial, religious or political grounds, in line with the Geneva Convention. Such status would grant the refugees a permanent right to stay in Hungary.)

2.5. Is there any other status except tourism, temporary/permanent residency permit, refugee available for UA citizens? If yes, please briefly describe the options. None which would be available specifically for UA citizens under the current condition.

(3)   If UA citizen entered the country based on no visa regime, or based on tourist visa

3.1. What is the maximum allowed duration of stay in the country? See 2.1.

3.2. Are any formal procedures (registration etc.) required for the stay? Based on the general rules, if their planned stay exceeds 30 days in Hungary, third-country citizens must report their address to the immigration authority in a form which must be signed by the applicant and also the host. They also must notify the immigration authority or the police if their passport is lost/stolen/destroyed/expired. They also must seek the issuance of new documents, and can only leave Hungary with a new passport or the certificate of the notification. 

3.3. Is employment allowed? No

3.4. Is healthcare covered by the hosting state? UA citizens are entitled to state emergency care only, based on international agreement).

3.5. What are main taxes, which shall be paid by UA citizen during the stay? None

3.6. What is the tax regime and relevant formalities if UA citizen works remotely for businesses in other countries and gets payments from there?

According to the double tax convention (“DTC”) concluded between Hungary and Ukraine, in case the employment is exercised in the territory of Hungary then the salary shall be subject to taxation in Hungary. However, the salary received in connection with the employment carried out in Hungary by a Ukrainian tax resident private individual shall be subject to taxation in Ukraine if (i) the private individual is present in Hungary for a period or periods not exceeding in the aggregate 183 days in any 12 month period concerned, and (ii) the salary is paid by, or on behalf of, an employer who is not Hungarian resident, and (iii) the salary is not borne by a permanent establishment or a fixed base which the employer has in Hungary.

The above exception, however cannot be applied to private individuals who shall be deemed as Hungarian tax resident private individuals and therefore their salary should be subject to tax in Hungary.

Based on the provided information, we understand that Ukrainian private individuals who have a permanent residence status in Hungary (provided that they spend more than 183 days in the territory of Hungary in an 12-month period) should be considered as Hungarian tax resident private individuals, therefore the exception cannot be applied on their salary. However, it cannot be excluded that the other mentioned Ukrainian private individuals would be deemed as Hungarian tax resident private individuals due to their individual circumstances (e.g. they would have permanent residence only in Hungary or the center of their vital interests should be considered to be in Hungary) as well.

If no exception applies under the DTC, then the private individual shall be subject to tax in Hungary. In relation to this, the private individual shall register with the Hungarian Tax Authority and request for a tax number. We understand that in the current situation the employers are not residents in Hungary, therefore the private individual shall assess and pay the related personal income tax to the state in the rate of 15%.

Tax advance is payable during the tax year on a quarterly basis until the 12th of the month following the quarter year and a tax return shall be filed with the Hungarian Tax Authority until the 20th May following the tax year.

However, please note that for the above interpretation the legislation assumes that the private individual carries out the employment in the territory of Hungary legally (i.e. with the necessary documents and visas). Therefore, there may be interpretative differences upon unconventional employment in the territory of Hungary (e.g. remote work carried out with tourist visa).

3.7. Is it possible to open and use banking account? Yes. Please note that during the KYC procedures banks normally require proof of residence, and may not have a uniform practice on what to accept in this particular case. Some banks, like Erste, expressly claim they want to help UA citizens with bank account opening. It is unclear what formalities they require specifically, in addition to a UA passport.

3.8. What is the upper limit of cash which can be put on a banking account without confirmation of the cash source? There is no definite limit. Banks must conduct a KYC procedure upon bank account opening, and also for all assignments (including cash deposit) above 4.5 million HUF. If banks must conduct a KYC procedure, they can, based on their internal risk evaluation policy, seek evidence as to the source of the cash. However, banks may conduct KYC procedures upon any assignments which, according to the bank, entails any risk, and in such case, they may also request evidence of the source.

3.9. Is UA driving license accepted? If yes, for how long? We assume that UA driving licences are issued in line with the 1968 Vienna Road convention and the 1949 Geneva Road Convention, and generally compatible for driving in the EU. Such valid licence entitles its holder to drive in Hungary for one year as from entry into Hungary, after which holders must seek the nationalization of the licence (i.e. apply for the issuance of a Hungarian driver’s licence).

