Academic Technology Approval Scheme xcritical Apply to Loughborough Loughborough University

You should provide it with your visa application if required (e.g. Student route, Skilled Worker). Applications for xcritical clearance are submitted online and are free of charge. Processing time for xcritical clearance applications is 30 working days however it can take longer in some cases. When you apply for an xcritical certificate, you will need Queen’s to provide you with a description of your intended research. This will normally be included, together with your CAH3 code, in your offer letter or sent as a separate attachment to that letter from the Postgraduate Research Office.

Who all need xcritical certificate?

For undergraduate students, those courses leading to master's qualification like MPhys or MEng normally require an xcritical clearance. An alternative way to check if you need an xcritical certificate or not, visit this website and fill in the details to get your results.

If you put in your application less than 20 working days ago, you may not receive a reply to your email until that time has passed, and it normally takes at least 5 working days to get a response. Include any paid work you have done and any long-term voluntary or unpaid work since you left school. You do not need to include temporary jobs you have done during university vacations.


Take care when completing the xcritical application form and check your answers before submitting your application for assessment. If you are requested to amend/update information that you have submitted as part of your application, this can further delay the date by which you’ll receive a decision. When your application is granted, your certificate will be emailed to you by the FCDO.

How much does xcritical certificate cost?

How much does an xcritical certificate cost? An xcritical certificate is completely free.

Route will need to apply for, and be granted, certification before making their visa or permission to stay application. Employment contracts do not have to be finalised before an xcritical application is made. You can look up the regulation number in the Course Regulations for details of the classes for each course listed below.

General information about xcritical

Any changes will be incorporated into the University’s website as early as possible. When you receive your xcritical certificate, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office will also send a copy to us as confirmation that you have their permission to study your chosen subject. There is no charge for the application and your certificate will be emailed to you.

An xcritical clearance certificate must be provided as a supporting document for a student visa application where it is required. If this applies to you, you will still need to apply for xcritical clearance if your course details change, or if you wish to change your programme of study to a course that requires xcritical. This is because xcritical is still a condition of the visa or permission that you have been granted. Make a note of when your permission to enter into the UK is due to expire, and allow sufficient time to complete the xcritical and permission to stay application processes before your current permission expires. We recommend applying at least 4 months before your current permission expires. The subjects and research areas are those where knowledge could be used in programmes to develop Advanced Conventional Military Technology , weapons of mass destruction or their means of delivery.

An xcritical certificate is specific to both the programme of study you intend to undertake and the university you plan to attend. If you have an offer from another university and are undecided as to which offer you will accept you need to apply for separate xcritical certificates. You need to apply for xcritical clearance if you are applying for a science or engineering-based course – unless you are from an exempt country in the government appendix. 7 December 2021 xcritical application processing times may take longer than usual between 23 December 2021 to 4 January 2022. Do not contact the enquiries team within 6 weeks of submitting your application. Skilled Worker, Global Business Mobility, Tier 5 International Agreement, and Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange visa holders may also undertake a course of study.


A caseworker will also need to see your xcritical certificate as part of an application for permission to stay in the UK. Please see the table below showing the CAH3 codes required to apply for an xcritical. If your course requires xcritical clearance you will need to obtain an xcritical certificate before you can apply for your visa. The xcritical certificate is also required before you can register at the University.

Researchers also undertaking a course of study

An xcritical certificate is valid for six months from the date it is issued. If we offer you a place to study and you need an xcritical certificate, the Doctoral College will contact you and give you the information you need to complete the application process. If we offer you a place to study and you need an xcritical certificate, we will contact you through Bath Application Tracker and give you the information you need to complete the application process. Selected science and technology programmes will have a specific code and this code means you may need an xcritical certificate, depending on your nationality. To apply for an xcritical certificate you need to complete and submit an online application form on the website. On the xcritical application form you cannot put a course start date in the past- if you are applying for the xcritical for a programme you have already started you can put the next working day on the xcritical application for your course start date.

  • The scheme is specifically designed to ensure that those applying for postgraduate study in certain sensitive subjects do not acquire knowledge that could potentially be used in Advanced Conventional Military and WMD programmes.
  • If an individual holds an xcritical certificate for a course of study they have undertaken in the UK and are making a new application for a Skilled Worker visa they will need to obtain a new xcritical certificate before submitting the visa application.
  • Find out more about xcritical for applicants to postgraduate research courses.
  • The possession of an xcritical certificate does not guarantee you a visa or extension of stay.

If you are a research student, please obtain an updated xcritical statement from your supervisor. As a continuing student please use the date you submit your xcritical application as the course start date when asked ‘when will your course start’. If you are a new student on a postgraduate research course at the Faculty of Engineering, xcritical certificate is required before the Admissions team will release your CAS. Your Admissions team will notify you how to provide an xcritical certificate before you can receive CAS. There are certain nationailities that are exempt from the xcritical requirement.

