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Can you get a second job in Hungary with a work permit?

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Can you get a second job in Hungary with a work permit?

Let’s say you are a third country national with Hungarian residency based on a work permit. What happens if you are offered a second job in Hungary so you can make more money in your free time? Can you take it? Not really – but there is a workaround. Read on to find out how that works.

Your Hungarian work permit

Currently, third-country nationals who want to be employed in Hungary apply for a combined residence and work permit, which is always tied to a specific employment. If you want to change jobs in Hungary, you need to apply for a new work permit that involves your new employer. As such, getting a second job in Hungary is not possible for third-country nationals with a work permit.

You can start a business of your own

Even though you cannot enter another employment while you have Hungarian residency based on a work permit, you can start a business of your own. Starting a business is quite simple and straightforward, and you have several options depending on what you actually want to do. The first question will probably be if you are interested on company formation in Hungary or if you prefer freelancing. Here is a list of aspects to consider, and a comparison table for the pros and cons of each option.

To sum up: setting up an LTD takes just 4-5 working days. You will require a share capital of at least HUF 3 million, but your liability for damages is limited to that amount. At the same time, you can also opt for freelancing, and as long as your operation remain on a side-job level, you can take advantage of flat-rate taxation (“átalányadózás”), which is most favorable if you already have a full-time job.

In either case, you should ask the employer at your would-be second job – who this way would be the main client of your business – whether they can assist you with setup, accountancy, and anything else relevant. You will most probably need a Hungarian accountant to help you remain compliant with tax regulations.

Is it really alright to work outside your existing employment?

In Hungary, full-time employment is 40 hours a week, which is normally spread over 5 days a week. In the rest of their time, employees do whatever they want – they can even work, if that is what they want. There are some aspects to consider, however.

1. Competition

While employed, you should keep your employer’s interests in mind. This means that you should not be working for or as a competitor to your employer. There might be a paragraph about this in your labor contract. In some positions, you might be explicitly forbidden to take a second job or start a business, especially in the same field. In any case, discuss this with your employer to be in the clear.

2. Health and performance

Full-time employment is defined as 40 hours a week for a reason. While in your free time you are free to do what you want, make sure the extra work does not have a negative impact on your physical and mental health. If you undertake too much extra work, your performance may start to deteriorate under the extra strain. While this is obviously bad for your health, it is also against the interests of your employer.

Make sure not to overwork yourself

If holding a second job becomes too much of a strain, you might be required to decide which of the two jobs to abandon. If you do not decide yourself, and your performance keeps deteriorating, at one point your employers might decide for you (by firing you).

Since you are in Hungary based on your employment relationship, the safest bet is to stick to your original employer. However, residency may be based on gainful activity as well (sometimes referred to as “business immigration”), so if you are confident in the success of your business that is currently your second job, you can abandon your job and apply for residency based on your business. However, that move requires more financial planning, and may be followed by extensive paperwork. Helpers is here to help you with the process – you can schedule a consultation through the form below.

At the same time, keep in mind that after 3 years of Hungarian residency, you can already apply for permanent residency. That will no longer be tied to your employment, so you will have more freedom to switch employers or negotiate working hours.

Consultancy from the experts

As a third-country national living in Hungary based on a work permit, you cannot be employed by a second job, but you can start a business of your own and work through that. Before you make such a decision, make sure you have the right resources so you can keep compliant with regulations, keep the interests of your first employer in mind, and keep your physical and mental health.

Helpers Hungary provides assistance to foreigners living, working, and doing business in Hungary. This includes help with residency and work permit applications as well as business setup and accountancy, with consultancy for both employees and employers.

Let us know if we can assist you too – just fill in the form below.

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