How to become an architect in the USA

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How to become an architect in the USA

If you are an architect in Brazil and want to immigrate to the United States, you should know that there is a possibility of realizing the American dream through your profession. The United States needs qualified professionals, which is why the American government has created special visa categories for those who can contribute to the economic, financial, artistic and social progress of the United States.

How much does an architect earn in the USA?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for an architect in the United States is 96,000 dollars a year. And the states with the highest average annual salaries for architects in the US are: California (112 thousand dollars), Nevada (108 thousand dollars), New Jersey (107 thousand dollars), Massachusetts (106 thousand dollars) and the District of Columbia (116 thousand dollars). 

The best-paid sectors for architects in the United States, also according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, are government construction (105,000 dollars a year) and non-residential construction (97,000 dollars a year).

How to validate your architecture degree in the United States

Unlike in Brazil, there is no single national license for architecture (and many other professions) in the United States. Each state has its own state board, which grants, registers and regulates professional licenses. For the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), each board is responsible for regulating the practice of architecture within its borders and protecting the public health, safety and welfare of its populations. 

To obtain an architectural license in the USA, a foreign architect must:

  • Obtain a foreign degree that qualifies you as an architect, and have that degree recognized and evaluated by The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).
  • Obtain at least 3740 hours of experience as an architect in the United States or provide proof of this experience abroad.
  • Pass The Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®). This exam is required by all American boards of architecture to test the candidate's proficiency in areas of architecture in technical subjects and those related to the health, safety and welfare of the public. 

It's worth noting that a professional license allows you to practice your profession in the United States, but authorization to reside and work (in any profession) in American territory is granted by American immigration. And to reside permanently and work in the United States, you need a Green Card.

But how do you get a green card? 

Your career could be your passport to America!

Many careers are booming in the United States. The shortage of American professionals and the need for qualified people in different fields(health, engineering, construction, business, aviation, science, sports and the arts) make the United States the country that attracts the most talent worldwide.

The "brain drain" phenomenon is growing: more than 20,000 Brazilians obtained their Green Cards in 2022, a record number in Brazil's historical series.

This is because the US government created the EB-1 to EB-5 visa categories through the Immigration Act (1990). These visa categories allow skilled workers from all over the world to obtain permanent residency in the USA (Green Cards) using their professional experience.

And what are the main requirements for obtaining an EB-2 NIW green card, the visa most requested by these professionals?

EB-2 NIW Visa: Requirements

If you are an architect, have more than five years ' professional experience and exceptional or extraordinary skills in your field, you may be eligible for a Green Card

Your exceptional or extraordinary skills are recognized through the quality of your CV, awards and achievements in your career as an architect, in Brazil and/or abroad. 

And, if you are approved for a Green Card under this visa category, your spouse and children under the age of 21 will also be granted their respective Green Cards.

All this without you needing a previous job offer in the United States. 

Am I eligible for a green card?

Want to know if you're eligible for a Green Card? Fill in our form and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. 

Visit our blog for more content on immigration.

Find out which type of US visa is right for you.

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