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June 1994, Volume 1, Number 5

Hungary Changes Immigration Rules

Hungary amended its immigration rules in May 1994 to require, inter alia, that visitors from neighboring countries must have at least US$10 to enter the country, while others must have US$50 to cover the cost of their entry, stay and departure. For the first time, foreigners are permitted to travel anywhere in the country . Over 40 million foreigners enter Hungary every year, mostly from Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine, and the former Yugoslavia.

Over the past three years, 70,000 immigrants came to Hungary, primarily from Romania, the former Soviet Union and the former Yugoslavia. Work permits were issued to 12,000 foreigners, and about 27,000 foreigners are currently working or studying in Hungary. The new immigration rules do not affect those applying for refugee status.

Since 1990, 60,000 foreigners were found to be illegally in Hungary, and 30,000 were returned to their native country.

New law grants preferential entry treatment to neighboring countries," BBC, May 23, 1994. "Budapest introduces entry restrictions," European Information Service, May 26, 1994.