Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)
What is ATAS?
The Academic Technology Approval Scheme is run by the British Government (Foreign & Commonwealth Office) and it is a mandatory requirement for some undergraduate and postgraduate students planning to undertake study in the areas of Science, Engineering and Technology. For full details of ATAS please visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) website.
How does ATAS fit into the Tier 4 General Student visa process?
If you require ATAS clearance, you must obtain clearance before applying for your visa. The processing time for ATAS clearance is a minimum of 20 working days, therefore it is recommended that you should apply for clearance a minimum of one month before you wish to apply for a visa.
Do I need an ATAS certificate?
You will need an ATAS certificate if you are a non-EU/EEA or Swiss citizen and intend to undertake research in one of the departments listed here.
Graduate visiting research students attending UCL for a period of six months or over will also be required to obtain an ATAS certificate if they are undertaking research in one of the departments listed in the link above.
UCL's offer letter will state if you require an ATAS clearance.
I am a current student extending my visa, do I need ATAS clearance?
If you are studying one of
the areas listed above you will be required to obtain ATAS clearance in order
to extend your visa. This includes students enrolled on a BEng or BSci three year undergraduate programme wishing to switch to a four year MEng or MSci undergraduate programme.
If you are a research student who needs further time to complete your studies please be aware that FCO will now only issue ATAS clearance for an additional six months and your application for a Tier 4 student visa can only be supported for that period.
How to get an ATAS certificate
The application is free of charge and is completed online at the Foreign & Commonweath Office (FCO) website.
In order to apply for an ATAS certificate students will need to have been made an offer to study at UCL and should not apply for ATAS until they have received their offer letter. The offer letter will obtain all the information required from UCL to complete your ATAS application.
Please note that an ATAS certificate is specific to both the programme of study that you intend to undertake and the university you plan to attend. If you have an offer from another university and are undecided as to which offer you will accept you must apply for separate ATAS certificates.
Students planning to attend research programmes at UCL need to be aware that they should be in early contact with their prospective supervisors, as a brief synopsis of their research proposal needs to be included in their offer letter.
Students planning to attend one of the Master's of Research or Master's programmes listed should visit their departmental website to ascertain what optional courses are available to study, as the optional courses that you intend to take will need to be listed on the online application. Core courses for all the programmes listed above have been passed to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU NEED AN ATAS CERTIFICATE AND YOU DO NOT HAVE ONE YOUR ENTRY CLEARANCE APPLICATION WILL BE REFUSED. YOU MUST RECEIVE YOUR ATAS CERTIFICATE BEFORE YOU CAN APPLY FOR YOUR STUDENT VISA.
What do I need to do at enrolment?
If you require ATAS clearance, you must present the original certificate to UCL when you enrol.
For further details on enrolment process see the New Students site.
Page last modified on 12 mar 12 08:46