You will need an ATAS certificate to do certain types of study and research in the UK. Without this certificate, your visa application will be refused.
Do I need an ATAS certificate?
If you need an ATAS certificate, you will usually get a statement with your offer letter confirming that you need ATAS and telling you what to do next.
From 6 April 2015 the requirement for ATAS has been extended to all temporary migrants undertaking ATAS attracting studies or research regardless of their visa category. This means that applicants for visas other than the Student Route will also need to apply for ATAS.
When should I apply for ATAS?
You should apply once you receive your offer letter from the University. If you do not have your ATAS certificate you will not be able to make a valid student visa application.
How do I apply for ATAS?
To apply for ATAS you need a statement from the University confirming the subject of your research or study. This is usually sent with your offer letter. If you don't have this statement, but need an ATAS certificate, please contact your Admissions Officer, whose details are on your offer letter.
Once you have your statement you can make your ATAS certificate application online to the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO). This should take no longer than 30 minutes to complete.
You will then need to wait for your application to be processed and for your certificate to be emailed to you. Average waiting times for ATAS at present range from 4 to 7 weeks.
I already have an ATAS certificate, do I need a new one?
If you already have an ATAS certificate you should read the IST page for continuing students.