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Foreign Architect

What is the difference between applying for licensure as a foreign-educated applicant and applying for certification through the foreign architect path?

As a  foreign-educated applicant, you will likely need to have your education evaluated by the NAAB (note: the NAAB charges a fee for this process) if required by the architectural registration board in the jurisdiction where you seek licensure. If the EESA identifies any deficiencies in your education, you may need to complete additional coursework. You will also need to complete the AXP and the ARE. Once you complete these requirements, you can be licensed in a U.S. jurisdiction that accepts foreign-educated applicants.

As a  foreign architect applying for NCARB certification, you will likely not need an EESA evaluation, and you can complete the AXP without meeting the five-year reporting requirement for AXP experience. You will still need to pass the ARE. Once you are certified, you can use your NCARB Certificate to apply for licensure in a jurisdiction that accepts the foreign architect path. Details about these requirements can be found in the Certification Guidelines.

What if I have a degree from a foreign country?

If you received an education outside of the United States or Canada and are not licensed to practice architecture in that country, you may need an  EESA evaluation.

If you received an education outside of the United States or Canada and are licensed to practice architecture in a country outside of the United States or Canada, please complete the  credential verification form. Then follow the remaining steps for the  foreign architect path to certification. Applicants for this path do NOT need an EESA.

I’m a licensed architect from a foreign country. How can I pursue licensure in a U.S. jurisdiction?

If you are actively registered to practice architecture in a country outside of the United States, you can pursue licensure through our  foreign architect path to certification. Once you hold an  NCARB Certificate, you can use that credential to establish your license in a specific U.S. jurisdiction. Note: not all U.S. jurisdictions accept the Certificate for initial licensure.

How much does the foreign architect path to certification cost?

The foreign architect path has a maximum fee of $1,100, depending on the cost of your initial NCARB Record application—this is the same as the cost of a standard Certificate application. (This does not include the cost of completing the exam, which costs $235 per division.) The application fee will not be applied to your account until after your required credentials are approved, and you will have one year to pay the fee. Learn more about the fees associated with establishing and  maintaining an NCARB Certificate.

How do I start the foreign architect path to certification?

To begin the licensure process in the United States as foreign architect, you’ll need the appropriate credentials and transcripts. Before applying, review the requirements and confirm that the U.S. jurisdiction you want to be licensed in accepts this path by checking the Licensing Requirements Tool. Then you’ll need to: 1) Establish an NCARB Record, if you do not already have one. 2) Complete the Transcript Request Form and the Credential Verification Form and have your completed forms and transcript(s) sent directly to NCARB. After NCARB receives and reviews the required documents (Credential Verification Form and Transcripts), you will be notified concerning your eligibility for this path.

How do I complete the AXP if I am not living in the United States?

Some of your foreign experience may count toward the AXP requirement (up to 1,860 hours), 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.  Learn more about AXP requirements.

Does my foreign experience count toward fulfillment of the Architectural Experience Program (AXP)?

A maximum of 1,860 hours may be earned for work completed in a foreign country under the supervision of a licensed architect in that country.  Learn more about AXP requirements

As a foreign architect, how do I know if I need an EESA evaluation?

If you meet the requirements for the  foreign architect path to certification,  you will not need an Education Evaluation Service for Architects (EESA) evaluation. If you do not meet these requirements, you may be able to follow the steps for  foreign-educated applicants instead.

As a foreign architect applying through the foreign architect path to NCARB certification, does the AXP reporting requirement apply to me?

No. Registered certification applicants, foreign or domestic, are not limited by the reporting requirement. You may submit any previous experience pre- or post-licensure for fulfillment of AXP.  Learn more about the foreign architect path to certification.