Hungary

 

2014

  • Rank: 23 out of 38
  • MIPEX Score: 45
  • LABOUR MARKET MOBILITY 40
  • FAMILY REUNION 61
  • EDUCATION 15
  • HEALTH 40
  • POLITICAL PARTICIPATION 23
  • PERMANENT RESIDENCE 68
  • ACCESS TO NATIONALITY 31
  • ANTI-DISCRIMINATION 83

Key Findings

Changes in context

  • Destination country since 1990s experiencing big drop in immigration during the economic crisis 
  • Overall employment rates dropped slightly from 2008-2011 but fully recovered and growing in 2013/4
  • 2010 elections saw right-wing majority government replace left-wing government
  • Dramatic increase in asylum-seekers coming across HU's southern border since 2013 takes over previous long-term discussions on other forms of legal migration and integration
  • Anti-immigrant attitudes greater and increasing more than on average in EU e.g. around 1/3 believe in equal rights for immigrants as opposed to 2/3 on average in EU 

Key Common Statistics

Country of net migration since:% Non-EU citizens% Foreign-born% Non-EU of foreign-born% Non-EU university-educated % from low or medium-developed (HDI) country
1990s0.6%4.3%33%38%45%
UN 2010 data in 2013Eurostat 2013Eurostat 2013Eurostat 2013Note: Adults aged 18-64, Eurostat 2013Eurostat 2013

Changes in policy

  • No major change on integration since 2010: +1 point in 2014 due to EU-required single residence/work permit
  • Small steps on long-term residence & ordinary naturalisation procedure
  • Small steps back on basic political liberties and cost of citizenship test
  • On contrast, other new destination countries continue to make major improvements (e.g. CZ, GR, PL)

Conclusions and recommendations

Promoting immigrant integration has not been a government priority from 2010 to 2014. The minor scattered changes do not change the fact that ordinary non-EU legal residents in HU still have more obstacles than opportunities put in their path to participate in HU society, with its overall integration policies scoring 45/100 and ranking 23rd alongside RO and the rapidly-advancing CZ. HU is home to a very small number of non-EU citizens (0.6% like BG, LT) and immigrant children. HU integration policies have yet to respond to the needs and opportunities they bring to nearly all areas of life in HU. In contrast, other new destination countries continue to make major improvements (e.g. CZ, GR, PL), following international reform trends. Several old and new countries of immigration have implemented effective policies that reach and support immigrants to become employed, trained, reunited with family, civically active, long-term residents and national citizens.   

TIMELINE

PREV
  • MAY
    2007
  • MAY
    2007
  • JANUARY
    2009
  • JANUARY
    2010
  • MAY
    2010
  • AUGUST
    2010
  • JANUARY
    2011
  • MAY
    2011
  • JANUARY
    2012
  • FEBRUARY
    2014
NEXT

POLICIES - SUMMARY

  • LABOUR MARKET MOBILITY

    Score:

    Hungary
    vs.
    MIPEX 38
    • 31 of 38
    • Potential Beneficiaries

      37%
    • Real Beneficiaries

      6%
  • FAMILY REUNION

    Score:

    Hungary
    vs.
    MIPEX 38
    • 20 of 38
    • Outcome Indicators

      4
  • EDUCATION

    Score:

    Hungary
    vs.
    MIPEX 38
    • 35 of 38
    • Potential Beneficiaries

      2%
  • HEALTH

    Score:

    Hungary
    vs.
    MIPEX 38
    • 25 of 38
  • POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

    Score:

    Hungary
    vs.
    MIPEX 38
    • 27 of 38
    • Real Beneficiaries

      58%
    • Real Beneficiaries

      25%
  • PERMANENT RESIDENCE

    Score:

    Hungary
    vs.
    MIPEX 38
    • 8 of 38
    • Potential Beneficiaries

      78%
    • Outcome Indicators

      37%
  • ACCESS TO NATIONALITY

    Score:

    Hungary
    vs.
    MIPEX 38
    • 31 of 38
    • Potential Beneficiaries

      52%
    • Outcome Indicators

      6%
  • ANTI-DISCRIMINATION

    Score:

    Hungary
    vs.
    MIPEX 38
    • 7 of 38
    • Potential Beneficiaries

      6%
    • Outcome Indicators

      3727

Labour Market Mobility

Key Findings

Across EU, labour market integration happens over time and depends on the general policies, context and immigrants' skills and reason for migration; HU has not tried to create the effective targeted programmes successful in other countries and creates longer delays equal access to jobs and training for non-EU legal residents not in employment, education and training 

Potential Beneficiaries

How many immigrants could be employed?

