Ireland: Holiday working hours standardized for certain non-EU/EEA students

Ireland has adopted regulations that will standardize limitations on holiday working hours for non-EU/EEA students with a Stamp 2 work permission.


What does the change mean? Beginning Sept. 1, non-EU/EEA students with a Stamp 2 work permission will be permitted to work up to 40 hours per week from Dec. 15 through Jan. 15. They will also be permitted to work 40 hours per week in June, July, August and September. During all other times of the year, affected students will be limited to 20 hours of work per week.

  • Implementation time frame: Sept. 1.
  • Visa/permits affected: Stamp 2 work permission.
  • Who is affected: Employers and non-EU/EEA students in Ireland with a Stamp 2 work permission.
  • Business impact: Businesses that fail to adhere to the new rules or that employ students beyond the expiration of their Stamp 2 work permission may be held in violation of the Employment Permits Acts. Students, meanwhile, could have their student permission revoked if found to have violated the rules.

Background: Non-EU/EEA students holding a Stamp 2 work permission are permitted to work in a “casual part-time capacity” without obtaining a work permit. With the change, Ireland is moving to standardize the holiday hours during which affected students can work. Previously, the country relied on a system where colleges could issue “holiday letters” on behalf of students in order to allow them to work more hours than would normally be permitted. That system, however, will be replaced on Sept. 1 by the standardized system described above.

The hour limitations are strict and represent the maximum amount that students can work in any given week, not the average number of hours they work per week. Permission to work ends when the student’s Stamp 2 work permission expires. Affected students are not permitted to work as taxi drivers or engage in self-employment. One exception to the standard rule does exist, as outlined in the notice 'Students availing of the Third Level Graduate Scheme – Stamp 1G'.

BAL Analysis: Businesses should evaluate their business plans to ensure that they can meet labor needs without running afoul of the hour restrictions for students holding a Stamp 2 work permission.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact

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