Broadly Experienced Foreign Architect (BEFA) Program Process

The BEFA Program is a multi-step process. There are many factors that affect the length of time required to complete the BEFA process. In addition to the time it takes to process and review records, evaluations, applications, and dossiers, applicants should factor in their own time requirements to prepare and submit the BEFA Eligibility Verification Form and BEFA dossier. All steps of the process are required.

If there are any questions about your professional degree, you may be required to obtain an Education Evaluation Services for Architects (EESA) assessment from the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) to evaluate your education in relation to the NCARB Education Standard. You will be notified if you are required to obtain the EESA assessment.

BEFA Eligibility Verification – Please refer to the BEFA Eligibility Verification Form (Form 262) and the BEFA Credential Verification Form (Form 263) for detailed eligibility requirements and information and documents required for NCARB to determine if you are eligible. For questions related to the BEFA Program, please contact the Experience + Education Directorate at

NCARB Record – Applicants are required to establish and maintain an active NCARB Record after NCARB confirms eligibility for the BEFA Program. Applicants who currently hold an NCARB Record should confirm that their Record is active. For information on fees associated with an NCARB Record, click here. Contact NCARB for more information. [more]

BEFA Dossier – Once the BEFA Eligibility Verification Form and all required supporting documents have been received by NCARB and NCARB has confirmed eligibility, applicants will receive an eligibility confirmation letter with dossier preparation forms and instructions. In their BEFA dossier the applicant must demonstrate competence to independently practice architecture in the United States while protecting the public health, safety, and welfare; describe the nature of their responsible control over each project; and note any modifications of their projects that would be required to comply with U.S. building codes and laws. [more]

  • Current BEFA applicants who are in the process of preparing their dossier (includes all applicants who have received confirmation of eligibility between January 1, 2014 and July 1, 2015) will have until February 1, 2016 to submit. 

Interview – Applicants who have demonstrated in their BEFA dossier competence to independently practice architecture in the United States are invited for an interview. [more]

Final Evaluation of Record – Once an applicant successfully completes the BEFA Program, NCARB performs a final evaluation of the applicant’s NCARB Record. Applicants will be required to provide any incomplete information. The applicant will also be required to request updated credential information from the credentialing authority (Form 263) of their foreign country prior to issuance of an NCARB Certificate. Documentation of the credential must be submitted directly to NCARB from the credentialing authority.

Please note: Once an NCARB Certificate has been issued, applicants will have one year to obtain registration in a Member Board jurisdiction as a certificate renewal requirement.


Related Content

Certification Guidelines
Updated July 2015! The Certification Guidelines outlines the requirements for NCARB certification for U.S., Canadian, and foreign architects.

BEFA Eligibility Verification Form (Form 262)
The NCARB Broadly Experienced Foreign Architect (BEFA) Eligibility Verification Form is designed for you to provide information so NCARB can accurately evaluate your eligibility for the BEFA program.

NCARB proposes overhauls to alternate certification paths
NCARB announced proposals for discussion to overhaul the BEA and BEFA Programs.