Compared to other European countries, working-age non-EU citizens are more likely in HU not to be in employment, education or training (37% in total, 1/4 of men and 1/2 of women). These high rates are comparable to GR/IT/ES, Baltics and not far from the EU average (1/3).

Policy Indicators

Do immigrants have equal rights and opportunities to access jobs and improve their skills?

Compared to others in the region (e.g. CZ, EE), HU is not well prepared for its future labour market needs. HU's labour market mobility policies, ranked 31st out of 38, slightly delay non-EU legal residents from finding a good job and using their full set of skills as those non-EU citizens not in employment, education or training can rarely access any general or targeted measures to recognise or develop their skills. In recent years, minor improvements were made for self-employed (+8 in 2009/10 in this area) and for labour migrants' access to employment services, education and training (+8 in 2014). Internationally, most other countries are opening equal access to jobs and general support for all non-EU residents and increasing their investment in targeted support (e.g. AT, BE, FI, DE, PT, SE).

Dimension 1: Access to labour market

  • Without immediate labour market access, non-EU workers and families wait longer to access and change jobs than in 25 other MIPEX countries (see policies in GR/IT/PT/ES, Nordics)
  • Only long-term residents and refugees can be employed under same conditions as HU citizens
  • For example, the public sector can only hire long-term residents, unlike in 15 countries, including CZ, DK, PT, ES
  • Since Act 115/2009, non-EU temporary workers, students or humanitarian residents can become entrepreneurs (as in several other countries, e.g. CZ, PL, GR/IT/ES, NL, US)

Dimension 2: Access to general support

  • Beyond these first jobs, non-EU newcomers have few opportunities to build their careers, skills and qualifications
  • Despite recent improvements, non-EU workers and their families have less access to general training and recognition procedures in HU than in all MIPEX countries except IE
  • Since February 2014, holders of new 'single permits' are entitled to access public employment services and higher education under the same terms as HU citizens, similar to long-term residents and humanitarian migrants 
  • Not all legal residents are guaranteed equal access to study grants for education and training (a gap in rights in most Central European countries) 
  • No single procedure exists to recognise non-EU academic and professional qualifications and skills in HU (see recent reforms in DE, PT)

Dimension 3: Targeted support

  • Non-EU residents do not benefit from any targeted programme to get the experience, contacts and HU language skills they need for their job sector
  • While legal residents can get information on the various recognition procedures from HU's Equivalence and Information Centre (+10 since 2010), they may not be informed of job and training opportunities in their new country
  • More established destination countries are seeing the economic benefits of supporting newcomers to learn the language for/at work (10 others), get informed and oriented at public employment services (12 others) and get start-up support for new businesses (e.g. PT)
  • Targeted employment support usually means using the available funding in a more systematic way for work-related training

Dimension 4: Workers' rights

  • Not all non-EU residents are covered by the social safety net in HU, a problem in several Central European countries
  • Housing support is only available to long-term residents and humanitarian migrants with a registered address
  • Equal access to social security is now available for single-permit holders and highly-skilled workers (Blue Card) in addition to long-term residents and humanitarian migrants (+13)
  • Equal access to social security is sustained for all residents with the right to work in 14 countries, including many affected by the global recession (e.g. HR, GR, IT, PT, RO, ES)

Real beneficiaries

Are immigrants acquiring new skills?

In HU, hardly any working-age non-EU adult men and women (6%) are accessing education and training. In contrast, 17% of working-age non-EU citizens on average in Europe said that they were recently enrolled in education or training, according to 2011/2 Labour Force Survey data. Uptake of education and training was just as low in several parts of Central and Southern Europe (e.g. EE/LV, HU, SI, CY, GR, IT).

Contextual factors

What other factors explain whether immigrants find skilled and well-paid jobs?

  • Rising employment rates and growth in HU 
  • Employment protection legislation generally average for OECD countries 
  • Important numbers of recent migrants are given temporary work or study permits 
  • Few non-EU residents who settle in HU have their degree from HU

Outcome indicators

Are immigrants employed in qualified and well-paid jobs?

Labour market integration does seem to happen over time in HU as elsewhere in Europe, at least for the university-educated. The long-settled non-EU-born (10+ years' stay) are on average only slightly less likely to have a job than non-immigrants with the same gender and level of education, according to 2011/2 data from the European Labour Force Survey. The major long-term challenge is not getting immigrants into jobs, but into jobs that use all of their skills and provide them a living wage.

