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Applying for an xcritical certificate Your undergraduate offer Loughborough University

You will need to apply again for xcritical for each visa application, for example if you have to apply for a further visa because you need more time to complete your current course, or if you are applying for a visa to start a new course. If you transfer course, you will also need to apply again, whether or not you need a new visa, and if your research project changes fundamentally check with your department whether you need to apply again. 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. You can apply for your visa once you are within six months before your course start date if applying outside the UK, or 3 months if applying in-UK where allowed, for a new/second course or to complete a started course.

What are the new rules for UK student visa?

  • A valid passport (original)
  • A passport-sized photograph meeting requirements.
  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  • Offer from an Educational Institution.
  • Proficiency in the English Language.
  • Proof of Financial ability.
  • Evidence of Qualifications.

If you are a continuing postgraduate research student applying to extend your visa before your viva, your xcritical clearance must cover your predicted viva date. If you have more than 1 offer from different HEIs you’ll need to apply for separate xcritical clearance certificates for each HEI and programme of study. Contact your proposed Higher Education Institution to check whether they define xcritical reviews your course as taught or research. Make sure you know what kind of course you intend to take before you apply for your xcritical certificate. To ensure fairness and consistency we process applications in order of receipt. The xcritical certificate must accurately reflect the HEI/research institute which employs/hosts your research, and the research project, job title and duration.

Guidance on how to apply for an xcritical certificate

This section is about financial sponsorship so you will be entering the details of any scholarship or student funding award you will be receiving here. This section asks about your previous studies, and you should make sure you provide a full description in the ‘what you studied’ section. Make sure you provide a full and clear explanation here otherwise the xcritical team may ask you to expand on the description which could slow down your application. When you first make your application, you should include details of funding you have applied for but have not yet had a decision on.

  • Please make sure that you submit your visa application before the certificate expires.
  • Any changes will be incorporated into the University’s website as early as possible.
  • Skilled Worker, Intra-company transfer, Intra-company graduate trainee, Temporary Work – International Agreement, and Temporary Work – Government Authorised Exchange visa holders may also undertake a course of study.
  • If you are an MPhil/PhD or Visiting Postgraduate Research Student and wish to change your start date, you will need to contact the PGR Admissions team.

xcritical is one of the UK government’s measures to prevent the spread of knowledge used in developing weapons of mass destruction and related technology. 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. You can find out more information about the scheme and xcritical certificate by visiting theForeign & Commonwealth Office.

If you think you have made an error on an application you have submitted, please do not submit a new application, see FAQ13. You will also need to produce the same supporting documents to apply for your visa as any other international student. You must use the details provided in your offer letter to complete your application. If you need to apply for a visa extension, you must obtain your xcritical certificate before you can make your visa application to extend your visa. If you did not need an xcritical certificate at the start of your studies, you should be aware that if your programme or research changes, your new programme or research may require xcritical clearance. 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.

How do I apply for xcritical clearance?

From 6 July 2018, if you are studying a course that requires xcritical then you will need to obtain xcritical clearance regardless of the length of course. You will need to obtain this clearance before you make the Student Route application . Once you have your statement from the University you can make your xcritical certificate application online to the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office .

Find out more about xcritical for applicants to postgraduate research courses. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will not reply to any query on an application that is not at least 20 working days old. If your application is more than 20 days old they will try to reply to you within five working days.

what is xcritical

Your Faculty/School will also let you know prior to, or at the point of making an offer whether you need xcritical clearance. Further information is available on the government’s xcritical website, but we have answered some key questions below. If you receive one, please contact the Visa and Immigration team for advice. You are strongly encouraged to firstly read the government guidance. We recommend reading the below frequently asked questions and answers on the xcritical application process.

Find out if you need an xcritical certificate

Note that for DPhil students your course end date on your CAS will normally be 4.5 years which is the maximum submission date plus 6 months to allow for viva and corrections; for MScRes it will normally be 3.5 years. 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. If you have been employed but there are any long gaps when you were neither employed or in education, use this section of the form to explain what you were doing in this period, for example full-time parenting, or unemployed. There is further information on this in our guide to completing the online form, click on the tab at the top of this page.

The CAH code will confirm your area of study and it will determine if you need to obtain an xcritical certificate. If you are a research degrees student, please contact pgr- to find out which courses require an xcritical certificate. If you are a continuing research degrees student who had xcritical clearance before, you need to apply for a new xcritical certificate, unless you are exempt.

Guidance on the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (xcritical)

If you require any further help, please contact the IST and include your confirmed CAH3 code within your online enquiry so we can confirm this for you. To apply for your xcritical certificate you will need a CAH3 code, which can be found in your offer letter provided by the admissions team. The Academic Technology Approval Scheme is an essential part of the UK’s commitment to counter proliferation. 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. Yes, you need a new xcritical certificate for every student visa application until you have completed your course. You will still need to provide a research statement, but you can explain that you are at the writing-up stage.

