Experts warn British workers in Hungary face uncertain future

19 November 2021 2 min. read
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While the bickering of the initial exit process finally fades into the background, fresh impacts from Brexit are still impacting citizens across the European Union. Now, experts from Mazars have warned that employers should check UK national employees submit applications for permanent residence in Hungary by the end of the year.

An EEA national is the citizen of any member state of the EU, and citizens of any State that is a party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area – Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. When Britain withdrew from the EU, it also took itself out of the EEA – and as a result, its citizens will lose the rights they once held as a result of being in that agreement.

When moving to Hungary, EEA citizens are issued EEA Citizenship Registration Certificates, allowing them to remain in the country beyond a 90-day window, as long as they seek gainful employment or are enrolled in education. Initially, citizens of the UK and Northern Ireland had been issued these certificates – but as the UK withdrew from the EEA, Hungary has commenced phasing them out for those individuals.

Experts warn British workers in Hungary face uncertain future

At present, the certificates of UK expats will expire on December 31 2021, according to experts from international audit, tax and advisory firm Mazars. Meanwhile, the individuals concerned will have until the end of the year to apply for a national permanent residence permit.

Speaking in the Budapest Business Journal, Mazars Partner Sándor Szmicsek noted, "Those concerned can apply for a national permanent residence permit under a favourable procedure until the end of the year. It is important to note that the application will be assessed by the competent authority within 30 days.”

Due to the approximate time limit for submitting an application, it is important that citizens consider making applications in November. According to Mazars, employers should check with UK national employees in good time to ensure that they have done so, and ensure that their stay and employment in Hungary can continue.

Earlier in the year, thousands of expats left Spain under similar circumstances. The undocumented migrants were largely retirees and hospitality workers, who either failed to apply for Spanish residency documents or had applications rejected. Following the Brexit deal between the UK and the EU, Spain could have fined, deported and even banned from returning anyone unregistered and staying more than 90 days.