Foreign architects can pursue an NCARB Certificate by completing two programs required for licensure in the United States: the Architectural Experience Program (AXP) and the Architect Registration Examination (ARE).

Ready to get NCARB certified? First, you will need an active NCARB Recordmake sure it lists your foreign registration. Next, follow the steps in the Overview section of your Record and document the following requirements. You can also review our Documentation Checklist, which outlines the application process.

Please note: Some jurisdictions do not accept NCARB Certificates earned through this path. To find out if your jurisdiction accepts a Certificate through this path, visit the licensing requirements tool page and contact your board.

Foreign Architect Requirements for Certification

  • Education: Have a recognized degree or education credential in an architecture program that leads to registration/credential to practice architecture in a foreign country.
    • To have your education verified, please download the Transcript Request Form. You should fill in items 1-12 and submit to your academic institution. All transcripts must come directly from the academic institution.
  • Foreign Registration: Hold an active registration/licensure credential to practice architecture in a foreign country that has a formal record-keeping mechanism for disciplinary actions in the practice of architecture.
    • To have your foreign registration verified, please download the Credential Verification Form. You should complete part A, and your credentialing authority must complete part B and submit the final form to NCARB.
    • If your country does not have a regulatory body or system for taking disciplinary action, you will need to follow the licensure path for foreign-educated applicants.
  • Experience: Complete the AXP. Some of your foreign experience (up to 1,860 hours) may count toward the AXP requirement, but you will only be able to complete the AXP outside of the United States if you are working under an architect licensed in the United States or Canada. If you are following this path, the AXP’s five-year reporting requirement does not apply to you. Learn more about the AXP.
  • Examination: Pass the ARE. You can begin scheduling ARE divisions after NCARB has verified your transcript and foreign credential and you have paid your Certification application fee.

After you have met all of the requirements for certification and NCARB has received supporting documentation, we will evaluate your Record. If you meet the requirements for certification, you will be issued a Certificate number and asked to pay any remaining fee(s). The cost associated with establishing and maintaining an NCARB Certificate can be found on our fees page.

To learn more about applying for the NCARB Certificate, download the Certification Guidelines.

If you have questions about earning a license to practice in the United States, contact us.