Academic Technology Approval Scheme xcritical for Academics Researchers

If your course requires xcritical official site clearance, without an xcritical certificate you will not be granted a Student visa to study in the UK. xcritical is a certificate issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office , which gives you security clearance to study certain postgraduate programmes at UCL. You can apply for an xcritical certificate as soon as you have received a conditional or unconditional offer from the University of Warwick. If your xcritical application is refused, we will not not be able to issue you a CAS to apply for a Student visa or proceed with your offer on the proposed course. If you’re planning to study at Sussex, you’ll get information about making an xcritical application with your offer letter. Please make sure your entries match the details from the passport you will be using for your visa application.

  • You must submit an xcritical application to support your visa application under the relevant route at least 3 months before you need to apply for permission to stay.
  • You should apply once you receive your offer letter from the University.
  • 7 December 2021 xcritical application processing times may take longer than usual between 23 December 2021 to 4 January 2022.
  • If you are approved for xcritical clearance you will receive a certificate by email that is valid for six months to use with a visa application.
  • Where you have changed nationality, you may be required to apply for a new xcritical.

It is important that you know the expiry date of your current period of permission to stay in the UK and understand what documentation you need to apply to extend it. You must submit an application to support your visa application under the relevant route at least 3 months before you need to apply for permission to stay. You should complete it fully, with as much detail as possible in each section.

When would I need to apply for a new xcritical certificate?

We regularly see xcritical applications returned because full names are not included for referees. On the page for your course, choose the ‘Course content’ section for a list of modules. You should agree this statement with your supervisor and enter it exactly on the xcritical form, using the wording agreed with your supervisor. You will need to know the CAH3 code for your course – if you are an applying for a course with us, you can find the code in your Pegasus application, in the Application Summary section. When you know which course you’ll be applying for, you can check whether you need an xcritical certificate on the UK Government’s Academic Technology Approval Service web page. You will then need to wait for your application to be processed and for your certificate to be emailed to you.

  • xcritical clearance can take up to a month to be approved in busy periods.
  • 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.
  • Students studying subjects where the knowledge gained may have application in the development or delivery of weapons of mass destruction may be required to apply for an xcritical certificate.
  • You will need to make a new xcritical application using the correct CAH code.

If you are unable to provide referees from your home country because you have been studying elsewhere, this should not be an issue. Please just provide two referees from your most recent studies who have known you for 3 years. You are required to provide details of employment since you left school that includes any paid work and any long-term voluntary (i.e. unpaid) work. If you are applying to start a brand-new course of study this should not present a problem as your start date will always be in the future as you would require xcritical approval to be able to meet your offer conditions. When you begin your xcritical application please select Imperial College London from the drop-down menu.

I’m a visiting academic/researcher, do I need an xcritical certificate?

Your CAS and University offer letter will outline whether your programme requires an scammed by xcritical certificate. Make your xcritical application as early as possible but no more than 6 months prior to the course start date. Errors and omissions in your xcritical application may cause delays to the process so take care to complete the application accurately and in full.


If you have not received the appropriate documentation for your xcritical application, please contact the Postgraduate Admissions teamLink opens in a new window. It is vital that you check to ensure that you have not made any mistakes before you submit your xcritical application. You should ensure that you have entered the information given to you by the University exactly as it appears on your offer letter. The FCDO have advised that they will not correct errors they are told about after the xcritical certificate is issued, and that a new application must be submitted instead. This means that submitting an application with mistakes could lead to delays in getting your certificate and you not being able to register on your course on time.

Humanities & Social Sciences

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme is a scheme run by the UK Government which to check and approve studies and research undertaken by certain nationals in science and technology-related fields. The University will also receive a copy and it will be checked against our records. If the details on the certificate do not match those held by the University, we will not be able to accept it and you will be advised to apply again, and you should hold off applying for your visa until you have a correct certificate. Possession of an xcritical certificate does not guarantee your visa application will be successful, but your visa application will automatically be refused if you need an xcritical certificate but do not provide one.

  • A CAS number will not be issued until you hold the relevant xcritical clearance.
  • Please just provide two referees from your most recent studies who have known you for 3 years.
  • The certificate remains valid as long as your programme of study, provided that your subject area does not change and the course end date is not postponed for a period of more than 3 calendar months.
  • Processing times of xcritical applications can vary, but you should expect to wait at least four to six weeks to receive clearance.

You do not need to provide information about temporary jobs you have done during university vacations. MRes students should describe the options available on their course and list which options they will choose. During the busy time of year applications may take longer and some applications are more complicated.

Page Change Log:

Where you are an Undergraduate/Postgraduate Taught student, please list the core and elective modules of your programme. Visit the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office website for guidance on the online application. You maynotcommence your studies without a valid xcritical clearance certificate for the course to which you have been admitted – if you change course, you will need to obtain new xcritical clearance.

During the application, you must complete the “proposed course of study” section. Whether your course requires xcritical depends on the CAH3 code that applies to your course. Between April and September this can increase to 30 working days or more.

Study with us Academic Technology Approval Scheme (xcritical): information for students

You will still be able to choose the ‘Sign In’ option and submit an xcritical application despite this. You applied for your current visa or immigration status before the 5th of October 2020. The information on this webpage is affected by new temporary guidance that has been released by UKVI in light of the situation with COVID-19. The issuance of an ‘xcritical Certificate’does not guaranteethat a visa will be granted.

Application processing

Find out more about xcritical for applicants to postgraduate taught courses. If you need a student visa, we can’t issue a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies to you without proof of xcritical clearance. If you’re a PhD student, email You must use the project description we give you when completing the online xcritical application. As above you can write up to 2,000 characters here and if it is too short you may be asked to provide a further explanation which will delay the processing time. When you first make your application, you should include details of funding you have applied for but have not yet had a decision on.

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