Mexican Architect looking to work in the US or Canada

What are the chances of finding a job in the US or Canada  without a M.Arch.?

I have a 5 year B.Arch from a accredited Mexican University, and 3 and half-years of work experience in Mexico in diverse fields but mainly working on developing the architectural design and construction documentation.

It's my understanding that as part of NAFTA Treaty I'm elegible for a TN Visa which doesn't require a sponsorship and rather with just a letter with the job offer for a temporary full-time or part-time job from a U.S. or Canadian employer.

 Has anyone here gone through this process, or can anyone offer some advice in the job hunting process as a foreigner? specially in which parts of the country it would be "easier" to get a job.

Any advice is truly appreciated thank you!

Sep 26, 17 11:08 am
JLC-1 this will give you an idea of where it's happening, as for the visa, I don't know.

Sep 26, 17 11:40 am
Non Sequitur

What type of job are you looking for?

I'm sure you can make your way in as a tech or draftsman as long as you are familiar with local codes and construction practices but doubtful you can just toss yourself in as an architect without having those credentials verified.

Sep 26, 17 11:51 am

5 Yr BArch in US is considered a professional qualification.  Are you licensed in Mex as an architect?

I disagree with N-S. You should go for any architectural role that you feel suited for not as 'draftsman'. Good practices need diversity, gender and cultural particularly if they are doing cultural projects. 

What some on Archinect forget, architecture generally requires the same skills from around the world.  I practiced in Mex and people and culture is rich and you will bring this knowledge to a practice.  

Agree with JC, look over Archinect Jobs and you can see what part of the country is busy - my guess west coast. 

Good luck!

Sep 26, 17 12:29 pm
Non Sequitur

I was oversimplifying.


@TED I am a licensed architect in Mexico, quite honestly I'm hoping to get a job as an architectural designer, I feel that would be my ideal position, however, I'm still getting familiar with the different positions offered by US and Canadian architecture practices.


Most practices will spell out the experience they are looking for - will vary greatly so look more at the profile than the title of who you are - when you apply, you might adapt your CV/cover letter engaging the language of competencies - you'll get this from the ad but also the practice website. Highlight experience working with communities or clients as part of the process or perhaps field experience. Although working as a designer, you still need to have a grasp of the stages of design practice/bidding/procurement. Rather than do a mass mailing suggest hone in on one or two and be very focused on details including making certain you put a name on the cover letter not just 'HR'- if you get no reply, try to ring someone in the firm to get feedback.


one thing you can do is get familiar with constructions methods in the us, very different from mexico.


Im an architect registered in Mexico and Member of FCARM (Federation of Collages of Architetcs Republic Mexican) for more than 25 years.

Long time ago when NAFTA begun, Canada, USA and Mexico tried to get an agreement about any architect could work through countries as an architect.This never happended or had happened yet.

 It means that if you are not legally registerd in the country wich you desire to work (AIA or Royal or FCARM) you will not be able to work as main architect.

Neither you can arrive to any country and start as an contractor to build what you design.

As far as I know, and what only we can do, is design what a client ask for and send it.

An example of this, to make myself clear, is Mexico City new airport , wich was design, for both Mexican Architect in asoc Famous Norman Foster & Partners.

But working as an architect is only one option. If we have a particular experience like supervising or managing in construction, we could apply and probably we are more lucky.

Apr 13, 18 4:04 pm
Non Sequitur

That is not entirely correct as the RAIC (Royal, according to you) does not have jurisdiction on architect licenses. You need to go through the CACB if you want reciprocity in Canada.


been using TN for 5 years, yes you can apply for a job to be an architect (not a registered one) but you still can work in every dont need a masters either

Aug 28, 19 4:59 pm

If a client hires me as an architect based on Mx, I can design and the client will need a signature for a permit or just the drawing?

Sep 18, 19 4:08 pm
Non Sequitur

Probably yes.

Note there is a Tri-National Mutual Recognition Agreement between the US, Canada, and Mexico that may qualify you for reciprocal licensure. I don't have any more information than you could find yourself online through NCARB or CONARC, nor do I have any experience with it.

Sep 18, 19 6:06 pm
Non Sequitur

I linked to the Canadian reciprocity in previous post above. Typically requires something like 10y of experience plus application fees.

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