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Alumni Awards 2024

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance

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What is ATAS?

ATAS stands for ‘Academic Technology Approval Scheme’.  The ATAS scheme was introduced by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) in November 2007.

Do I need to apply for an ATAS certificate?

You will need to apply for an ATAS certificate if you are studying a subject that is defined by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as requiring ATAS.

You do not need an ATAS certificate if you are a national of the UK, EU or EEA (including Switzerland), Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea or United States of America.

All students on a time-limited visa who wish to study at Hertfordshire must obtain ATAS if their course requires it – this includes students on the following leave types: Standard Visitor Visa, Skilled Worker (including dependents), Spouse, Refugee, Discretionary Leave, Ancestry, Family member of EEA National, Diplomat, Asylum etc.  Holders of ILTR do not need to apply for ATAS.

Which programmes require an ATAS certificate?

Only certain programmes are included in the ATAS scheme. You can check to see if the programme you are studying requires ATAS clearance.

When should I apply?

You must apply for your ATAS certificate before you apply for your visa.

If you are a new student, you should apply for ATAS after you have received your conditional offer letter from us. The University will not issue your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) until we have received your ATAS certificate.

If you need to apply for a visa extension, you must obtain your ATAS certificate before you can make your visa application to extend your visa.

If you are a current UH student and wish to transfer course, you must obtain your ATAS certificate before you can transfer.

Processing times vary but it can take up to 20 working days for an ATAS certificate application to be considered and approved.

How do I apply?

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

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

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 international student.

Useful links

ATAS website

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