Evidence base

What do we learn from robust studies?

Research finds that employment outcomes are better for immigrants who get legal access to the labour market, a formal recognition of their foreign degree, a new domestic degree and/or domestic work experience (see Bilgili 2015):

  • Long-term pay-offs of flexible language training to level needed for high vs. low-skilled sectors, esp. work-specific/based
  • Programmes to recognise foreign qualifications, give domestic work experience and provide bridging/new domestic qualifications
  • Start-up support for potential entrepreneurs

Family Reunion

Key Findings

Based on HU's inclusive national definition of the family, its family reunion policy requires legal residents to cover their basic housing needs, but families are only somewhat secure in their status in HU and kept more dependent on their sponsor than in nearly all other countries

Policy Indicators

How easily can immigrants reunite with family?

Newcomers have basic rights to reunite with their families, as in countries under EU law, while facing great uncertainty, as across the region. Under HU's inclusive national definition of the family, children, spouses/partners and dependent parents are allowed to quickly reunite with their sponsor covering their basic needs and housing, but are also kept more dependent on him in HU than almost anywhere else, with restricted socio-economic and residence rights. The law encourages them to apply with favourable eligibility provisions and conditions. Most destination countries, including those affected by the economic crisis (e.g. IT, PT, ES, SI), are maintaining the same basic requirements for sponsors and opening greater socio-economic rights for reunited families, so that legal residents and their families can quickly reunite and start their integration together in the country. 

Dimension 1: Eligibility

  • Legal residents who have secured their basic legal income and housing can immediately apply for their children and spouse or same-sex partner (since 2009 and as in 25 out of the 37 other countries
  • Residents who can cover the costs can also reunite with dependent adult children and parents for health reasons

Dimension 2: Conditions

  • Only basic legal income and standard housing required in HU and 21 other countries, though the documentation can become an obstacle for families to reunite
  • Since 2011, families must also pay a relatively high fee by HU administrative standards (60 euros) 

Dimension 3: Security of status

  • Reuniting families are only slightly certain of their chances to reunite and settle in HU as in most countries
  • The procedure should be short, according to Decree 114/2007 
  • Authorities can deny or withdraw their legal status through highly discretionary procedures with wide grounds (e.g. family breakup, end of parental rights, public health) 
  • Since 2010, authorities taking these decisions are supposed to take into account the impact on the family's individual circumstances, though protections against domestic violence are still weak

Dimension 4: Rights associated

  • HU's current approach delays adult family members' social and economic integration more than all other countries except IE and TU
  • Reuniting families can immediately access the full labour market, education, training and social/housing benefits in the majority of other countries, with some gaps in Central Europe
  • Vulnerable families are better protected with the right to an autonomous residence permit in cases of divorce, separation and domestic violence (e.g. see AU, CA, NZ, PT, ES) 

Real beneficiaries

Are families reuniting?

The number of reuniting families is comparatively small in HU and slightly varies every year from 1,000-3,000. Nearly half of all reuniting family members are children, with most others being spouses or partners. Hardly any other family members reunite in HU (between 100-200 from 2011-13). Only certain nationalities present in HU seem either interested or allowed to reunite in HU. The largest group of reuniting families, CN citizens, made up 1/4 of reuniting families in recent years and nearly 1/2 in 2013. Following CN citizens, citizens of US, RU, KR, IN and JP accounted for 5-10% of reuniting families in recent years.

Contextual factors

What other factors explain whether immigrants reunite with family?

  • Newcomers may be recently settling down with family
  • Humanitarian migrants likely to need family reunion
  • Sizeable minority with short-term (<1 year) permits (around 15%)
  • Many from developed/neighbouring countries and thus less likely to reunite in Baltics, HR, SI

Outcome indicators

How often do immigrants reunite with family?

Depending on the year, non-EU families are just as likely to reunite with a family member legally residing in HU as on average in Europe and HU's neighbours in Central Europe. Non-EU family reunion is relatively rare in the EU. Newly arrived non-EU families represent only around 2.2 people out of every 100 non-EU residents in the average EU country. The non-EU family reunion rate in HU has dropped in 2009, 2010 and 2012 down to 1.5-1.9 (even rarer than on average in the EU) and risen to 3.0 in 2011 and 3.7 in 2013 (slightly less rare and more comparable to rates in BG, CZ, RO, SI)

The families reuniting together in HU are not very representative of the diversity of HU's non-EU immigrant population and much less so than in the average European country. For example in 2013, family reunion was much more common among citizens of KR, CN, JP, US and RU than among citizens of SO, NG, VN, AF, among whom few families have reunited in recent years despite the size of these communities in the HU population. Numbers seemed to have decreased in recent years for citizens of UA, RS and VN. These divergences between nationalities are much greater in HU than in most European countries, on par with only DK, PL and RO. These outcomes suggest that HU's family reunion policy is relatively inclusive, but also potentially discretionary. 

