U.S. architects can now earn licenses to practice Down Under

NCARB finalizes reciprocal agreement with Australia and New Zealand.

January 05, 2017 |

Architectural licensure authorities in Australia and New Zealand have agreed to a process through which architects in the U.S. can earn licenses in those countries. More than half of the licensing boards in the U.S. have signed onto this arrangement, which took two years to work out. Pixabay Public Domain

On January 1, architectural licensing authorities in U.S., Australia, and New Zealand entered into a Mutual Recognition Arrangement that enables American architects to earn reciprocal licenses abroad.

Twenty-nine of the 54 licensing boards in the U.S. have accepted this arrangement. These include boards in Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North and South Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington State, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico.

The Washington, D.C.-based National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) spearheaded this arrangement, which required over two years of research and negotiation with the other signatories, the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia and the New Zealand Registered Architects Board. Architects must hold a current NCARB Certificate to be eligible for reciprocity. NCARB has a similar arrangement with Canada.

U.S. and foreign architects who want to earn a license in Australia or New Zealand under this agreement must be present proof of citizenship or permanent residence in their home country, as well as an active license to practice architecture from a U.S. jurisdiction. (That license cannot be gained through foreign reciprocity.)

Prospective licensees must also have at least 6,000 hours (the equivalent of about three years) of post-licensure experience in their home countries.  

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