This page provides an overview of the application process for architects licensed abroad. After reviewing the Foreign Architect Path’s requirements, you can learn more about completing the program.

If you are a licensed architect outside of the United States or Canada, you may be able to pursue an NCARB Certificate by verifying your license and completing two programs: the Architectural Experience Program (AXP) and the Architect Registration Examination (ARE). After earning an NCARB Certificate, you can use this credential to apply for a license in a U.S. jurisdiction that accepts an NCARB Certificate issued through the Foreign Architect Path.

Flow chart showing how international candidates can earn an architecture license in the United States.

Qualifications

To be eligible for the Foreign Architect Path, your architecture license must meet certain requirements:

  • Your license must be active and in good standing at the point of application
  • Your license must allow unlimited practice—the design of all types and sizes of buildings
  • Your country must have a system for tracking disciplinary action for architects
  • You must have no record of disciplinary action
  • Additional requirements are documented in the Certification Guidelines.

How to Apply

  1. Before starting the process, use our Licensing Requirements Tool to confirm that the U.S. jurisdiction where you want to earn a license accepts the Foreign Architect Path.
  2. You should also download the Foreign Architect Checklist, which provides detailed steps on completing this process.
  3. Once you determine where you’d like to earn a license, you will need to establish an NCARB Record, which is a verified account of your professional history.
  4. Next, you can add your foreign registration and education. You will then be prompted to indicate your interest in the Foreign Architect by checking a box within your Record.

Submitting Paperwork

Once you’ve indicated your interest, you’ll need to submit official paperwork verifying your education and registration before you are accepted into the Foreign Architect Path. All forms and transcripts must be submitted in English.

  • Foreign Registration: Complete Part A of the Credential Verification Form. Then, send the form to the credentialing authority of your architecture license. The authority must complete Part B and submit the final form to NCARB. (Note: do NOT send this form to your university.)
  • University Transcripts: Complete the Transcript Request Form. Provide this form to your university, and have your official transcripts sent directly from your academic institution to NCARB (transcripts@ncarb.org).

Application Review

After you’ve created your Record and submitted your supporting documents, NCARB will review your Record and contact you regarding your eligibility for the Foreign Architect Path.  Please note, this process can take up to 60 days, depending on the volume of applications we receive.

If NCARB determines you are eligible for the Foreign Architect Path, you will then need to satisfy NCARB’s experience and examination requirements for certification. Learn more about completing the Foreign Architect Path, and download the Certification Guidelines for additional information.

Fees

The Foreign Architect Path has a maximum fee of $1,210, depending on the cost of your initial NCARB Record application—this is the same cost associated with an NCARB Certificate application. Note: This does not include the cost of completing the exam, which costs $235 per division.

The application fee will not be billed to your account until after your required credentials are approved, and you will have one year to pay the fee.