Australia and New Zealand

In order to emigrate to New Zealand or Australia applicants should use the ANZSCO Standard Occupational Classification. The most ‘relevant' professions on the list include:
312199 Architectural, Building and Surveying Technicians 
312111 Architectural Draftsperson
312113 Building Inspector

These occupations are listed at Skills level 2 which is the UK eqivalent to a Foundation degree or the first 2 years of a Bachelor degree. This type of role would be at the level of the professionally qualified Architectural Technician. CIAT is lobbying to have Chartered Architectural Technologist at Skills level 1, in line with architects and surveyors.

In New Zealand it is now necessary to become a Licensed Building Practitioner. This scheme helps to ensure that those working in the construction industry are competent and accountable, so that homes and buildings are designed and built right the first time. Experience as an Architectural Technologist will go some way to assisting with an application, although there is no direct entry for MCIATs. (dbh.govt.nz/lbp-faqs-scheme). 

Other useful links
Building Code in New Zealand
Information on the Construction industry in Australia
Immigration to New Zealand ‘info sheet’


USA and Canada

CIAT also has a Memorandum of Agreement with the Association of Architectural Technologists, (AATO) in Ontario, Canada. As a self regulating professional Association, the AATO’s functions are to:

  • Provide Architectural Technologists within the province with an Association which advances profession, increases their professional knowledge, skill and grants them Accreditation with the Province of Ontario.
  • Foster the attainment of quality and competence in the field of Architectural Technology.
  • Encourage continual upgrading to remain current with constantly changing technology.
  • Establish, maintain and enforce strict rules of ethical conduct for the members of the Association in the field of Architectural Technology.
  • Inform the public in a suitable and ethical manner of the purpose and aims of the Association.
  • Promote a harmonious relationship among members in order to stimulate the development of the Association and enhance its public reputation.

As stated previously, in Canada, The Association of Architectural Technologists, Ontario (AATO) will recognise Chartered Architectural Technologists that are Canadian citizens on successful completion of a multiple choice examination on the subject of Ontarian building regulations. 

If you are a British citizen it is very difficult to get permission to live or work in the USA. In many cases, it is easier to immigrate to Canada and become a Canadian citizen. Citizenship takes approximately two years after you have lived there continuously for approximately three years. (Information changes rapidly so check with the Embassy at the time of application). Immigration to Canada is through a points system and CIAT membership may assist in the 'employment' part of the form. (Learning to speak French may help attain more points). If you haven't quite got enough points they will interview you for 'suitability'. They will not accept your application if you have a criminal record.

Process No.1: To work for someone else in the USA.
Under NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), Mexican and Canadian citizens are permitted to get a 'work visa' in the USA. A 'work visa' is not a green card or US citizenship, it allows you to work for someone else's company in the US and live there while you do. For a 'green card' which may lead to US citizenship you need a H1B visa, but you also need a job before you can apply. 

You may try to find employment with an UK based international practice who can arrange a transfer to a US based office, and subsequently apply and qualify for a green card.

Process No.2: To run your own business in the USA.
It may be necessary to maintain a parent company in the UK then send yourself to work for the subsidiary company in the US. There are a lot of criteria to comply with and you will need an immigration lawyer to handle the paperwork.

Process No.3: To run your own business in the USA.
To start your own business in the USA to employ a prescribed number of the local workforce, you have to enter the country with a certain amount of money available to you.  Details change all the time so check this information regularly.


China

Chinese professionals recognise the credibility of CIAT, given its Royal Chartered status. However the concept of Architectural Technology is not clearly understood in terms of how the discipline of Architectural Technology fits into, or differentiates from the current professions and qualifications in China. 

‘Architectural technologies’ are well implemented in the China market. These range from residential, commercial and industrial buildings to world-class construction projects such as the National Stadium in Beijing (the Bird's Nest) and the Shanghai Centre. However, the concept of Architectural Technology as an academic subject or profession is not well recognised in mainland China as it is a relatively new concept.

However it is generally accepted by Chinese professionals that many foreign organisations are leaders in development and hold the standard in certain sectors. 

In China, academic qualifications are mainly managed by the Ministry of Education (and its subsidiaries at provincial and city level), and the Higher Degree Committee of the State Council. 

The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) is the main government body in charge of professional qualifications in the architecture and construction sector. MOHURD is also responsible for drafting policies, laws, and development plans related to city, village, and town planning and construction, the building industry, and municipal works. MOHURD was formed from the Ministry of Construction (MOC) in the State Council reorganisation in 2007-08. 


Qualifications recognised by MOHURD

Certified Architect 
The official architect certificate in China has two levels (see below). Each requires certain academic qualification and relevant work experience before the applicant is eligible to sit examinations that are managed by MOHURD. 

Level 2: requires 2 years relevant work experience for Bachelor or higher level degree holders in Architecture; or 3 years relevant working experience for college graduates. 

Level 1: requires 2 years relevant work experience for Masters or higher level degree holders in Architecture; or 3 years relevant working experience for Bachelor level degree holders. 

If the applicant does not study Architecture or a relevant degree, or the level does not match the requirement listed above, more work experience is required. 

Certified Structural Engineer 
There are also two levels in this area, with certain academic qualifications and relevant work experience required before the applicant is eligible to sit examinations managed by MOHURD. 

Level 2: requires 2 years relevant work experience for Bachelor or higher level degree holders in Civil Engineering or relevant disciplines; or 3 years relevant work experience for college graduates.

Level 1: requires 4 years relevant work experience for Masters or higher level degree holders in Architecture, or 5 years relevant work experience for Bachelor level degree holders. Again, if the applicant does not study Architecture or a relevant degree, or the level does not match the requirement listed above, more work experience is required.