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Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

Welcome to the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) website, which aims to give you all the information you need to decide whether the scheme applies to you, as well as links to the online application form and our Frequently Asked Questions page.

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) will be introduced on 01 November 2007. In common with other Governments around the world, the British Government is working hard to stop the spread of knowledge and skills that could be used in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery. The ATAS is designed to ensure that people who are applying to study certain sensitive subjects in the UK do not have links to WMD programmes.

As a result, if you are a non- EU/EEA (including Switzerland) national planning to undertake postgraduate study in the UK in certain science, engineering or technology disciplines (see full list) from 01 November 2007, then you will need to acquire an ATAS certificate before you can apply for a Visa, Entry Clearance (EC) or Extension of Stay (EoS). For more information please see the who needs to apply page.

Because the ATAS scheme is targeted at only a small range of sensitive subjects, it is more streamlined and much faster than similar schemes in other countries. The vast majority of ATAS applications will be processed within 10 working days from the date we receive them.

Once you have obtained your ATAS certificate you will be able to apply for your student Visa / EC / EoS. Possession of an ATAS certificate does not guarantee you a Visa / EC / EoS, but your application will automatically be refused if you need an ATAS certificate but cannot provide one. We therefore advise you to find out if you need an ATAS certificate by visiting our who needs to apply page before applying for a student Visa / EC / EoS. When applying you must also provide evidence that you meet the usual student criteria. For more information on what you need to apply for a student Visa / EC go to www.ukvisas.gov.uk, or, if applying for an extension of stay see www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk.

An ATAS certificate is specific to both the programme of study that you intend to undertake and the University / Higher Education Institution. If you are in possession of a number of offers from different Universities / Institutions and have not decided which one you are going to accept you must apply for separate ATAS clearance certificates for each University / Institution and programme of study.

When completing the application process, we recommend that you have the offer letter from the University / Institution to hand. For details of what else you need to provide please check the FAQ section. You will not be asked to submit or attach any documentation to support your ATAS application.

Before completing the ATAS application form please ensure that you have read the relevant guidance notes and our Privacy Policy which gives further information on our data protection obligations.

ATAS Application Form