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ATAS - Who does it apply to and what you need to do

26 Jul 2022

A new resource to support those applying for Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) approval has been launched

University of Manchester

All researchers, including post-doctoral researchers, visiting researchers and academic staff who are subject to UK immigration control, must also hold an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate, with the exception of exempt nationalities.  This must be done before applying for a visa to conduct activities that could result in the Intangible Transfer of Technology (ITT) to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and Advanced Conventional Military Technology (ACMT) programmes of concern.

This new University resource takes the reader through a series of questions to help you assess if an ATAS certificate is required. If it is, researchers or academics coming to the UK as a visitor will need to apply under Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) before they begin any research subject to ATAS. If the research focus changes at any time, a new ATAS certificate will be required.

The new resource also provides step by step instructions, including how the University process works alongside the UK Government processes, for potential visiting researcher or academic members of staff, to submit an application.

The helpful and practical resource includes:

  • How to apply for an ATAS certificate;
  • How to complete an application; and
  • Expected timescales

Full details and guidance can be accessed on StaffNet.

If you’re unsure if an ATAS certificate is required please work through questions in the new resource. Relevant contact details are provided in each section if you have further questions.  

Guidance for degree seeking and visiting student applicants for ATAS clearance is provided separately.

Export Controls

Export control also needs to be considered, which are separate from ATAS.  Compliance with both are essential to safeguard the University and the work we carry out, while also mitigating against any potential threats to national security.  Unlike ATAS, individuals are accountable and liable for compliance with Export Controls.

You can find out more information on the University’s Export Control StaffNet pages.

Further information

For more information about security risks affecting research and how we are supporting colleagues, please watch:

You can also visit our Trusted Research page and the Research and Business Engagement website.