EESA VS Foreign Architect Path


I am a Licensed and experienced Architect from India currently in US, working with NCARB to get my license in US.

1. How big of a deal is it to transfer India License to US? 

2. Has anyone experienced the process?  

3. If I change the path, will I need more education? 

4. Should I try for the Foreign Architect Path instead? Will it be faster? 

When I started the process, a year ago I was only eligible for Foreign Educated Path and have 35 credits short, 30 of which are in Liberal Arts. 

NCARB changed their guidelines for Foreign Architect Path and I'm now eligible for it. Should I change path now? I haven't started gaining my credits yet. 

Nov 24, 21 12:48 pm
Supriya Singh


I live/work in California and started the foreign architect path process last year in April & I am still working on it.

Per NCARB, If you currently hold an active license to practice architecture outside of the United States, NCARB offers the Foreign Architect Path to Certification. This path allows foreign architects to pursue an NCARBCertificate by meeting U.S. experience and examination requirements to obtain an initial license in a U.S. jurisdiction that will accept an NCARB Certificate issued through the Foreign Architect Path.

To begin this process, NCARB needs to verify that you have an active foreign license and degree that meets the requirements of this program.

Please review the Foreign Architect Path to Certification Documentation Checklist, on NCARB website which outlines the application process and required documents. The checklist also outlines how official documents should be sent and who should send official documents to NCARB.

Step 1: Confirm Jurisdiction - Confirm registration requirements in the specific U.S. jurisdiction where you seek licensure, and confirm that they will accept an NCARB Certificate issued through the Foreign Architect Path to Certification.

Step 2:  Indicate Interest in the Foreign Architect Path - To express interest in the foreign architect path, you must enter your foreign registration number under the “Registration” tab of your NCARB Record. You will then receive a message in the overview screen of your NCARB Record to indicate interest in the foreign architect path to certification.

Step 4: Complete Eligibility Forms – NCARB requires a Credential Verification Form and official transcripts to verify eligibility for this path to certification. You can Download the Credential Verification Form from NCARB website and complete Part A. The credentialing authority (COA, India in our case) must then complete part B and submit the final form directly to NCARB. 
You may use the Transcript Request Form to ask your school to send the form with your official transcript directly to NCARB. If your school does not issue the transcript in English, please ask your school to send the form and the transcript to a translation service. The translation service should send the form, the official transcript, and the translation directly to NCARB. The translator must include confirmation that the transcript was sent from the university, in the university’s original sealed envelope. The translator's statement must also confirm that the translation was completed using the original sealed document.

Please note that academic transcripts must include:

• Applicant’s name

• School name

• Attendance dates

• Courses taken and grades

• Degree title and degree completion date (if transcript does not include degree title or date, the university must provide an official letter or statement with the requested information)

Transcripts can be sent to the mailing address below or to If sent by email, please ask the sender to include your NCARB Record # and name in the subject of the email.

Here’s the problem with foreign architect path. The Council of Architecture in India registration requirement stipulates that in order to be registered in India, architects must be residents of India, thus their registration is revoked upon notifying the registration board that they’re seeking to practice outside of India.

The Foreign Architect Path to Certification requires all applicants to have a license to practice architecture in their country and to maintain their foreign license until they become registered as an architect in the United States within one year of gaining NCARB certification. NCARB needs to verify that your architecture license is active and in good standing at the beginning and also at the completion of the certification program, which will require a Credential Verification Form. If the Council of Architecture in India revokes your architecture license based on their current registration requirements and are unable to provide an updated form indicating that your license is active and in good standing at the completion of this program, you will no longer qualify for the Foreign Architect Path to Certification due to an inactive license in your country. It’s extremely complicated. 

If you would still like to follow Foreign Architect Path, this is what I suggest. Send an email to COA registrar explaining your situation & set up an appointment (in person is always better) to surrender your certificate and have a face to face discussion regarding this whole foreign architect path situation. Fill up credential verification form and request them to send a completed form to NCARB directly. If they agree to help you then it would be great. All the very best! 

Mar 17, 22 4:27 am  · 
Supriya Singh

One more thing. There’s no such thing as transfer of license from India to USA. If you do decide to follow foreign architect path and do manage receive certification of eligibility from NCARB, you will still need to pass all registration exams within the CVF eligibility period. CVF (credential verification form) remains eligible only for a year. If COA will issue a form today, it will have an expiration date of 12/31/22. 

Mar 17, 22 4:33 am  · 
1  · 

Can any of you HELP me with the same situation

Please contact me

Dec 11, 22 8:41 pm  · 

Question: Can you work in the US without the license but with an architecture degree from a college? For example as a junior architect for a firm. 

Jan 30, 23 6:46 pm  · 

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