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Advice and Counselling Service

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ATAS clearance

ATAS clearance

Some MEng degrees and other postgraduate qualifications require an ATAS security clearance certificate. For more information about which subject areas and qualifications need an ATAS certificate, and to apply for one if you need it, see the UK Government website.

If you are studying one of these courses, you need to apply for an ATAS certificate before you make your Tier 4 application. Current students will need to show their ATAS certificate when requesting their CAS from QMUL.

It can take 30 working days (6 weeks) for an ATAS certificate to be issued and sometimes longer during busy periods. We recommend that you apply as early as possible.

There is no charge for applying for an ATAS certificate and you can apply for as many certificates as you have offers.

*You must include a print out of your ATAS certificate with your Tier 4 supporting documents if you are applying for a Tier 4 visa for an applicable course* 

What do I do if my ATAS application is delayed?

If you have not had a response from the FCO , first do the basic email checks of your Inbox and Junk/Spam folder, in case it has been filtered out.

If it is more than 30 working days since you have applied for your ATAS certificate, you can email atas@fco.gov.uk. If you contact them sooner, they will not reply.

If you applied more than 30 working days ago, and you have emailed atas@fco.gov.uk and had no response within two working days, please contact the Advice and Counselling Service for help. You will need to provide us with a copy of your application confirmation (emailed to you) and a copy of the follow-up email you sent to atas@fco.gov.uk .

What if something changes after I apply for my ATAS certificate?

If you have been granted an ATAS certificate, but something has changed, you will need to apply for a new ATAS certificate with your new details within 28 calendar days of any such changes being agreed.

Relevant changes include:

  • You change your programme and your new programme also requires ATAS approval. You must get the new approval before starting the new programme.
  • The completion date stated on your CAS is postponed by three calendar months or more
  • The length of your programme changes, for example you need to re-sit a failed module or if your research takes longer than expected
  • Your area of research or your programme content (modules) change
  • You move to another institution

If you need a new ATAS certificate, we recommend that you apply for your new ATAS certificate as soon as possible, so that you will know if you will be allowed to complete your studies.

For how long is my ATAS certificate valid?

Your ATAS certificate will be valid for 6 months, and you must submit your Tier 4 visa application within this 6 month period. You would then only need to apply for a new ATAS certificate if there is a relevant change to your course, as listed above. 


Disclaimer:
Law, regulations and policies can change quickly. The information on our website is given in good faith and has been carefully checked but QMUL cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. QMUL is not responsible for the content or reliability of the linked websites which are provided for further information.

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