Academic Tech Approval Scheme (ATAS)
For international students
Some of our undergraduate and postgraduate courses in science or technology need you to have clearance under the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS). This is an extra security check made by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
If your course needs this, we'll send information on how to apply for an ATAS Certificate with your offer by email. You'll need an ATAS Certificate to apply for your visa.
You can apply for a Tier 4 student visa up to 3 months before the start of your course, so you can apply for an ATAS certificate up to 9 months before you start your studies. You should apply for your ATAS certificate when we make you a conditional offer to study with us.
An ATAS certificate is valid for 6 months from date of issue, which gives you plenty of time to apply for your Tier 4 student visa.
ATAS applications are submitted online and take approximately 20 working days to be completed. However, during peak periods, this can increase to 30 working days and there is no 'fast track' option, so do this as soon as possible. You'll also need to do this if you're already in the UK on a student or non-student visa.
More information about ATAS
You can see more information about ATAS and how to apply on the Gov.uk website.