From 21 May 2021 the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) applies to international researchers, or posts which contain an element of research at PhD level or above in a sensitive subject, where an individual's knowledge could be used to develop military technology, weapons of mass destruction.

Nationals from the EU, EEA, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, South Korea and the USA are currently exempt from the ATAS requirements.

All non exempt international researchers will need to apply for an ATAS certificate to undertake any research at PhD level or above in a sensitive subject area under the following Visa routes:

  • Initial and extension Skilled Worker and Tier 5 (GAE) Sponsored Researcher visa. The ATAS certificate must be obtained before the University can issue the Certificate of Sponsorship
  • Visiting researchers undertaking research under the Standard Visitor Visa, unless their activity is entirely restricted to attending meetings, conferences, seminars or interviews, or giving speeches.

A new ATAS certificate will be required if there is a change to the planned research activity or area.

The ATAS requirement applies to the following subject areas:

  • Medicine
  • Biological Sciences
  • Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects
  • Physical Sciences
  • Mathematical and Computer Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Technologies

Full details of the ATAS scheme are available on the GOV website.

Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the loss of the University UKVI Sponsorship licence for students, staff and visitors.

If you have any queries regarding ATAS certification please contact the HR Compliance team.