I just accepted a lectureship position (offered by a UK institute) almost 15 days ago. As an international individual, I am supposed to apply for a Skilled Worker Visa supported by a sponsorship certificate. 15 days ago, the HR sent me an offer (the department head was also cc'd) asserting that I first need to apply for an ATAS before they can issue any sponsorship certificate. That HR person stressed that I have to be pretty fast since that ATAS thing may take over 3 weeks to be issued. In the UK government website, one reads

... proposed course of study/area of research: the university or research institute you are proposing to study/research at will provide you with the relevant details for this section e.g. in your conditional offer letter or statement of research. They will advise you of the appropriate CAH3 code and give you the correct form of words for the ‘What Will you be Studying/Research Statement’ box. You should use the university’s description here. You will be able to add to this description in the next box: ‘Personnel Statement of Intent’. Add your Head of Department if you are still waiting for a research/study supervisor allocation.

So, I just sent the HR an email (again, cc'ing the head of the department) asking whether I will be supplied by any of the relevant details the paragraph above asserts. But, they have been totally ignoring my correspondence. I sent them another follow-up email 3 days ago that was also left unanswered. Now, I am a bit confused about what is actually going on both in terms of timing and how I am supposed to deal with their lack of active communication, should their silence continue. I also have to get an attestation certificate for my Ph.D. as a part of my visa application about which I sent another inquiry to the HR 2 weeks ago, and they ignored that, as well.

1- My (inexperienced) impression is that the provision of those research details, so that I can use them in my ATAS application, should not take that much time, especially not more than 2 weeks. Is there anyone experienced in (or knowledgeable about) this procedure to correct me, if I'm wrong?

2- I have not that much time to waste given the fact the UK embassy advised me to apply my visa application as fast as I can due to my nationality which may require extensive time-consuming checks. Now, what should I do if their silence and lack of communication continues? I thought I better contact the head of the department, but it might be useless because he himself is a part of this miss-communication. Namely, the head of the department has been cc'd in all post-offer communications of mine with the HR, and I even asked him a relative question in those emails, and he didn't pay any attention. This manner of his is not a new thing if we go back to 15 days ago, when we had an informal zoom meeting. When he sent me an invitation, the purpose field was empty. Being unaware whether it is supposed to be another round of interview, I politely wrote him an email asking what the subject of our meeting is. He ignored my email. In the course of that meeting, I referred to my email, and he just smiled and said he had saw that! So, I have not found him more responsive than the HR. In one hand, I would like to avoid over-pushing them, and on the other hand, I can't parse what this ignoring trend of theirs means. I have the option of contacting the head of the college (she is the "boss" of the head of the department, and she knows me as she was present in the selection process of mine). But, I am wondering if that provokes the head of the department thinking that I want to show him irresponsible in view of his boss.

  • 3
    I am not sure how the administration is where you are but I find this behaviour completely normal. In Germany, it took the HR of my university two weeks to respond to my -urgent- email because they were overloaded with other tasks. If you want things to work faster with administration, call them!
    – Yacine
    Jun 30, 2022 at 20:05
  • 1
    @Younes: Are you a student or a faculty member?
    – user41207
    Jun 30, 2022 at 22:23
  • 4
    Welcome to Europe, where slowness, and unresponsiveness is appreciated!
    – Dilworth
    Jun 30, 2022 at 22:38

1 Answer 1


Call them if they're not responding to urgent emails.

  • 1
    Specifically, call the HR person handling your case.
    – penelope
    Jul 1, 2022 at 10:22
  • Or even call the switchboard/main reception and give the name of the HR person you would like to speak with. Sometimes individuals numbers are not public, but the switchboard can still put you through.
    – Clumsy cat
    Jul 5, 2022 at 18:09

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