Foreign Architect Path to Certification Process

Through this path, foreign architects seeking NCARB certification can complete two programs required for licensure in the United States: the Architectural Experience Program (AXP) and the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®).

Note: Since each jurisdiction sets its own requirements for licensure, some may not accept an NCARB Certificate earned through this path. Please check with the jurisdiction where you wish to get licensed to confirm acceptance of the foreign architect path to certification.


NCARB must receive and verify your education and registration to confirm eligibility for this process. You must satisfy all of the components outlined below to be eligible for NCARB certification:

NCARB Record
Applicants are required to establish an NCARB Record before NCARB confirms eligibility for this path. Applicants who currently hold an NCARB Record should confirm that their Record is active. You must maintain an active NCARB Record as well as an active foreign credential for the duration of the process. Learn more about the fees associated with an NCARB Record.

You must hold a degree from an accredited/validated/officially recognized architecture program that leads to a license/credential for the unlimited practice of architecture in the foreign country. You are required to have an official transcript of your education record sent directly to NCARB from the school. If the school does not provide an official transcript in English, have the school send the official transcript to a translation service that will send the official transcript and translation directly to NCARB. You are required to use the Transcript Request Form, which you will receive once you indicate interest in the foreign architect path through your My NCARB Record.

You must be credentialed in a foreign country that has a formal record-keeping mechanism for disciplinary actions in the practice of architecture. You must arrange for independent verification by the credentialing authority directly to NCARB showing that your credential has been granted and is currently in good standing. You are required to use the Credential Verification Form, which you will receive once you indicate interest in the foreign architect path through your My NCARB Record.

You must document completion of the Architectural Experience Program (AXP).

You must pass the Architect Registration Examination (ARE).

Final Evaluation of Record
Once an applicant successfully completes the above steps, NCARB performs a final evaluation of the applicant’s NCARB Record. Applicants will be required to provide any incomplete information. The applicant will also will need to have his/her foreign credential re-verified through submission of a second Credential Verification Form. Documentation of the credential must be submitted in English directly to NCARB from the credentialing authority.

Questions? You may submit your questions to

Please note: NCARB is no longer accepting applications for the Broadly Experienced Foreign Architect (BEFA) Program. Foreign architects seeking certification should apply for the foreign architect path to certification.


Related Content

Certification Guidelines
Updated November 2016! The Certification Guidelines outlines the requirements for NCARB certification for U.S., Canadian, and foreign architects.