3.10. What and when is required to use a car brought from Ukraine (insurance, certification etc.)? All cars participating in road traffic in Hungary must dispose over a number plate, a valid permit issued by the traffic authority, valid technical and environmental compliance certificate, and be covered by a valid liability insurance. The proof of a valid liability insurance is a green card, in the absence of which UA car owners would need to conclude a special insurance at the border (which normally costs HUF 90,000 per month). However, in this emergency situation the Alliance of Hungarian Insurers has a special offer, which allows cars full coverage for a highly discounted fee of HUF 1,000 per month, until the end of the emergency. Please see details here:

https://mabisz.hu/a-hazai-biztositok-atvallaljak-az-ukran-hatarbiztositasi-dij-tulnyomo-reszet/

Drivers must keep the above documents as well as their ID (or passport) with them at all times. The operator is liable to ensure that the driver and the car meet all these requirements before entering road traffic. Cars with UA number plates which were brought into Hungary through simplified temporary customs admission (i.e. with the presumption that the car will be re-exported) can participate in road traffic in Hungary for 6 months after entry, or until the period determined in the respective customs certificate.  After this time, based on the current rules, they likely will need to be registered in Hungary, and also undergo customs procedure.

3.11. What is required to sell a car brought from Ukraine in your country? If the purchaser is a resident in Hungary, and the car has not yet been formally imported to Hungary, the car will need to undergo customs procedure, which will include customs payment (10%), VAT payment (27%), registration tax (depending on car type and engine size) and a registration procedure. These would be payable by the buyer. The purchase price received by the seller could be subject to personal income tax.

3.12. Are there any special regulations applied to kids under 5yo? At what terms kindergartens are available? No entitlement.

3.13. Are there any special regulations applied to kids 6 to 18yo? At what terms schools are available? No entitlement.

3.14. Are there any special regulations applied to juniors 19 to 22yo? At what terms universities are available? No entitlement.

3.15. Are there any special regulations applied to elderly people at 60+ age? No

3.16. Are there any special regulations applied to disabled persons? No

3.17. Is there any state program available suggesting accommodation, language courses, local integration? If yes, please briefly describe. No state program available under this status, but persons staying in Hungary without special status can still apply for charities for assistance.

3.18. Is there any state program suggesting support cash payments to UA citizens? If yes, please give rough numbers. No state program available under this status

3.19. Any other important information. N/A

(4)   If UA citizen entered the country aiming to get temporary residency permit

4.1. When and where UA citizen shall apply to obtain a temporary residency permit? Please briefly describe main steps required and respective timelines. Temporary residence permits allow a stay for longer than 90 days within 180 days. The general rules apply to UA citizens as third country citizens. These are available based on various grounds, which normally contain entitlements relating to those grounds only. These grounds include:

4.1.1.  Humanitarian cause. This is available for refugees, including persons who applied for or received temporary protection, if there are no other valid grounds for stay (listed below). The validity period is 6 months, and can be renewed, unless the cause giving rise to its issuance no longer prevails. Please see below in (6) Refugee status for more details, we understand that the special rules for temporary protection of UA citizens would override the entitlement for residence based on humanitarian grounds.

4.1.2.  Family unification with a family member who already has a temporary or permanent residence permit or other right of stay Hungary. Family members include spouse (not partner), minor children (including adopted and foster children), minor children of the spouse. Also dependent parents (and also siblings and other direct ascendants and descendants who are unable to care for themselves due to health reasons) of the person who has the temporary residence are eligible, and also the parents and siblings etc. of his/her spouse.

4.1.3.  In-come earning activity, including the performance of self-employed activity set out by law, or managing a company (managing director position only) (the validity period of the permit is up to 3 years, and can be renewed)

4.1.4.  Employment (work performed for third party of own company beyond management)

4.1.5.  EU Blue Card (not available generally for persons who have applied for temporary protection)

4.1.6.  Seasonal work (available only for 6 months, and employment as part of seasonal work cannot exceed 6 months within any 12-month-period)

4.1.7.  Employee intra-group transfer

4.1.8.  Studies (not available generally for persons who have applied for temporary protection). The validity period is at least one year, and is renewable. It requires, inter alia, that the person has enrolled in education in Hungary, including full time school or higher education, or higher education entrance preparation course.

