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The University of Southampton
Natural Sciences

Visas & immigration

Before you come to study in the UK, it is important that you find out about UK immigration procedures and how they will affect you. You should do this as far in advance of your arrival in the UK as possible. You can only apply 3 months before course start date.

Student visas

If you come from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA), you must meet the following criteria before coming to the UK as a student:

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

The UK government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has introduced a new scheme called ‘Academic Technology Approval Scheme’ (ATAS).

All new postgraduate students (including some undergraduate programmes that lead to a Masters) who are subject to immigration control must check whether they need to apply for an ATAS clearance, certificate before they apply for a visa.

To check if you require an ATAS certificate, you will need your programme's JACS code. The JACS code should be included in your offer letter, otherwise a member of your academic unit's support staff should be able to provide this for you. Your CAS statement will confirm the ATAS requirement.

The application is an online process and is free of charge. For further information and to apply, visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website :

Police registration

If your visa requires you to do so, you must register with the police within seven days of arrival in the UK. If you do not, you will be breaking the law. The Students' Services  Centre can provide more details on this:


Further information on immigration and visa application procedures

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