Student Immigration Service

Academic Technology Approval Scheme

Certain science and technology programmes in the UK require you to have Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance. The ATAS requirement applies to all visa categories, including standard visitor visa.

What is ATAS?

ATAS is one of the UK government’s measures to prevent the spread of knowledge and skills used to develop weapons of mass destruction and associated technology.

Do I need an ATAS certificate?

Please note, from 05 October 2020 at 9.00, the following nationalities will be exempt from having to apply for an ATAS certificate: 

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • United States of America
  • Singapore
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • EU nationals

You will need to apply for an ATAS certificate if you are studying certain science and technology subjects. Whether or not you need ATAS will depend on the classification of your academic subject within the UK Higher Education system – this is known as a CAH3 code.  Your offer letter for your programme will tell you if your programme requires an ATAS certificate.

Please note that the UK system for classifying academic subjects changed on 01 January 2019.  If you have only been provided with a JACS code, this refers to the previous system, and you should contact you School to obtain the new CAH3 code for your programme.

It is your responsibility to check if you require ATAS clearance.

CAH3 codes: programmes requiring ATAS

When should I apply?

You must apply for your ATAS certificate before you can begin your programme. If you need to apply for a visa or extension of stay, you must obtain your ATAS certificate before you can make your visa application.

Currently there is a significant backlog and it may take up to 12 weeks for your certificate to be approved. We will contact ATAS on your behalf if you have been waiting more than 12 weeks.

Contact us through our enquiry form

If you are a new student you can apply for ATAS after you have received an official offer from us - you do not need to wait to get your CAS.

You must use the details provided in your offer letter to complete your application.

How do I apply?

To apply for an ATAS certificate you need to complete and submit an online application form on the Uk Government Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office website. There is no charge for the application.

We have produced a guide to the application process which you should read before you apply. Further guidance is also available from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office website.

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office: ATAS guidance

Apply online for an ATAS certificate


Please be aware the ATAS clearance certificate itself does not guarantee that your visa application will be approved.

You will also need to produce the same supporting documents to apply for your visa as any other Student route applicant.

We recommend you use an internationally recognised email server such as Outlook, Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail or similar as ATAS have experienced difficulties with firewalls for local servers.