Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)
If you are studying a post-graduate research based or taught programme in subjects related to science, technology or engineering, you may need to apply for ATAS (Academic & Technology Approval Scheme) clearance to support your Tier 4 (G) Student visa application.
Do I need an ATAS Clearance Certificate?
Your CAS statement will confirm whether you have to provide an ATAS Clearance Certificate with your visa application.
If waiting for your CAS to be issued, you can ask your Department to clarify this for you or check your original offer letter.
Further information about when ATAS Clearance is required can be found in the Tier 4 Policy Guidance.
How do I apply for ATAS Clearance Certificate?
ATAS applications are made online to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and there is no charge for the application or certificate.
You should allow up to 6 weeks for your online application to be processed and certificate emailed to you. Make sure you have enough time to get the ATAS Clearance Certificate and apply for your visa before your current leave expires.
If you are a PhD student, the application asks you to detail your agreed research proposal when you apply. If you do not have access to this you should contact your Department for this information before you apply online.
I've never applied for ATAS Clearance before - do I need to apply now?
If your current visa was issued before the ATAS requirements were introduced (on 30 November 2007), and you are applying for a student visa to write up your thesis, then you do not need ATAS Clearance for your application.
What if I apply to extend my visa without my ATAS Clearance Certificate?
If you apply to extend your stay without the ATAS Clearance Certificate, your application will be refused.
If you know that you will not have all the required documents in time for making your application, contact an Immigration Advisor before your visa expires and before you make your application.
Student Immigration & Financial Support Office
The Student Immigration and Financial Support Office (SIFSO) is based at the Palatine Centre, Durham City Campus and has dedicated teams providing students and staff with support in both areas of responsibility.