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Legislative changes in Hungary anticipating a possible ‘No Deal’ Brexit

The proposal affects the right of residence, employment and entitlement to social security and unemployment benefits for British citizens in Hungary.

The Hungarian government has drafted a bill on 26 February 2019 titled "Amendments to certain laws in the event of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union in a disorderly manner" under number T/4821. According to the explanatory memorandum to the bill, the likelihood of a disorderly exit has increased significantly, which means that on the midnight of 29 March 2019 the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland would become identical to third-countries. The amendments to the law contained in the bill would enter into force in Hungary at the time and in the event of a no deal Brexit.

As regards residence and employment, the essence of the bill is that British citizens can continue to hold the same status as an EU citizen for 3 years after leaving which means, they can legally reside and work in Hungary after leaving the EU in case their status is in order, i.e. they have a Registration Certificate for EEA Nationals or a Permanent Residence Card prior to the date of the exit. After leaving and staying for at least 3 years in Hungary, they can apply for a National Permanent Residence Permit without examining the terms and conditions applicable to housing, subsistence, health insurance and Hungary’s interest. After 5 years of uninterrupted stay in Hungary, British citizens may apply for EC residence permit as well. In the latter case, however, the examination of the residence conditions, unlike national residence permit, cannot be waived.

As it follows from the rules above, British citizens arriving in Hungary after Brexit will be entitled to reside and work under the rules applicable to third-country nationals.

The main principle for the various social security benefits is that the benefits determined before the UK’s exit remain the same.
In terms of pension rights, the periods of insurance completed both prior and past to Brexit are recognized and offset, as proposed in the bill.
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