What is ATAS?
The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) scheme is designed primarily for students applying for postgraduate study in the UK in certain sensitive subject areas. These include some Engineering, Medicine and Science related courses that require students to obtain an ATAS certificate to study in the UK from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO).
Who needs an ATAS certificate?
The requirement for a student to obtain an ATAS certificate is established by the code which represents their subject area, this is called a JACS code. The JACS code will confirm your area of study and it will determine if you need to obtain an ATAS certificate. You can check if your JACS code is subject to ATAS clearance via the Applicants' criteria on the FCO website.
Changes in Circumstances.
You will also need to apply for new ATAS clearance if:
- There are any changes to course content or your research proposal. If you are studying a research PhD course, changes include changes other than minor changes to the area of research or the use of new research techniques;
- you apply for an extension of leave in order to continue on your course,
- you start a a new course that requires ATAS clearance,
- your course end date is extended for a period of more than 3 months, you must apply for a new Certificate within 28 days of being notified of the change of course end date.
How do I find out my JACS code?
Your offer letter will tell you if you need ATAS clearance and it will include the JACS code for the course you will be coming to study. You will need to obtain an ATAS certificate before applying for your visa.
Apply for an ATAS certificate.
Once you know your JACS code you can apply for your ATAS clearance through the following link; Apply for ATAS clearance.
The Visa Support Team will only issue you with a CAS once the ATAS certificate has been issued and you will be required to send a email version of this to the Visa Support Team.
The ATAS certificate is only valid for a six month period, if you defer your studies, you will be required to make a new ATAS application.