4.1.9.  Scientific research (not available generally for persons who have applied for temporary protection)

4.1.10.      Mobility temporary residence permit for students and researchers (applicable to third-country nationals only if they have student or researcher residence permit in another EU member state)

4.1.11.      Internship (not available generally for persons who have applied for temporary protection). This requires a contract with an accredited organization.

4.1.12.      Medical care. This is available for persons who would like to use medical treatment in Hungary and persons who accompany minors using such care or carers of incapable persons using such care.

4.1.13.      Visits. This is available if third parties in Hungary guarantee to cover all costs of stay. The validity period aligns with the guarantee, and is maximum one year

4.1.14.      Volunteering. (not available generally for persons who have applied for temporary protection). This requires a contract with an accredited organization.

4.1.15.      National visa and national residence permit – this available for persons wishing to learn about Hungarian culture and strengthen family ties other than family unification

4.1.16.      Other causes – such as language learning or studies in non-accredited schools, etc.

Assuming the temporary residency permit is granted:

4.2. What is the maximum allowed duration of stay in the country? Please see above in 4.1

4.3. Are any formal procedures (registration etc.) required for the stay? Please see above in 3.2. Depending on the purpose of the stay, other registrations may also be required (for example tax authority and national health insurance fund if employment is involved, company registration for setting up a company).

4.4. Is employment allowed? Employment is allowed if the grounds for the issuance of the residence permit is humanitarian cause (employment is subject to general permit procedure applicable to third country nationals), employment, family unification, EU Blue Card, research, seasonal work, intra-group transfer (in each case, the process relating to the issuance of the employment permit and the residence permit is handled under a single procedure). Please note that no work permit is required for certain professions listed in a relevant ministerial decision, including the areas of IT, science, technicians, supervisors, nurses, social field, business administration, trade, agriculture, forestry, food industry, crafts, metal industry, construction industry, industry line processing, drivers, cleaners, caterers, etc., and for these professions, the residence application procedure would be simplified. In addition, as from 11 March 2022 the Hungarian Government introduced a subsidy scheme for employers who employ UA citizens who arrived to Hungary after 24 February 2022, in the event the employer provides temporary accommodation for the employee and employs the employee at least 20 hours a week. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs will set up information points for UA citizens in this regard, and will participate in providing temporary accommodation under the subsidy scheme. The amount of the subsidy must be spent on securing temporary accommodation, and work related travels, and employers must also undertake to cover 50% of the accommodation and travel costs that are not covered by the subsidy (the other 50% are to be covered by the employee).

4.5. Is healthcare covered by the hosting state? Is it covered for kids and other dependent relatives? It is generally mandatory to participate in the state health insurance scheme. The participation is based on an insured person status (employees, self-employed), entitlement (children, full-time students, pensioners, people who are in need), mandatory payment (for persons who are not insured or entitled and are required by the law to pay healthcare contributions) or based on agreement (if none of the previous apply). Accordingly, the availability of healthcare would depend on the grounds based on which the temporary residence permit was issued. Insured persons and entitled persons would generally be entitled to full healthcare as Hungarians under the general rules.

4.6. What are main taxes, which shall be paid by UA citizen during the stay? This would depend on the grounds based on which the temporary residence permit was issued, and would relate to the income earning activity performed in Hungary. Typical taxes include personal income tax (normally 15%) and health insurance contributions (18.5%), all payable after the gross income. Taxes imposed on companies include VAT (the general rate is 27%), tax on profits (9%), local taxes (1% of gross income) and tax payable after employees. In addition, property may be taxed (depending on the local municipality, this is a nominal sum) and there is a car tax for cars which have Hungarian number plates.

4.7. What is the tax regime and relevant formalities if UA citizen works remotely for businesses in other countries and gets payments from there? See 3.6 above.

4.8. Is it possible to open and use banking account? Yes

4.9. What is the upper limit of cash which can be put on a banking account without confirmation of the cash source? See 3.8 above

4.10. Is UA driving license accepted? If yes, for how long? See 3.9.

4.11. What and when is required to use a car brought from Ukraine (insurance, certification etc.)?  See 3.10.

4.12. What is required to sell a car brought from Ukraine in your country? See 3.11

4.13. Are there any special regulations applied to kids under 5yo whose parent obtained the temporary residency permit? At what terms kindergartens are available? Children who have temporary residence permits are entitled to participate in free state kindergarten care as from the age of 3 years (meals are payable extra unless a subsidy applies, typically based on the social needs of the family). Parents may apply for an exemption until the child is 4 (or, under very special circumstances, until the child is 5), but such exemption is subject to permission by the relevant authority, and must always be grounded on the best interest of the child. In the absence of an exemption, parents must enroll their children (failing to do so constitutes an offence). Parents have cooperation obligation, and also enjoy information and other rights.

