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

If you are a U.S. architect seeking licensure in the United Kingdom, follow the steps below. If you are a U.K. architect seeking licensure in the United States, please check with ARB.

  1. 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
  2. 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. New applicants will be charged an application fee of $3,500 and current Record holders will be charged the remaining balance of the application fee. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.

To learn more about this arrangement and the requirements for NCARB certification, read the Certification Guidelines.