The ATAS will also apply to those who are enrolled on an overseas course that is similar in subject matter to those covered by the scheme and who intend to come to the UK for more than 6 months in order to undertake a period of study/research which forms part of the postgraduate overseas course.
Students wishing to come to, or extend their stay in, the United Kingdom for such a purpose are now required to provide a valid ATAS clearance certificate with their application for an entry clearance or an extension of stay. Failure to provide a valid clearance certificate will result in the application being refused.
Further information can be found on the website of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The new rules are part of Britain's new Points Based System (PBS) for managing migration. Any college recruiting students from abroad will in future need to be registered on a new Home Office Sponsors' Register. To qualify for the register they will have to show that they have been accredited by an approved body. This measure is designed to prevent a bogus institution acting as a front for the entry of illegal immigrants into the country.