What is an ATAS certificate?

Students who are nationals of EU countries, the European Economic Area (EEA), Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland or the United States of America do not need an ATAS certificate.

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) applies to all international students (apart from exempt nationalities listed above) who are subject to UK immigration control and are intending to study at postgraduate level in certain sensitive subjects. It requires students on these courses to gain a certificate of approval to study before they can be granted a visa to study or continue studying in the UK.

You will not be granted a visa until you have received your ATAS certificate, unless you are a national of an ATAS exempt country.

How do I know if I need an ATAS certificate?

If you require an ATAS you will receive an email from the University notifying you of this. It will also say so on offer letter and CAS Statement. If you are a Doctoral or Master’s (MSc, MEng) student and you have received a Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH) code (the code will be a mix of letters and digits), you can check this code on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.

How can I get my ATAS certificate?

You will need to make your ATAS application online via the FCO website. The application is free and the website has comprehensive guidance on making the application which you should follow carefully.

You will need to have your offer letter and/or CAS statement/ATAS email to hand and these will  have the CAH code of the course you have been accepted . If you are uncertain about your CAH code then please contact cas.admissions@swansea.ac.uk.

When should I apply for my ATAS certificate?

You should apply as early as possible, but no more than 6 months before the start of your course, as this is how long an ATAS is valid for. You do not need to renew it every 6 months.

How long will it take to get my ATAS certificate?

The standard processing time for ATAS applications is 20 working days (4 weeks). During peak periods, particularly over summer months, this can take slightly longer.

What do I do when I receive my ATAS certificate?

A copy will be sent to us by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. You can check on your Apply dashboard to see if it has been approved. If it hasn’t yet been approved then please send your ATAS certificate to cas.admissions@swansea.ac.uk.

Possession of an ATAS certificate does not guarantee your visa application will be successful, but your visa application will automatically be refused if you need an ATAS certificate but do not provide one.

What happens if my ATAS application is unsuccessful?

If your ATAS application is unsuccessful, please email the international @campuslife team for advice.

More information about the ATAS process can be found on the International@Campuslife ATAS page.

You can also get in touch with the Swansea University Admissions Compliance Team.

What Happens if I Defer?

An ATAS certificate is only valid for six months. Therefore, if you transfer course or defer you will need to apply for a new ATAS certificate within six months of your new course start date.