The advice on this page was last reviewed on 07.01.21 and supersedes any previous versions.
If you are applying for a Student Visa, your Offer Letter and Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from the University will state if you need to obtain an ATAS certificate before applying for your visa. If an ATAS not listed as required on your CAS you do not need one.
If you have or need a visa (immigration permission) to be in the UK and are planning to undertake postgraduate study in certain science, engineering or technology disciplines, then you will need to acquire an ATAS certificate before you can apply for a visa to come to the UK or to extend your current immigration leave.
This includes anyone with limited leave to be in the UK, for example: Student and Tier 4 Visa Holders; PBS Dependants; people studying on Tier 1 or 2 visas and other immigration categories. You will not be able to enrol on your course if you need an ATAS certificate and have not yet got one.
Students who are nationals of EU countries, the European Economic Area (EEA), Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland or the United States of America do not need an ATAS certificate.
If you are a Doctoral or Masters by Research student and you have received a Common Aggregate Hierarchy (CAH3) code, then you can check this code against the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Do I need an ATAS Certificate information to see whether it is identified as ATAS applicable . A CAH3 code consists of a letter followed by 4 digits and they are attributed by educational institutions to each course or area of research.
You can Contact the ATAS Team if you are concerned you have missed their response. Please note that they will not respond if 20 working days have not elapsed since your time of application.
If your course start date is more than 6 months after the ATAS has been issued, or if your course end date has changed by more than 3 months you will need to make a new ATAS application.
Failure to make a new application could lead to problems with any immigration applications you make, and could mean the University is unable to enrol you onto your course.
Once you have obtained your ATAS certificate you will be able to be issued a CAS to use in your student visa application. You should forward a copy of your ATAS to the relevant University Department which is Enquiries and Admissions for new courses and your Advice Zone or the Graduate Research Office for a CAS to complete courses.