Education

Key Findings

HU schools receive some of the least support to address the new needs and opportunities that its small number of immigrant pupils bring to the classroom 

Potential Beneficiaries

How many pupils have immigrant parents?

Immigrant pupils make up a very small number of pupils in HU. Among 15-year-old PISA test-takers, only 0.8% were foreign-born and 1.0% were born in HU to foreign-born parents. An estimated 81% of these pupils have parents who speak the HU language at home. These low numbers are comparable to other Central European countries with very new and small immigrant populations.

Policy Indicators

Is the education system responsive to the needs of the children of immigrants?

Ranked 3rd from the bottom above BG and TU, HU, like most Central European countries, is home to very few immigrant children and doing slightly less than its neighbours to promote their education. National authorities do not require schools to use available support to target the few specific learning needs and new opportunities that immigration brings for both immigrant and HU pupils. Schools are not required to provide equal access to immigrant pupils (e.g. restrictions on undocumented pupils' access to compulsory education only in HU, BG, SK), or even teach all pupils something about cultural diversity.

School systems are generally slowly respond to immigrant pupils as their numbers grow. When they do, targeted reforms tend to follow general consensus on how to turn immigrant parents/pupils’ high expectations into high achievement: guarantee early and equal access to all school levels, require individualised support, promote mixed schools and parental/community involvement, train and raise teachers’ expectations and provide role models.

Dimension 1: Access

  • Immigrant pupils face so many barriers to access schools throughout their educational career that HU receives a critical zero, tied for last with BG
  • The pupils of most legal immigrants are eligible to attend free compulsory education 
  • Undocumented migrants are denied access to not only the full education system (unlike 16 countries), but also explicitly compulsory education (as in only BG, SK, with positive reforms in RO)
  • Equal access to non-compulsory education is also limited for certain legal immigrants without ethnic HU roots

Dimension 2: Targeting needs

  • Hungary’s limited strategies and budgets for intercultural education are of little use for newcomer children
  • A voluntary programme with little impact, the 2006 Intercultural Education Programme (including induction and language) imposes no requirements and leaves the option up to schools and offers limited funding

Dimension 3: New opportunities

  • Schools are not required to teach about immigrant languages and cultures
  • The only option is the HU-CN bilingual school based on bilateral agreement, funded by the HU and CN governments
  • In contrast, most countries teach immigrant languages and cultures to many more groups, though often only to migrant pupils, either at school (e.g. foreign language offer or teaching assistants) or through extra-curricular courses (see more accessible & flexible courses in AT, AU, CA, Nordics, CH)

Dimension 4: Intercultural education

  • Intercultural education scores a critically unfavourable zero as pupils are not required in the curriculum to learn about international cultural differences and immigration 
  • Only general and passing references are made in decrees on the national framework for education and requirements for teachers
  • In contrast, most other countries make the appreciation of cultural diversity an explicit cross-curricular priority, a subject for voluntary teaching trainings and a government budget line for ad hoc projects

Health

Key Findings

Typical of most Central European countries, health policies do relatively little to make services more accessible and support promising practices responding to specific health needs

Policy Indicators

Is the health system responsive to immigrants' needs?

Ranked 25th, HU's health policies do relatively little to make health services more accessible and support the positive developments within health services to respond to specific health needs of migrant patients. These obstacles are common to many Central European countries. While the HU health system provides less information to migrant patients than most, in other areas more promising initiatives have started in HU then on average in the region, thanks to the work of university clinics in Budapest and Szeged and state/EU-funded NGO projects.

Click here to learn more about how MIPEX health was developed with IOM and EU’s COST/ADAPT network through ‘Equi-Health’ project and co-funded by European Commission’s DG SANTE. 