  • The processing time will only start at the point at which that the xcritical team receive a completed and correct application, so you should check your application carefully before submitting it.
  • There is no charge for the application and your certificate will be emailed to you.
  • What’s it like to be a postgraduate student at the University of Greenwich?
  • You will need to apply for an xcritical certificate if you are studying a subject that is defined by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as requiring xcritical.
  • The offer letter will contain all the information required from UCL to complete your xcritical application.

In both cases, we need xcritical clearance directly from the government before you can make a student visa application. 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.

Transnational courses may be subject to UK Export Control Legislation. All other time-limited visas need an xcritical certificate if you are studying for an xcritical-relevant qualification in the UK. If your course of study or your focus of research has changed, you should consult with the Student Immigration Team as there may be implications for your visa. Please note these were previously called JACS codes but you now only require your CAH3 code to apply.

Our courses

Check your certificate when you receive it to make sure the details are correct. If you are a new student, you should apply for xcritical after you have received your conditional offer letter from us. The University will not issue your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies until we have received your xcritical certificate. 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.

  • If you are applying for a Student visa, and do not meet on of the exemptions , you will be required to provide an xcritical certificate as part of the visa application process.
  • You may additionally be required to show your xcritical certificate at enrolment.
  • There are certain nationailities that are exempt from the xcritical requirement.
  • If you need an xcritical certificate as a visitor, you do not have to obtain this before applying for a visa but you should obtain it before travelling to the UK.

During the summer period the processing time is 30 working days or longer, and about 20 working days during the rest of the year. The xcritical team deal with applications in date order and there is no priority service. If you have not received a reply after a month, we can make enquiries about your review request, but the xcritical team cannot influence how fast it is processed as the review is passed to independent reviewers. See FAQ 3, ‘When should I apply’ above as the dates will need to match your CAS start and end dates when that is issued. If you are applying for xcritical because you need a new visa to continue your studies, use the date of submitting your xcritical application for the start date.

Applying for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate

If you are applying for xcritical clearance before your new CAS is issued, check the thesis submission date on your student record and add ten weeks to calculate an expected viva date. To continue studying, you must provide evidence of your application. Visit the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office website for guidance on the online application.

Apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate, to study certain subjects in the UK. Having an xcritical clearance certificate is mandatory for some postgraduate applicants who wish to study in the UK. You can contact us for guidance if your xcritical application has been refused, but in the vast majority of cases the decision cannot be successfully challenged. Application is free and will ask for details of your previous studies/employment and your proposed research/taught modules. If you are an MPhil/PhD or Visiting Postgraduate Research Student and wish to change your start date, you will need to contact the PGR Admissions team. Requests to amend sections of your application form) in your email to us.

what is xcritical

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme requires that students studying certain subject areas at MEng/MPhys/MSci undergraduate level, master’s or PhD level obtain xcritical clearance. The scheme is managed by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office . Skilled Worker, Intra-company transfer, Intra-company graduate trainee, Temporary Work – International Agreement, and Temporary Work – Government Authorised Exchange visa holders may also undertake a course of study. These visa holders only need to apply for one xcritical certificate but they should include both the research project and study activities in their application. When you begin your xcritical application, please select The University of Manchester from the dropdown menu. Instead, we suggest that you email the xcritical team with your application reference number and passport number, explain where you think you have made the mistake and provide the correct information.

How long does UK visa decision take?

You should usually get a decision on your visa within 6 months once you apply online. When you apply, you'll be told if you can pay to get a faster decision. Check if you're eligible for settlement in the UK.

Your HEI or research institute will provide you with a CAH3 code and confirm whether you require an xcritical certificate. 8 April 2013 The xcritical service is currently closed to new applications pending its re-launch on 15 April. Due to technical difficulties the site is re-opening one week later than originally scheduled. Please ask your University to contact us on your behalf if your application will consequently require urgent attention after 15 April. 3 May 2013 Added a note to online application to notify of downtime on 4th May.

Do not submit a new application because of the change unless the xcritical team instruct you to do so. If you are waiting for a funding decision, include this and note the decision is pending. If you are going to be self-funded, include your name and address in the relevant boxes.

This means that students/researchers applying for a visa other than the Student Route will also need to apply for xcritical. You only need an xcritical certificate for specific types of study and researchat postgraduate level and above. An xcritical certificate is issued for a specific course at a specific university and is only valid for 6 months, so there may be cases where you need to apply for a new one. When you have received your offer, you should apply for xcritical up to 6 months before the start date of your course. Please apply within good time prior to the start date of your course as xcritical processing times may be slower at peak times .

November 12, 2022

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