As at 28 March 2022, more than four million people had crossed international borders
since the start of the hostilities in Ukraine on 24 February 2022 (UNHCR accessed

In early March, UNHCR projected at least 250,000 Ukrainians arriving in
Hungary by July 2022 as a result of the conflict (UNHCR 01/03/2022). On 24 March, this
projection had already more than doubled with 522,100 arrivals (UNHCR 24/03/2022). This
number represents about 5.3% of Hungary’s total population and 12.9% of all Ukrainian
refugees (UNHCR accessed 28/03/2022).

As at 31 March 2022, there was an undetermined number of arrivals planning to stay in
Hungary and those only using it as a transit country. Humanitarian organisations claim
that a large number is using Hungary only as a transit country, meaning there are likely
fewer than 522,100 people staying (The Guardian 31/03/2022). Even so, the rapid influx
of migrants and refugees into the country has already posed a challenge to reception
capacities, which the Hungarian Government has reduced in recent years to discourage
migration (UNHCR 25/03/2022; HRW 08/03/2022).

Between Hungary and Ukraine, there are five crossing points: Dzvinkove, Kosino, Luzhanka,
Tiszabecs, and Tysa (The Kyiv Independent 07/03/2022). As at 24 March, at least 330,900
people had directly arrived in Hungary from these points. 191,200 had entered from other
countries (mostly Romania, where there are five crossing points with Hungary) (UNHCR
24/03/2022). Ukrainians who lived in Ukraine before 24 February are entitled to temporary
protection in Hungary so they can apply for asylum and, if approved, stay in Hungary for a
maximum of three years. Third-country nationals are not provided the same opportunities
(HHC 09/03/2022).

In 2021, Hungary passed laws to restrict the right of asylum for refugees (UNHCR
29/06/2020 and 10/03/2021). In relation, the Hungarian Government dismantled a large part
of the temporary shelters and health centres available for refugees (InfoMigrants 11/06/2021;
HRW 08/03/2022). Consequently, many Ukrainians have chosen to use Hungary only as
a transit zone to other countries with more lenient migration laws (Insider 14/03/2022).
Regardless, the Hungarian Government, which has faced questioning over its stance
on migration in the past, has defended its open border policy for Ukrainians (Al Jazeera
03/03/2022; InfoMigrants 09/03/2022).