4.14. Are there any special regulations applied to kids 6 to 18yo whose parent obtained the temporary residency permit? At what terms schools are available? Children who have temporary residence permits are entitled and obliged to participate in free state school care as from the year in which the child turns 6 until 31 August. Extra costs such as meals may apply. Parents may apply for exemption from attending school due to special reasons. School education obligation generally lasts until the end of the school year in which the child turns 16, however, kids are entitled to public education until they perform their related obligations (i.e. complete their secondary education).

4.15. Are there any special regulations applied to juniors 19 to 22yo whose parent obtained the temporary residency permit? At what terms universities are available? Kids above 18 are required to seek a residence permit in their own rights, and will not be entitled to residence based on the right of their parent (i.e. family unification with their parents), unless they are unable to care for themselves due to health reasons. University education is subject to application and prior qualifications such as final secondary exams. The number of state-subsidized (free) places out of the available number of places varies by university and by study area.

4.16. Are there any special regulations applied to elderly people at 60+ age? No

4.17. Are there any special regulations applied to disabled persons? No

4.18. Is there any state program available suggesting accommodation, language courses, local integration? If yes, please briefly describe. We are not aware of such state programs generally. Please also see (6) below.

4.19. Is there any state program suggesting support cash payments to UA citizens? If yes, please give rough numbers. We are not aware of such state programs. Certain types of family subsidies are available to third country nationals whose residence permit was issued under the single procedure referred under 4.4. (including the possibility of employment).

4.20. Are there any restrictions to leave the country? If UA citizens leave Hungary before they apply for temporary protection, they likely will not be granted temporary protection in Hungary should they wish to apply in Hungary after all. Also, leaving the country for a period of 4 months or longer could impact the continuity of the stay in Hungary for the purposes of a permanent residence permit application, if the total leave exceeds 270 days during the three-year-period. See also below at (5). 

4.21. Any other important information. If a residence permit is issued on humanitarian grounds (4.1.1) the immigration authority may, at its discretion, order the person to stay at a dedicated mandatory place of residence. This can be a community accommodation or a refugee shelter, if the person has no means to sustain him or herself, or a close relative to sustain him/her. The authority can also determine behavioral rules, such as regular reporting visits to the authority. Persons can be obliged to stay at the community accommodation or a refugee shelter for two months, after which another mandatory place must be designated, if required. Persons staying at the community accommodation or a refugee shelter can apply for so called public employment (a special type of employment ensuring a low level income for public bodies) if they have no other work or income. They can also apply for work subject to the general permission regime. If they have work, they have to contribute to the costs of their livings at the shelter.

(5)   If UA citizen entered the country aiming to get permanent residency permit

5.1. When and where UA citizen shall apply to obtain a permanent residency permit? Please briefly describe main steps required and respective timelines. UA citizens can apply or permanent residence only after they had lawfully resided at least 3 years in Hungary or had been married to a Hungarian. One relevant exception is if UA citizens can show that they have any ascendant who is or was a Hungarian national, in which case they can apply for permanent residence if this is not contrary to Hungary’s interest. Permanent residents broadly have the same rights as Hungarian nationals except for political rights. 

 

(6)   If UA citizen entered the country aiming to get refugee status

6.1. When and where UA citizen shall apply to obtain a refugee status? Please briefly describe main steps required and respective timelines.

There are four types of potential refugee statuses available in Hungary, out of which we will describe only the temporary protected status in line with Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/382 of 4 March 2022, as being the most relevant.

Applications can be made in person at dedicated points at the UA/HU border 24/7, or at any immigration office in Hungary.

One application form must be submitted per applicant. It is important to show documents upon the application which certify the date and place of entry to Hungary from UA, the personal identity and any family relations. The temporary protected status will be granted automatically if the conditions are met, and there are no excluding grounds. The immigration authority will issue a certificate (ID) as proof of the temporary protected status, and also evidence of the place of residence (which is necessary for other administrative tasks such as bank account opening etc.).

