What is ATAS clearance?
Who needs ATAS?
You'll need to apply for ATAS clearance if the following apply:
- You're applying for a time-limited visa (a visa with a start and end date). This includes a Student visa.
- You're studying or conducting research in a sensitive subject area. A list of these subject areas is available in the ATAS section of the Immigration Rules.
- You're not a national from:
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- United States of America.
Do I need an ATAS certificate?
Your offer letter from King's will confirm whether you need an ATAS certificate as one of your offer conditions. Contact the Admissions team through the King's Apply portal if you're unsure.
If you're applying for a new visa (either in the UK or overseas) to continue a course you are currently studying, or to resume studies that you interrupted, you'll need to apply for a new ATAS certificate.
How do I apply for ATAS?
ATAS clearance applications are made on the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) webpage. You'll need your offer letter and your CAH3 code (a code for classifying academic subjects), which will be stated in your offer letter.
It can take an hour or longer to complete the ATAS application. It's essential that you provide all the information requested or your application might be delayed or refused.
Here's some guidance on how to complete your application:
- You should answer the questions about the proposed study using the research statement approved by your academic department. You shouldn't amend or add to this text without checking with your department first.
- You should provide a telephone number and an email address you check regularly, as the ATAS team will use them to contact you if they need any more information and they'll also send your ATAS certificate to that email address.
- You must declare all your previous studies, employment and any published papers, even if they’re not connected to your proposed research and/or were undertaken outside the UK.
- The sponsor section is referring to your financial sponsor(s) and not your visa sponsor. If you're self-funded, you should enter your own details. You should only enter 'King’s College London' if you're receiving funding from us.
- If you're unsure how to answer any of the questions on the application form, you should contact the Admissions team if you're an applicant, or your academic department if you're a current student.
When should I submit my application?
ATAS clearance is valid for 6 months, so if your course starts in September, you could make your ATAS application any time after April.
We would recommend applying as early as you can, to avoid delays in receiving your ATAS certificate. Please be advised that you can't apply for your visa until you have received your ATAS certificate.
When will I receive my ATAS certificate?
ATAS applications take at least 20 working days to be processed. Between April and September applications can take over 30 working days.
Each ATAS application is specific to the course you applied for. If you have applied for more than one course that requires ATAS, you would need to submit a separate ATAS application for each course.
What happens once I get my ATAS certificate?
What if 30 working days have passed and I haven't received my ATAS certificate?
Please contact the Visa & International Student Advice team and we can ask for an update on your application. We can't ask for an update unless 30 working days have passed and can't ask the ATAS team to expedite your application.
Changes after you've received your ATAS certificate
- You change courses or want to start a new course which requires ATAS.
- Your course dates - the start date and/or end date - change by more than 3 months.
- You apply for a visa extension to continue your course or you need to remain in the UK for writing up your thesis.
- Your area of research or taught modules are changing. This includes the research contents or proposal.
- You are moving to or from another institution, even if all other aspects of your research or study are remaining the same.