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17th May, 2018

More work permits for foreigners

Last year 25,000 foreigners from non-EU countries received work permits in Hungary, an increase of 10,000 from the previous year, to ease the dire labour shortage in many industries, Magyar Idők reports, citing data from the Immigration Office.

The actual figures may be higher, as from June 2017 workers in professions with the most acute labour shortage do not need to have work permits.

No survey has been conducted regarding which sectors employ the most non-EU citizens, but industry representatives say most come from Ukraine and work in industry and construction.

László Parragh, head of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Hungary needs 200,000-300,000 guest workers to ease the labour shortage over the long term.

A large number of the foreign workers, some 20% according to estimates, use Hungary as a springboard for moving to Western Europe, but companies are trying to prevent this with clauses in contracts.

Sources regularly consulted, with abbreviations used in text: Népszabadság (N); Magyar Hírlap (MH); Világgazdaság (VG); Napi Gazdaság (NG); Magyar Nemzet (MN); Népszava (Nsz); Kossuth Rádió news (KR); nightly TV news (TV).

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