Dimension 1: Entitlements

  • Entitlements only go halfway to cover migrant patients in HU, as is a common problem
  • Legal migrants can encounter problems of documentation regarding their legal and employment situation
  • Asylum-seekers face discretionary decisions about urgency of treatment and their ability to pay in order to benefit from entitlements to medical treatment  
  • Undocumented migrants can only access emergency 'acute' care and must pay back everything they can (usually free in most other countries)
  • Exemptions to these rules exist for pregnant women, mothers, babies

Dimension 2: Access policies

  • A problem across Central Europe, migrant patients in HU are rarely informed of their entitlements and health issues through accessible methods and languages (also missing in HR, CZ, LV, GR)
  • Migrant residents learn about their entitlements and general health issues through general websites (e.g. National Health Insurance Fund, available only in HU, EN and DE)
  • In contrast, multiple multilingual methods are used to inform all types of migrant patients in countries such as FR, IE, JP, SE, ES and US

Dimension 3: Responsive services

  • HU is slightly ahead of other neighbouring countries in developing a few basic specialised ad hoc programmes and clinics to address migrants' specific health needs
  • Professionals can resolve individual communication problems with asylum-seekers through free face-to-face interpreters, sometimes through trained multilingual migrant staff
  • The health system can sometimes receive feedback on its performance through research about access to the healthcare system 
  • Alternative non-Western options like CN medicine have been accepted due to the relatively numerous CN Diaspora in HU

Dimension 4: Mechanisms for change

  • Health policies to support change are still rather weak in HU, as is common across Central Europe
  • So far just one paragraph on healthcare in the 2013 Migration Strategy and ad hoc discussion with immigrants and health stakeholders
  • Some data and research are available to develop an evidence-based strategy to make health services for accessible and responsive to migrant residents

Political Participation

Key Findings

Going against reform trends in the region, non-EU residents enjoy few and now fewer opportunities to have their voices heard in the public debate, as HU, like most Central European countries, still has weak political participation policies and uneven naturalisation procedures

Potential Beneficiaries

Policy Indicators

Do immigrants have comparable rights and opportunities to participate in political life?

With a rather weak policy typical for Central Europe and an uneven naturalisation policy, HU allows a minority of its small number of non-EU adult residents to vote in local elections, as do 20 other countries, but not to stand as candidates, unlike 14, and hold offices within political parties since 2012 (-6 points, unlike most). Immigrants are not structurally consulted, informed or supported to help improve HU's integration policies, despite trends to the contrary in other countries in the region (e.g. CZ, DE, EE, LT, SI). 

Dimension 1: Electoral rights

  • The constitution grants voting rights (as in 20 other MIPEX countries) but only to long-term residents (e.g. EE, LT, SK, SI)
  • Non-residents must prove their continuous lawful residence in HU to acquire this status and certify their domicile in the municipality to vote
  • These rights have been used by the small numbers of non-EU citizens in HU and do not lead to change in the status quo or any of the fears sometimes expressed in debates, which matches international experience on voting rights
  • Eligible non-EU voters are also allowed to stand as candidates in local elections for the country's political parties in 14 other countries, including LT, SK, PT, ES

Dimension 2: Political liberties

  • Until 2012, HU was leading in Central Europe as the one country without outdated laws denying foreigners their basic political liberties 
  • HU was the 1st country in recent history to restrict basic liberties when in 2012 foreign residents were denied the right to found or hold offices in HU political parties
  • Trends towards reform in the region are relatively slow (e.g. CZ in 2012, perhaps soon PL) as non-EU residents are often still confused with security concerns (e.g. CZ, SK, Baltics)

Dimension 3: Consultative bodies

  • Neither national nor local authorities have created dedicated consultative bodies or funding for immigrant representatives
  • The emergence of such bodies is a trend in other new immigration countries (e.g. FI, IE, JP, KR, PT and recent projects in CZ, EE, LT, soon MT)

Dimension 4: Implementation policies

  • HU has not encouraged immigrant civil society to emerge to support immigrant communities (see policies in Western Europe e.g. IE, PT as well as KR, CA, NZ)

Real beneficiaries

How many non-EU immigrants are eligible to vote?

HU's relatively restrictive voting rights have enfranchised only a minority of non-EU citizens (similar to LT). 

Looking at both enfranchised and naturalised non-EU citizens in 2011/2, HU has used access to HU citizenship to expand the democratic community. An estimated 60% of non-EU-born residents in HU had already become HU citizens by 2012. In comparison, several other Central European countries have relatively small, long-settled and naturalised immigrant communities (HR, PL, LT, SK, SI). However HU's above-average levels of naturalisation are not strongly related to immigrant integration, as naturalisation is not yet facilitated for immigrants who lack HU ethnic roots but pass the test on their knowledge of the country and its language (see section on Access to Nationality).