There is an interpretation of the applicable law based on which only UA citizens who enter Hungary directly from UA would be eligible for temporary protection in Hungary.

For timeline see 1.4. 

Pets:

The Hungarian veterinary authority has introduced simplified regime for the arrival of pets that do not comply with the current veterinary requirements (without a microchip, unvaccinated against Rabies, without a Rabies antibody titre test) and arrive with their owners.

(i) Until further notice, a registration form to be filled in on entry can be considered as equivalent to the so-called prior authorisation application, which will allow for a smooth entry procedure, traceability of the animals and the possibility of subsequent action.

(ii) The form is available here in Hungarian-Ukrainian bilingual format.

(iii)   By signing the form, the owner of the pet agrees upon arrival to immediately notify the district office (“Járási Hivatal”) of the detention of the animal and follow the instructions of the veterinary authority.

Place of stay during the application procedure: Applicants must stay at the residence appointed to them by the immigration authority, which is either a shelter, or, if the applicants so require, private accommodation.

A person enjoying temporary protection is entitled:

(i) to a personal identification document;

(ii) to a travel document defined in specific legislation which entitles the holder to leave and re-enter the country on one occasion, in the absence of a valid travel document of his/her country of origin;

(iii)   to aid and support stipulated by law; (see below)

(iv)   to undertake employment under the general rules applicable to third country citizens (see below).

  •   A person enjoying temporary protection is required:

(i) to register his/her place of accommodation and to notify the immigration authority of any changes therein;

(ii) to cooperate with the immigration authority;

(iii)   to undergo medical screening, examination and medical treatment, and to receive any vaccinations prescribed by the competent public health authority in the case where there is danger of contracting a disease;

(iv)   to observe and abide by the laws of Hungary;

(v) to report to the immigration authority without delay if his/her travel document, personal identification document, document verifying his/her right of residence in Hungary is lost, stolen or destroyed.

Assuming the refugee status is granted:

6.2. What is the maximum allowed duration of stay in the country? One year, and can be extended

6.3. Are any formal procedures (registration etc.) required for the stay? See 4.3. Address changes must be reported to the immigration authority if the refugee receives free care, see 6.18.

6.4. Is employment allowed? Yes. No permit is required for the professions referred in 4.4 above. For all other professions, the employer must apply for an employment permit, but the conditions for granting the permit are less strict than in the normal procedure. In each case, there is a notification requirement of the employer to the immigration authority about the start of the employment. Persons with temporary protected status may also be engaged for so called public employment (a special type of employment ensuring a low level income for public bodies). Please also see the subsidy scheme applicable to employers as from 11 March 2022 in 4.4 above.

6.5. Is healthcare covered by the hosting state? Is it covered for kids and other dependent relatives? Insured persons and entitled persons (see above 4.5) would generally be entitled to full healthcare as Hungarians under the general rules. If the refugees work, they will gain insured person status. Free healthcare is available for refugees for the first 6 months of their stay as follows: General basic healthcare, all healthcare services in the competence of the general practitioner; in the case of urgent need: (i) specialized walk-in care, including medication; (ii) hospitalization, operations, all related medications and follow-up care; emergency dental care; prenatal care and delivery care; 100% or 90% discount on certain medications; mandatory vaccinations; also oncology and other chronic illness care and medications.

6.6. What are main taxes, which shall be paid by UA citizen during the stay? See 4.6.

6.7. What is the tax regime and relevant formalities if UA citizen works remotely for businesses in other countries and gets payments from there? See 3.6

6.8. Is it possible to open and use banking account? Yes

6.9. What is the upper limit of cash which can be put on a banking account without confirmation of the cash source? See 3.8 above

6.10. Is UA driving license accepted? If yes, for how long? See 3.9 above

6.11. What and when is required to use a car brought from Ukraine (insurance, certification etc.)? See 3.10

6.12. What is required to sell a car brought from Ukraine in your country? See 3.11

6.13. Are there any special regulations applied to kids under 5yo? At what terms kindergartens are available? See 4.13 above

6.14. Are there any special regulations applied to kids 6 to 18yo? At what terms schools are available? See 4.14 above and 6.19 below. Parents/family members accompanying kids under 10 to school can apply for free travel subsidy. Children under 14 travel free on public transport in Budapest.

6.15. Are there any special regulations applied to juniors 19 to 22yo? At what terms universities are available? See 4.15 above. Costs refund for schooling (see 6.19) can be applied for until the student turns 21.

