Individuals undertaking an element of research at PhD in certain sensitive subjects must obtain an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) prior to commencing their visit.
This applies to researchers visiting under the standard visitor visa and undertaking science and academic activities including:
- carrying out research for their own purposes or as a group
- gathering information and facts for a specific project which directly related to their employment overseas, or to support independent research
- taking part in formal exchange arrangements with UK counterparts
The following nationalities are exempt from the ATAS requirement:
- UK, EU/EEA and Swiss nationals
- Nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, or the United States of America.
Dual nationals who hold one of the listed nationalities above will also be exempt. This is not based on country of residence, but nationality only.
The Staff Immigration Team (SIT) will work with Department, Faculty and College colleagues to identify if the individual will need to obtain an ATAS certificate. If this is required a template letter will need to be issued to the visitor.
Failure to obtain a required ATAS certificate will prevent the visit from commencing. Applying in good time and before travelling to the UK is strongly recommended.
Full details can be found on the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) page.