Contextual factors

What other factors explain whether immigrants become politically active?

  • Most non-EU citizens are long-settled in HU
  • Generally low levels of civic engagement in Central Europe

Outcome indicators

Are immigrants participating in political life?

Long-settled non-EU-born adults seem on average almost as likely to participate politically as non-immigrants with similar levels of education, according to European Social Survey data from the 2000's. Political participation was generally equitable for immigrants in the Nordics, Benelux, FR, ES and UK and actually higher than for non-immigrants in HR, IE and PT. The level of political participation was also generally similar comparing the university-educated. No trade-off exists between promoting political participation among foreigners and promoting naturalisation. Actually, political participation policies tend to be stronger and non-EU immigrants slightly more likely to naturalise in countries with inclusive naturalisation policies.

Evidence base

What do we learn from robust studies?

Multivariate analyses find that political participation policies can boost the level of political participation for certain groups (Bilgili et al. 2014) and, at least in SE, the responsiveness of politicians to local needs (Vernby 2013).

Permanent Residence

Key Findings

Non-EU residents in HU and most countries experience a slightly favourable path to secure their status and equal rights, but only 1/3 have become national permanent residents, with a potentially large number of 'permanently temporary' residents

Potential Beneficiaries

Who can become long-term residents?

According to 2011/2 data, over 3/4 of non-EU citizen men and women in HU are long-settled, with 5+ years of residence. This level of settlement is similar to most European countries, including BG, CZ, HR, PL, SI.

Policy Indicators

How easily can immigrants become long-term residents?

Settled non-EU residents experience a slightly favourable path to secure their status and equal rights as permanent residents, similar to other countries. There are not so many differences in HU between becoming a national or EU long-term resident, except for the right to live and work in other EU Member States. Non-EU residents in HU and across the region face similar problems for long-term residence as for family reunion. Each of the requirements in HU is similar to those in most countries: a basic legal income, a basic fee and a few discretionary grounds for rejection, withdrawal and expulsion.

Dimension 1: Eligibility

  • HU offers ‘classical’ national residence permits after 3 years and EU long-term residence permits after 5 years, with little difference in MIPEX scores
  • The general criteria are similar to most countries, although only certain eligible temporary residents can apply

Dimension 2: Conditions

  • The requirements in HU are generally similar to most countries (e.g. fees and basic legal income) 

Dimension 3: Security of status

  • Permanent and long-term residents are only halfway secure in their status in HU as in the average country
  • Successful applicants obtain a permanent secure status in HU as in 26 other countries
  • The status can be lost after just a year outside the EU and a few discretionary grounds, with few protections against expulsion for national permanent residents
  • Compared to HU, other emerging immigration countries (ES, PT) use EU standards to send strong messages that all who choose the country as their long-term home will enjoy a secure status

Dimension 4: Rights Associated

  • Permanent and long-term residents can work, study and live in the country with the same social and economic rights as nationals in HU and 29 other countries

Real beneficiaries

How many immigrants are long-term residents?

22,690 non-EU citizens had made HU their home by 2013. 95% (21,615) were national permanent residents, with only 1,075 EU long-term residents with the right to live and work in other EU countries.

Contextual factors

What other factors explain whether immigrants become long-term residents?

  • 3/4 of non-EU citizens in HU are long-settled there (5+ years)
  • Sizeable number with short-term (<1 year) permits (around 15%)
  • Recognised humanitarian and family migrants unlikely to return to their country of origin
  • Major option to secure residence for long-settled residents and 2nd generation without HU ethnic roots

Outcome indicators

How often do immigrants become long-term residents?

While an estimated 3/4 of non-EU citizens have lived in HU 5+ years, only around 1/3 have become national permanent residents, with very few EU long-term residents. In contrast, the majority (2/3) are permanent residents in the major destinations (FR, IT, ES, SE, UK) and a few Central European countries (CZ, SK, SI) as well as near-majorities in AT and DE.

In HU, the share of long-term residents was highest among citizens of UA (2/3) and RU or VN (1/2), but low among a few major communities like CN and US (1/4) or RS (1/5). Within this gap between the number of potential and current long-term residents are those who are 'permanently temporary' residents, at risk of irregularity with a precarious legal status and at risk of social exclusion with limited socio-economic rights. Being denied EU long-term residence, they are also denied the chance to live and work in other EU countries.

Evidence base

What do we learn from robust studies?

