The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) is for security clearance from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office for studies and research where an individuals knowledge could be used in programmes to develop Advanced Conventional Military Technology (ACMT), weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) or their means of delivery.
An Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate is required when undertaking an element of research at PhD level or above in certain sensitive subjects, including science, engineering, medicine and technology and the individual is
Graduate students or students on undergraduate course which leads to a postgraduate exit qualification studying in sensitive subjects may also require ATAS. For Department, Faculty and College staff please refer to the student website for advice specific to making a student ATAS application.
The following nationalities are exempt from the ATAS requirement:
- UK, EU/EEA and Swiss nationals
- Nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, or the United States of America.
Dual nationals who hold one of the listed nationalities above will also be exempt.
This is not based on place of residence, but nationality only.
The ATAS certificate must be obtained from the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO):
- before the Staff Immigration Team (SIT) can issue the Skilled Worker or Tier 5 (GAE) Sponsored Researcher Certificate of Sponsorship
- before commencing their research if visiting under the Standard Visitor route
The Staff Immigration Team will offer support and guidance when an ATAS application is refused by the FCDO, following the published ATAS Staff Policy.