NCARB Certificate holders can pursue work in the United Kingdom through our Mutual Recognition Agreement with the Architects Registration Board (ARB). If you are an architect from the United Kingdom seeking reciprocal licensure in the United States, check with ARB before starting the process with NCARB.
To be eligible for reciprocal licensure under this agreement, you must:
- Hold a valid license/registration in good standing from your home licensing authority
- If you are a U.S. architect, you must be licensed by a jurisdiction participating in the MRA
- Have the right to work in the locality in which you seek registration (typically granted through a visa or other work immigration route)
- Hold an active certificate from NCARB or ARB
The agreement requires U.S. architects to be certified through the standard path to NCARB certification, which includes:
- Holding a degree from a National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) accredited architecture program
- Completing NCARB’s experience program
- Passing NCARB’s national licensing examination
- Holding an active registration in a U.S. jurisdiction
Architects granted the NCARB Certificate through the Foreign Architect Path or the Education Alternative are not eligible for licensure under this agreement.
How to Pursue a License Through the Agreement as a U.S. Architect
If you are a U.S. architect seeking licensure in the United Kingdom, follow the steps below.
- Confirm Eligibility—Review the requirements above and confirm you meet the eligibility requirements. You should also ensure that you are licensed in a participating U.S. jurisdiction.
- Contact NCARB—Once you confirm you’re eligible for licensure through the MRA, contact NCARB online or at 202-879-0520. Our Customer Relations team will review your NCARB Record, double-check that you meet the eligibility requirements, and transmit your Record to ARB for their review—you will be charged NCARB's transmittal fee.
- Complete Application Process With ARB—After your NCARB Record has been shared with ARB, you will need to complete their application process. You should expect to submit a CV, complete a brief interview, and take an assessment. If you have questions while completing ARB’s application process, you should contact ARB for guidance. At this point, you will be required to pay ARB the U.K. Adaptation Assessment fee of £2950.00.
- Right to Work—To conduct business in the United Kingdom, you must be granted the right to work there. Neither NCARB nor ARB can provide you with the right to work. You must reach out to the U.K’s Home Office for permission to work in the United Kingdom, typically granted under a visa or other work immigration route.
How to Pursue a License Through the Agreement as a U.K. Architect
If you are a U.K. architect seeking licensure in the United States, please check with ARB. You will need to:
- Confirm Eligibility—Review the requirements and confirm you meet the eligibility requirements.
- Contact NCARB—Once you have determined whether you hold qualifications that are within scope, you will need to contact NCARB to set up an NCARB Record. You will need this NCARB Record before starting your full application. At this point you will need to pay NCARB a fee for establishing the Record. NCARB will then issue you with an NCARB Record number.
- Complete Application Process With ARB—Once you've set up your NCARB Record, you can start your ARB application. Your application form should be returned by email to email@example.com. ARB will be in contact with your next steps.
- Right to Work—To conduct business in the United States, you must be granted the right to work there. Neither NCARB nor ARB can provide you with the right to work.
- ARB will need to issue you a certificate, which costs £80.00.
- U.K. architects will need to establish an NCARB Record and pay a $3,500 USD application fee to NCARB. If the U.K. architect has already established an NCARB Record, the Record fee the architect has already paid will be deducted from the $3,500 USD application fee and the architect will be responsible for the balance of the fee—contact NCARB at www.ncarb.org/contact for more information about the balance of your application fee.
- U.K. architects will also need to pay a $450 transmittal fee to have their NCARB Record sent to the U.S. jurisdiction where they are seeking registration, and will need to pay additional registration fees to the relevant jurisdiction. Jurisdictional registration fees vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and are set by the jurisdiction
- You will need to pay the Record transmittal fee ($450) to have your Record transmitted to ARB.
- After your Record is transmitted, you will be required to pay ARB the U.K. Adaptation Assessment fee of £2950.00.
To learn more about this arrangement and the requirements for NCARB certification, read the Certification Guidelines.