In a two-year effort led by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), member architects of participating U.S. architectural licensing boards with a current NCARB certificate will now be eligible to earn reciprocal licenses in Australia and New Zealand. In addition, interested architects must have citizenship or lawful permanent residence in home country, a license to practice architecture in a U.S. jurisdiction, completed 6,000 hours of post-licensure work, validation of licensure in good standing from home authority, and licensure in home country not gained through foreign reciprocity.

Signed by the NCARB with the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia and the New Zealand Registered Architects Board, the new Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) went into effect on Jan. 1. As of press time, 29 of 54 architectural licensing boards have accepted the agreement. They are 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, and Wisconsin.

In recent years, both Australia and New Zealand have benefited from construction and economy booms. According to a December Global Times report, New Zealand new-home proposal approvals exceeded 30,000 for the first time in 11 years in 2016, and Australia’s Sunshine Coast approved $1.69 billion of work in new construction. While architects are not named on skill shortage lists in either country, a recent Australian Department of Employment survey declared an architect shortage in the state of Victoria—home to 25 percent of the country’s population and to the country's second largest city, Melbourne.

NCARB certificate-holders can already can pursue licensure in Canada and Mexico.