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Student holidays

Also see: English language schools - attendance

What are the times of year that non-EEA students can work full-time?

The Irish immigration service operates standardised holiday periods in which non-EEA students with a Stamp 2 permission can work full-time, rather than standard part-time hours. These apply for all types of course - from English language to PhD.

The two periods of the year allowed for full time work reflect the traditional summer and winter college holidays for academic programmes. These are currently defined as:

Summer: 1st June to 30th September (4 months)

Winter: 15th December to 15th January (1 month)

Full-time work means up to 40 hours per week. At all other times, a limit of 20 working hours per week applies. These are maximum weekly figures rather than average figures.

Note: There is no longer any role for holiday letters from colleges in relation to documenting student work entitlements

Am I entitled to take holiday from college during the standard immigration service holiday periods?

No, students do not have a right to take holidays from college to work at these times if classes are normally scheduled during the dates specified. However, a student on a flexible programme, such as English language, may be able to negotiate a timetable to include additional holidays when booking the course (see below). Under immigration regulations, total holidays can never exceed one third of the period since the start of a course. A request to vary college holidays should always be made in writing (e.g. email). The written agreement of the college is required and any such arrangements should be part of the study timetable issued to a student to register with the immigration service at the start of the course.

Can I choose to take holidays, e.g. for travel, during an English language course?

Advice from the immigration service makes clear that non-EEA students can only take holidays during an English course if the dates are part of their agreed timetable. This means that a student who would like to take a short holiday during their course should first get agreement in writing when they book their course.

Students should be aware that there is no requirement for English language schools to allow such holiday requests at the time of booking and some may not have the flexibility to do so.


Last updated: June 2017