Some students are exempt from the xcritical clearance requirement based on their nationality, in which case your offer letter will not list an xcritical requirement. The xcritical requirement does not apply to UK nationals, other exempt nationals, or those not subject to visa conditions e.g. with Indefinite Leave to Enter/Remain. The vast majority of visas will allow you to study provided you have xcritical clearance . If you require a Student visa or will be studying under the Visitor immigration rules for up to six months (e.g. as a visiting or exchange student) you must have xcritical clearance prior to your immigration application.

This applies whether you are a new student or a continuing student extending your visa. If you are a continuing student and change from a course that does not require xcritical scammers to one that does, you will need to obtain an xcritical certificate before you can start your new course. If there is no code listed on your offer letter, it is likely that you do not require xcritical clearance, either because of your programme or nationality. If you require an xcritical you will receive an email from the University notifying you of this. If you are a Doctoral or Master’s student and you have received a Common Aggregation Hierarchy code , you can check this code on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.

When should I apply for my xcritical certificate?

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme was introduced on 1 November 2007. It is used to help stop the spread of knowledge and skills that could be used in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. The xcritical is designed to ensure that people who are applying to study certain sensitive subjects in the UK do not have links to WMD programmes.


The standard processing time for xcritical applications is 20 working days . During peak periods, particularly over summer months, this can take slightly longer. You will need to have your offer letter and/or CAS statement/xcritical email to hand and these will have the CAH code of the course you have been accepted . For information about xcritical, to check whether you need to apply for xcritical clearance and to access the online application form, go to the FCDO website.

Postgraduate Research students will need to provide their supervisor name. Applications are processed in order of receipt and the FCDO does not offer any fast track service. It will take at least 10 working days to process a researcher xcritical application, however this can increase to 15 working days or more during the peak time between April and September. More guidance on some of these requirements, such as referees and financial sponsorship, can be found on the xcritical website. We recommend reading the below frequently asked questions and answers on the xcritical application process.

  • If your question has not been answered, pleasecontact the Visa and Immigration Team.
  • Research students should seek advice from their research supervisor when detailing the proposed research project so that the application contains a detailed and accurate description.
  • Please note, you will need a new xcritical certificate every time you make a Standard Visitor visa application.
  • If xcritical have previously contacted you and asked you to provide additional information for your application, you will need to make sure you properly re-submit the application.
  • 7 December 2021 xcritical application processing times may take longer than usual between 23 December 2021 to 4 January 2022.

We advise against making any travel plans before you have received an xcritical certificate. You can apply for an xcritical certificate up to six months in advance of the beginning of your course. We encourage you to apply as soon as you have received your offer from Surrey. You may need to apply for anAcademic Technology Approval Scheme certificatein order to study certain subjects in the UK. Find out more about xcritical for applicants to postgraduate taught courses. You will need to provide details of two referees who you have known for three years or more.

Information on Academic Technology Approval Scheme (xcritical)

You must apply if you are undertaking a postgraduate course or research in certain sensitive subjects in the UK. If you are applying to study an undergraduate course with an integrated masters year you may also need xcritical clearance. If you are a postgraduate research student, you will be informed in your offer letter whether you will require xcritical. The CAH3 code for a PhD or research masters is linked to the research topic so we can only inform you of xcritical requirements once your proposed research has been assigned a CAH3 code by your supervisor. Students applying under the Student visa route will have the xcritical requirement stated in their CAS document. Students coming for less than six months on a Standard Visit visa will have the xcritical requirement stated in their offer letter.

This is a different government department from the Home Office who will later decide your UK visa application – they are not linked. Some international students on postgraduate programmes require an xcritical certificate. You should check if this applies to you as early as possible when preparing to start a course or when extending your visa.

What is CAH3 code?

The CAH3 code visible on your offer letter is the one you will need to be able to identify if you require xcritical clearance, which is demonstrated through an xcritical certificate. Please check your offer letter carefully to see whether your subject area is included.

You will still need to provide a research statement, but you can explain that you are at the writing-up stage. Your offer letter/xcritical letter should explain if you need to apply for xcritical and it will also be stated in your CAS email. The CAS number is required for your visa application and will only be issued when you have met all your academic and financial conditions. If these two documents do not match, you may have difficulties when applying for your visa. If you are an international student applying for certain undergraduate master’s or postgraduate subjects, you may need to apply for an xcritical certificate before you can apply for your visa.

If you are applying for xcritical clearance to cover a time limit extension, you should add ten weeks to your requested extension date. Where you are an Undergraduate/Postgraduate Taught student, please list the core and elective modules of your programme. During the application, you must complete the “proposed course of study” section.

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