6.16. Are there any special regulations applied to elderly people at 60+ age? See 6.17.

6.17. Are there any special regulations applied to disabled persons? Disabled persons belong to the category of persons with special needs. Based on the general principles of the legislation, persons with special needs (children without parents, elderly, single parents with children, pregnant women, persons with mental or physical disability) should generally be treated with special care during the asylum procedure, and in providing care during the temporary protection. If and how this principle can be put into practice in the current situation is unclear.

6.18. Is there any state program available suggesting accommodation, language courses, local integration? If yes, please briefly describe. Accommodation: persons seeking and having received special protection will be offered accommodation at the community accommodation or a refugee shelter (including 3 meals a day, personal hygiene items, clothes), but they may also choose to stay elsewhere. They may also take up maintenance work at the shelter if available, and receive (minimal) pay. Language course: Free Hungarian language courses are available in dedicated schools. Local integration: If they live outside a shelter, refugees may apply to the immigration authority for regular financial allowance in the amount of HUF 28,500 per person, which will be paid monthly after the subject month via postal check, to the address reported to the immigration authority. Except the language course, these types of in-kind support are available to refugees for free only if they are “in need”. Otherwise the immigration authority may seek full or partial reimbursement of the costs of the services provided (including healthcare if the person does not participate in the state health insurance scheme, see 4.5 above) A refugee is “in need” if he/she (and co-living spouse and ascendant and descendant) has no assets in Hungary that would provide for the costs of living and the monthly per person income does not exceed 28,500 HUF for families, and 42,750 HUF for single persons. Refugees may be required to provide evidence on whether they are “in need”, and report to the immigration authority if they are no longer “in need”, and also any changes in their relevant data.

6.19. Is there any state program suggesting support cash payments to UA citizens? If yes, please give rough numbers. Refugees may apply for cost refund relating to schooling (up to 26,500 HUF). Also for monthly spending money, travel discounts. Refugees can also apply for a one-time support when they finally leave Hungary. See also 6.18. Please note that in general, cash support in Hungary on a purely social basis on any grounds (not just for refugees) is generally so limited that in itself likely would not provide sufficient means of independent living (i.e. living outside a shelter).

6.20. Are there any limitations to leave the country? Refugees who receive allowances on an “in need” basis must report to the immigration authority if they leave the country for longer than 30 days, in which case the payment will be suspended.

6.21. Any other important information. Hungary is generally not well-prepared for hosting many refugees, and has limited dedicated infrastructure. Currently there are large number of volunteers and charity organizations helping, a lot of donation is ongoing and there is a generally welcoming and supporting atmosphere at the border and also in Budapest. Accommodation is often provided in makeshift shelters (such as school gyms or hostels etc.) The availability of in-kind services may be limited due to the sudden high demand.

(7)   Language issues

7.1. What languages can be used for communication in your country? Official language is Hungarian, many people speak English.

(8)   Upcoming or expected legislative changes

8.1. Do you expect any major changes to the relevant legislation?

The validity of some of the above rules is currently 31 May 2022, including employment, certain types of medical care, and easier entry into Hungary. New rules can be issued any time, but the general framework is unlikely to change. Please also note the upcoming elections early April 2022. Therefore, we recommend repeated validity check as to the above.

(9)   Local help resources

9.1. Please provide links and brief descriptions to any local helpful resources.

Website of the immigration authority:

http://www.bmbah.hu/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&layout=item&id=1736&Itemid=2119&lang=hu (includes links to further supporting organizations)

Website of the Minority Self-government of Ukrainians in Hungary: https://ukrajinci.hu/language/uk/home/

Municipality of Budapest:

https://help.budapest.hu/

Ukrainian Embassy:

Budapest, Istenhegyi út 84/b, 1125, +361  422 4124

Various other NGOs:

https://helsinki.hu/

https://www.facebook.com/budapestbikemaffia

https://www.facebook.com/ageofhopealapitvany

https://www.facebook.com/oltalom.karitativegyesulet

https://www.facebook.com/groups/994143548136400

https://www.facebook.com/groups/651183759509424

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1884808158404856

https://www.facebook.com/groups/302211538565433

https://www.facebook.com/groups/asegitok

https://www.facebook.com/groups/656873979068687

Unlike any other news items in CEELM, these are published as received with no other edits than outlined in this editorial note.