Government adopts new asylum regulations

Two decrees signed by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán have been published in the Hungarian Official Gazette, the aim of which is to grant protection to refugees coming from Ukraine as well as to facilitate their accommodation and employment.

One of the regulations amends certain provisions of the Asylum Act and seeks to facilitate the employment of refugees.

It recognizes as refugees Ukrainian citizens who were in Ukraine before the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war, as well as stateless persons and third-country nationals who have been granted international or equivalent national protection in Ukraine.

The government decided on this temporary protection in accordance with the Council of the European Union Regulation. The decree also exempts those forced to leave Ukraine following the Russian invasion on February 24 from some of the provisions of the Asylum Act.

Under the decree, an asylum-seeker is entitled to work without a permit if he or she is employed in one of the occupations defined in the notice of the minister responsible for the employment of third-country nationals in Hungary.

The government’s new decree allows asylum-seekers to work as public workers and public employees and states as a special rule that Hungarian citizens coming from Ukraine must be granted all benefits and advantages as refugees “if they do not receive more favorable treatment by virtue of their Hungarian citizenship.”

The other decree amends the rules of the Law on Local Taxes for tourist accommodations due to the wave of refugees. From February 24 (when Russia’s military invasion started) onwards, those who have received an asylum-seeker from Ukraine will not have to pay the tourist tax.

“We will try to offer an opportunity for everyone to create their own livelihood,” the prime minister said, adding that “this is a work-based country, and here we help everyone get work.”

The regulations adopted serve this purpose.