The security of permanent residence can affect immigrants' likelihood to settle in the labour market and in the country. Non-EU migrants are more likely to hold lower-status jobs where access to permanent residence is restricted and the requirements for citizenship are increased. Difficulties transitioning to a more secure legal status affects non-EU migrants' insecurity on the labour market, even after controlling for the major individual and contextual factors (Corrigan 2013). Countries' policies on long-term residence also appear to be related to how long immigrants end up staying in the country (De Waard 2013).

Access to Nationality

Key Findings

Immigrants and HU-born descendants are not encouraged to become HU citizens

Potential Beneficiaries

Who can become a citizen?

About half of the non-EU citizens in HU have lived there long enough to meet the ordinary requirements to become HU citizens, according to 2011/2 estimates.

Policy Indicators

How easily can immigrants become citizens?

HU has more restrictive ordinary naturalisation policies than most countries, alongside AT and several Central European countries. Although HU offers one of the most generous paths to citizenship for ethnic HU people abroad, long-settled residents and children without ethnic HU roots are not encouraged to become HU citizens. Reform is happening across Europe, including in Southern and Central Europe, as, for example, in PT in 2006, when the preferential naturalisation procedure was opened to all legal residents who could meet the underlying conditions. 

Dimension 1: Eligibility

  • The eligibility rules for long-settled residents and their children are unfavourable for integration and some of the most restrictive, alongside Baltics, BG and SK
  • HU's residence requirement (8 years of long-term residence) is the longest de facto among all MIPEX countries, where the average is 7 years counting any legal stay
  • Children born and schooled in HU are not given the right to HU citizenship, unlike in a growing majority of countries (recently CZ and DK).

Dimension 2: Conditions

  • HU's requirements are rather demanding but common in Central Europe
  • Applicants must undergo a language and integration assessment, all without enough free courses to pass, as well as an income and even housing assessment (instead see Nordics, PT, SI)

Dimension 3: Security of status

  • The ordinary naturalisation procedure in HU is still relatively discretionary and bureaucratic compared to most other countries
  • Applicants cannot fully trust or prepare for the highly discretionary requirements (instead see entitlement-based procedures in Northern European countries, PT, ES and now PL)
  • HU is one of the few remaining countries where rejected applicants have no right to learn why and appeal, guaranteed in 31 other MIPEX countries, most recently PL
  • At least applicants can no longer be rejected for the vague reason of being 'against the national interest', removed in 2011
  • New citizens also enjoy better protections against statelessness under Law 15/2009, following international standards and recommendations

Dimension 4: Dual nationality

  • Like most MIPEX countries, HU facilitates dual nationality for the first generation as part of the naturalisation process

Real beneficiaries

How many immigrants are becoming citizens?

HU reports to Eurostat that the annual number of naturalisations fluctuated from 5,000-8,000 between 2003-2010 and then increased to approximately 20,000 in 2011 and 2012. According to national statistics, 675,000 ethnic Hungarians were naturalised under the 2010 law between 2011-4, with 38% living in HU and most abroad in RO, UA and RS.

Contextual factors

What other factors explain why non-EU immigrants become citizens?

  • Majority from highly developed countries and thus less likely to naturalise
  • 1/3 from countries not allowing dual nationality (EU, CN, KR, JP)
  • Sizeable share of newcomers not yet eligible in country of immigration 

Outcome indicators

How often do immigrants become citizens?

A large share of non-EU-born adults (60% in 2011/2) living in HU have become citizens. Indeed, the country's naturalisation rate for non-EU citizens is far above the EU average (5.7 out of 100 non-EU citizens). However its above-average naturalisation levels and rates are unrelated to immigrant integration, as most naturalised citizens are not immigrants, but co-ethnics abroad benefiting from special naturalisation privileges. HU's restrictive naturalisation policy deters most ordinary non-EU residents. Compared to other countries, rates in HU are also on average higher for non-EU women and the elderly, but lower for minors and nationals of refugee-producing countries.

Evidence base

What do we learn from robust studies?

Research from Western Europe and traditional countries of immigration finds that naturalisation seems to lead to better employment outcomes and higher levels of social and political participation for certain naturalising immigrants (Bilgili et al. 2015, OECD 2011).

Anti-discrimination

Key Findings

Time for enforcement: Favourable laws but weaker equality policies partly explain why only 1/3 of HU public know their rights as discrimination victims and only 1 complaint is investigated and identified every year for every 3500+ potential victims of racial, ethnic or religious discrimination

Potential Beneficiaries

Who said they experienced racial/ethnic or religious discrimination last year?

