New Agreement Allows U.S. Architects to Earn Reciprocal Licenses in Australia and New Zealand

For U.S. architects, working abroad will now be easier than ever, as the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has announced a new mutual recognition arrangement with the licensing authorities of Australia and New Zealand. Effective as of January 1, 2017, the agreement allows architects to earn reciprocal licenses that authorize architects to work in the two countries.

“The arrangement is an exciting opportunity for architects seeking to expand their careers internationally,” said NCARB President Kristine Harding, NCARB, AIA. “NCARB Certificate holders have been able to pursue licensure in Canada and Mexico for some time, and this arrangement represents a significant step in providing additional benefits to these architects.”

So far, 29 of the 54 U.S. state and regional licensing boards have accepted the arrangement:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

This arrangement is the result of over two years of research and negotiation conducted by a special NCARB evaluation team, who determined the path to licensure in Australia and New Zealand mirrors that of U.S. requirements, with emphasis of the three pillars of accredited education, structured experience, and comprehensive examination. The agreement was signed by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia and the New Zealand Registered Architects Board.

Similar to the agreement with Canada, U.S. and foreign architects hoping to work in Austalia and New Zealand must meet the following requirements:

  • Citizenship or lawful permanent residence in the home country
  • An active NCARB Certificate
  • A license to practice architecture from a U.S. jurisdiction that has signed the arrangement
  • 6,000 hours (approximately three years) of post-licensure experience in the home country
  • Validation of licensure in good standing from the home authority
  • Licensure in the home country not gained through foreign reciprocity

For more information about the new Mutual Recognition Arrangement and to inquire about earning a license to practice architecture abroad, visit

News via NCARB.

About this author
Cite: Patrick Lynch. "New Agreement Allows U.S. Architects to Earn Reciprocal Licenses in Australia and New Zealand" 05 Jan 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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