From the 21 May 2021, international researchers working in certain sensitive areas will be required to obtain an ATAS certificate before applying for their visa
This is an expansion of the scheme which currently applies to international students.
Individuals submitting an initial or extension visa application on or after the 21 May 2021 that are:
- applying for a Skilled Worker or Tier 5 (GAE) Sponsored Researcher visa
- undertaking a research, engineering or technician role
- in a sensitive subject where an individual’s knowledge could be used to develop Advanced Conventional Military Technology, weapons of mass destruction, or their means of delivery. This covers subjects in medicine, technology, engineering and mathematics
must apply for and obtain an ATAS certificate from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office before making the visa application. There is no fee for obtaining the certificate.
Nationals from the EEA, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA will be exempt.
SIT will be encouraging applicants, where possible, to submit their visa application prior to 21 May 2021.
We anticipate further guidance to be published on the ATAS application process over the coming months and will share this widely. If the application system is launched close to the 21 May 2021 delays in individuals being able to obtain the ATAS certificate maybe incurred leading to potential delayed start dates.