6% of all people in HU in 2012 felt that they had recently experienced ethnic (4.8%) and/or religious (1.4%) discrimination, according to 2012 European-wide data. These high numbers were comparable to BG, RO, SK and a few Western European countries.

Policy Indicators

Is everyone effectively protected from racial/ethnic, religious, and nationality discrimination in all areas of life?

Ranked 7th, HU (like BG, RO) leads on anti-discrimination through broad laws, a strong equality body and strong possibilities for enforcement by involving equality NGOs. NGOs help to enforce rights by representing victims in court and using actio popularis and situation testing. Victims can also turn to the Equal Treatment Authority, one of the strongest equality bodies in Europe (also BG, IE, NL, SE). However state equality policies are only halfway favourable to support the law and body. Favourable laws but weaker equality policies mean that potential victims are poorly informed and supported to take even the first step in the long path to justice. 

Dimension 1: Definitions

  • Slightly favourable definitions under the 2003 Equal Treatment Law protect HU residents from discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, several other grounds and 'any other characteristics' 
  • Victims of nationality discrimination, ethnic profiling or discrimination based on assumed/associated characteristics have enjoyed these same protections in court
  • Protections are not as clear for victims of multiple discrimination (see instead 8 other countries)
  • These protections are also slightly restricted in the private sector, unlike in most countries

Dimension 2: Fields of application

  • Under the ETA's open-ended list of protected grounds, everyone is generally protected against ethnic, racial, religious and nationality discrimination in all areas of life (as in 15 other countries) 

Dimension 3: Enforcement mechanisms

  • Victims bringing forward a case should be able to access strong mechanisms to enforce the law (see also BG, HR, PL, RO, SK)
  • Generally across countries, victims benefit from sharing the burden of proof (30 other countries) protections against victimisation (30 other countries) as well as financial aid and interpreters (28)
  • Equality NGOs help to enforce rights by representing victims in court (as in 15 others), using actio popularis (though not class actions) and presenting situation testing and statistics as evidence (12 others)

Dimension 4: Equality policies

  • HU's Equal Treatment Authority has some of the greatest powers of all equality bodies in Europe (also BG, IE, NL, SE)
  • The Authority offers victims independent advice and can issue binding reviewable decisions. It can also investigate complaints, impose sanctions on offenders and use its legal standing to intervene on behalf of the complainant as well as instigate its own procedures, although only against certain public bodies
  • HU's state equality policies are only halfway favourable to inform the public about the law and body and promote equality more broadly in society: missing responsibility for information campaigns and dialogue, dedicated government units, equality duties for service-providers (within EU, see FI, FR, NO, PT, SE, UK)

Real beneficiaries

How many racial/ethnic and religious discrimination complaints were made to equality bodies?

As public awareness has increased, more victims have come forward with complaints in 2012 and 2013 and higher sanctions have been imposed. These complaints are not all investigated and categorised by ground. Out of the 1,496 total complaints in 2013, 589 were investigated and 141 were identified as potential incidents of racial, ethnic or religious discrimination. No statistics exist on the number of complaints that become discrimination cases in court. 

Contextual factors

What other factors explain whether potential victims report discrimination cases

  • 1/3 of general public know their rights as discrimination victims in HU, similar across Central Europe
  • Low levels of trust in police and justice system in Central Europe
  • Most recent immigrants without HU roots are not naturalised and thus less likely to report incidents of discrimination

Outcome indicators

How many complaints were made last year for every person who said they experienced racial/ethnic and religious discrimination?

While 6% of all people in HU in 2012 felt that they had recently experienced ethnic (4.8%) and/or religious (1.4%) discrimination, hardly any complaints seem to be made in HU as across Central Europe. Hardly any complaints seem to be made across Europe, especially Central Europe, even in the countries with new, strong but poorly supported anti-discrimination laws and bodies: around 1 complaint identified for every 3,500+ potential victims complaining of discrimination (similar to LT and SI). Non-reporting rates are even higher (1 out of 5,000-6,000+) in BG, CZ, DE, EE, GR, PL, RO. Furthermore, only 1/3 of the HU public say that they know their rights as potential victims of discrimination. 

Evidence base

What do we learn from robust studies?

People in countries with stronger anti-discrimination laws are more likely over time to become aware of discrimination in society and know their rights (Ziller 2014). Although people experience discrimination in all types of countries, greater knowledge over time is associated with higher reports of witnessing discrimination and lower levels of people identifying as a discriminated group.

Hungary RELATED NEWS

LOADING