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Temporary Residence Cards (TRCs) in Europe: An In-Depth Look for Immigrant Workers


For non-EU nationals looking to work in Europe, understanding the nuances of Temporary Residence Cards (TRCs) is crucial. TRCs serve as a bridge to longer-term residency and employment within European countries. Here, we’ll explore the benefits, limitations, and application process of TRCs in more detail.


What is a TRC?

A Temporary Residence Card is a legal document that allows non-EU nationals to reside and work in an EU country for a set period. It’s important to note that the TRC is not a long-term solution but a stepping stone towards more permanent residency options.


Benefits of a TRC

Holding a TRC comes with several advantages:


  1. Legal Work Authorization: TRC holders can legally work in the issuing country.

  2. Freedom of Movement: TRC holders can travel within the Schengen Area for short stays, which can be particularly beneficial for work or leisure.

  3. Access to Services: Depending on the host country, TRC holders may have access to healthcare and other social services.

Limitations of a TRC

Despite its advantages, a TRC also has its limitations:


  1. Validity Period: TRCs are valid for a limited time and must be renewed, which can be a lengthy and costly process.

  2. Restricted Rights: TRC holders do not enjoy the same rights as EU citizens, such as voting or running for office.

Application Process

The application process for a TRC varies by country but typically involves:


  • Job Offer: Applicants usually need a job offer or proof of employment intent in the EU.

  • Documentation: Applicants must gather necessary documents, including proof of employment, accommodation, and financial stability.

  • Submission: The application is submitted to the immigration authority of the host country.

  • Approval: Waiting times for approval can vary, but applicants should be prepared for a process that may take several months.

  • For example, in Poland, the process includes submitting an application for a temporary residence permit, which can be granted for up to three years. Applicants must apply no later than the last day of their legal stay in Poland and present a valid travel document when submitting the application.



A TRC is an essential tool for non-EU nationals seeking to work and live in Europe. While it offers several benefits, it’s important to be aware of its limitations and the detailed application process. By understanding these aspects, immigrant workers can better navigate the path to legal residency in Europe.

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