How is that? Third country citizens and Schengen?

05 December 2010

Those people are considered third country citizens who do not belong under any of the member states of the EEA. When it comes to the concept of third country, it is easier to understand it if we know the rules of the Schengen region.

Schengen region: it means a region where internal border control is abolished and the borders of the region are controlled as a joint effort. The Schengen Agreement was signed in Schengen, Luxemburg on 14 June, 1985 by five members of the European Economic Area where they agreed to gradually abolish controlling on their common borders. Within the framework of the Schengen execution agreement they already agreed on the abolishment of personal traffic control on the internal borders and on strengthening control of outer borders. These achievements were later added to the EU with the Amsterdam Treaty (with the exception of the United Kingdom and Ireland). This means that crossing the internal borders of the Schengen region is possible without proving personal identity and the visa grated to a citizen coming from out of the region is valid in every Schengen state. Our country accessed the Schengen region on 21 December 2007. Since 21 December 2008 it has 25 members. (22 EU member states: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Netherlands, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Hungary, Malta, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Slovakia, Slovenia and the following EEA member states: Norway and Iceland and beside these: Switzerland. Among the 27 EU members it is not applied in the following 5: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania, United Kingdom, Ireland).

Now that we know the background we only have to learn the tasks related to the residence and employment of third country citizens

Which countries need a visa?

The following people can travel to Hungary without a visa: the citizens of the member states of the EU and the EEA, the relatives of the citizens of EEA member states if they have a residence card issued for the relative of the EEA citizen or a residence permit issued by one of the Schengen countries. Furthermore the citizens of the following countries can travel without a visa: United States of America, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Chile, Costa Rica, South-Korea, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Croatia, Israel, Japan, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, San Marino, Singapore, New Zealand, Uruguay, Venezuela; and those people can travel without a visa who hold passports issued by the Holy See (Vatican State), Hong Kong and Macao special administrative region (Council regulation 539/2001/EC).

If the period of residence exceeds 90 days than a residence permit has to be requested. In order to reside with the intention of pursuing business activity, the permissions and certifications obtained by both the employer and the employee are also needed beside the generally required documents. Since the time of the process is extended by not just the long administrative procedure but also by the difficulties and corrections not anticipated in advance, it is better if the foreign employee starts the administration at the foreign representation of Hungary before the travel. During the process of obtaining the residence permit, the certification on declaring the place of residence is issued.

The rules on the employment of third country citizens in Hungary are codified by SZMM decree number 16/2010 (V. 13.). In the case of third country citizens it is important that the employer must indicate its demand for workforce before the initiation of the process for employment permit and in this case a waiting period of 16 days is expected. However there are cases when the personal permit is granted without checking the situation of the employment market (SZMM decree Section 10). Probably the most important fact for the readers of our newsletter is that there are exceptions from the obligatory employment permit based on Section 2 Paragraph (1) of the government decree number 355/2009 (XII. 30.) (for example the leader of a local representation of a company with foreign headquarters described in international contracts).

Beside these it is required from the third country citizens to obtain tax identification number and social security number as it is required from EEA citizens as well.

We hope that in the current newsletter and in the November issue we could provide a quick overview of the almost countless administrative tasks and duties related to foreign employees to those who face these tasks during their work. But this is just the beginning! Since in the case of foreign workforce these are just the basic requirements to carry out the official procedure, obtain permissions and documents. Beside these we have to think of such things that seem to be obvious to us. Where will they live; where will their children have their compulsory studies; where can they seek medical assistance…? We shall not underestimate these tasks either because these strongly add to the comfort, home and satisfaction of the foreign employees.