Over the last decades, migration across Europe has continued to increase. Consequently, offering educational support for migrant students in the schools of host countries has been an extensively debated issue across Europe and further afield, especially in countries with a history of immigration. However, less is known about how education systems in the ‘new’ immigration countries have responded to the needs of recently arrived migrants. This article focuses on language support measures set up for migrant students in state-funded schools in the Republic of Ireland and Spain – both multilingual countries with more than one official language and with a heterogeneous migrant population. In reviewing educational policy and practice in these jurisdictions in the areas of language support for migrants, this article seeks to contribute to the debate on challenges involved in supporting language acquisition by migrant students in formal educational settings.