The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) is a scheme administered by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and is aimed at preventing the transfer of information, knowledge or technology which could develop, advance or support an Advanced Conventional Military Technology (ACMT) and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) programme or their means of delivery.

Who does ATAS apply to?

ATAS applies to individuals undertaking research activities at PhD level or above, applying for a Skilled Worker, Government Authorised Exchange (Tier 5) visa and academic visitors. Anyone (apart from exempt nationalities) who will be conducting research at PhD level or above in a particular subject area will need to have applied for and received an ATAS certificate BEFORE a certificate of sponsorship can be issued.

ATAS applies to all international students (other than exempt nationalities) who are subject to UK immigration control and intend to study at postgraduate level in certain sensitive subjects. Such students must apply for an ATAS certificate before they can study in the UK.

Will I have to pay for the ATAS certificate?

No, there is no fee attached to the ATAS certificate.

How will I know if I need an ATAS certificate?

You can check whether or not you require an ATAS certificate by using the online tool on the government website.

A full set of advice on ATAS is available at the Aston University HR pages.

Further Information

Pages last updated on - 29/03/2022