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Reception of Ukrainian refugees in Hungary (housing, right to work, schooling, health, return to Ukraine) - by Sándor Szabó, Government Commissioner of Nógrád County, Hungary

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General information about Hungary, the public administration system, our geographical location.


Hungary shares 135 km of border with Ukraine, and after the first 5 days of the war on the 28th of February 2022 these figures shows that 94.000 refugees have entered Hungary.    


In connection with the humanitarian disaster, the government office neighbouring Ukraine has developed 5 help points to assist the arriving refugees just after the breaking of the war.

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We provide humanitarian aid for all those suffering from the effects of the war in Ukraine, with special regard to the region neighbouring Hungary. In this context we are seriously concerned about life and fate of the ethnic Hungarians living in Transcarpathia, whose number is approximately 150.000. It is important to state, that we’ve received more than two million ukrainian refugees crossing our borders and there are great differencies among them in their social circumstancies. Most of them came with the intention of travelling further to settle down in Western Europe or in order to unite their families with relatives living there long before. But unfortunately many of them has no idea about the future and it’s a real challenge to find out how to help them.

More than 195,000 of them applied for a temporary residence permit. However, only 30 000 of them received refugee status, and most probably they are the ones who are hoping to find their new home in Hungary.

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The Government Office of the Capital City Budapest has created a point of help at a sports hall where among others food, drink, sanitary and medical services, internet access, and an international railway cash desk are provided for the refugees. More than 900 000 so called “solidarity tickets” were issued for inland travelling.


Persons arriving from Ukraine are entitled to health care, public education, nursery care, pre-school care and accommodation.

Since the 1st of December a dedicated hospital (Honvéd Kórház) provide urgent medical care for refugees from Ukraine arriving at the transit station, as well as for those wishing to return home to Ukraine. Among others they are eligible free of charge for basic health care, examinations and treatment of general practitioners. Hungary provides care to wounded Ukrainian soldiers in Hungarian hospitals, without any numerical limitation. 

Public education is available for minors in asylum as well as for Hungarian citizens subject to compulsory education due to their age. At present 5,167 refugee children are benefiting pre-school care and primary school education in Hungary. Return to their home country is also supported according to the law. The person applying for recognition as an asylum seeker is entitled to regular maintenance support. Hungary offers thousands of scholarship places to students from Ukraine to continue their university studies. Asylum-seeker taking care of a minor is entitled to place the minor in a nursery care, pre-school care, education and the services of a Safe Start Children’s House under the same conditions as the Hungarian citizen.

Among others, one of the supporting measurements is the mutual recognition of documents certifying education and academic degrees.

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Furthermore, the Government promotes the employment of those who plan to stay longer. Even before the conflict, Ukrainian citizens were able to take up work in Hungary in an easier way: based upon a simple notification they can receive a permit without labor market examination in 128 professions. In case of employment of Ukrainians or dual citizens who cross the border after the 24th of February 2022, the employer can receive support for housing and travel costs.

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The Government offers subsidy for the accommodation providers in case they provide shelter and take care of persons from Ukraine. Within the framework of this Defence Committees of the county and the capital may conclude agreements in order to provide accommodation for more than 20 persons entitled to temporary protection or registered as asylum-seekers. In addition, local authorities can apply for specific support for accommodating and taking care of refugees from Ukraine as well. Until the 14th of March 2023, 72 800 persons were provided with accommodation.

The capital and county government offices and their district offices conclude agreements with the accommodation providers and employers and administer their subsidy requests. The Prime Minister’s Office together with the competent line ministries is supporting with procedural descriptions and guidelines the work of capital and county government offices and the smooth administration. We are constantly examining in which ways can we reduce the administrative burdens of refugees arriving in our country and simplify their administrations.


The Hungarian government coordinates the collection of aid, donations and the delivery of humanitarian aid supplies, as well as the work of domestic aid

organizations through the National Humanitarian Coordination Council. It provided a total of 7,5 million Euros special support for the work of the six large participating charitable organizations (Catholic Charity, Hungarian Maltese Charity, Hungarian Red Cross, Reformed Charity, Ecumenical Aid, and Baptist Charity). Within the framework of the Bridge for Transcarpathia cooperation more than 2,5 million Euros donations were received. The

government puts great emphasis on dealing with the humanitarian crisis on the other side of the border within the framework of the Hungary Helps Program. Hungary is offering assistance to Ukraine in the reconstruction of a school in Zagalci and a municipality-maintained health clinic, post office and municipal premises in Szinjak.

The outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war shocked Hungary, and ever since it has begun the Hungarian diplomacy urges the parties to put an end to it. We continue to stand by Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, and together with our European Union and NATO allies, we condemn Russia’s military aggression.

PDF icon m._szabo.pdf (1.7 MB)

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