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Frequently asked questions on RIBA membership and Brexit

This briefing outlines responses to questions we have been asked by current and prospective members.
  • today 04 January 2021
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The RIBA is a global professional membership body with members from over 115 countries around the world. The UK leaving the EU does not affect our membership criteria or our position as an inclusive membership body and we are delighted to have such a diverse membership from around the world.

This briefing outlines responses to frequently asked questions we have been asked by current and prospective members. If you have any questions about RIBA membership that are not covered here or want to discuss your current or future membership of the RIBA please email or call +44(0)20 7307 3686.

I am a non British EU citizen: can I still join the RIBA?

Yes, we would be delighted to welcome you as a member. We are an inclusive global professional membership body and we welcome architects who have qualified from around the world, students of architecture and built environment co-professionals. If you would like to talk to someone about joining the RIBA, please contact or call +44(0)20 7307 3686.

As a non British EU citizen, what are the implications of Brexit on my RIBA membership now and in the future?

The UK’s departure from the EU does not affect our membership criteria, or the status of an individuals’ membership. Non British EU citizens will continue to enjoy the same membership rights as British members and as they did before the UK left the EU.

What will happen to my membership if I decide to move back to Europe?

We are committed to supporting our members wherever they are in the world and you will continue to be able to enjoy the benefits of membership.

Now that the UK has left the EU, will the RIBA change the eligibility criteria for architects who qualified in mainland Europe?

There are no plans to do so currently. However, architects in both the UK and EU were clear about the need for a continued agreement on recognition of professional qualifications, and it is concerning that this is not part of the deal as it stands.

RIBA continues to base eligibility for Chartered Membership on the Architects Registration Board (ARB) requirements, with the additional stipulation of two years' professional practical experience for RIBA Chartered Membership.

From 1 January 2021 the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive (MRPQD), which sets out how ARB should recognise European qualifications for the purposes of registration in the UK, no longer applies. However, interim arrangements have been put in place.

Read the ARB’s initial guidance and FAQs.

How will the interim system of recognition from 1 January 2021 work?

Under the interim system of recognition the ARB and RIBA are relying on a ‘frozen’ version of Annex V.7.1 of the MRPQD for registration purposes, as it existed at 11pm on 31 December 2020. The most recent version of the Annex, and the one which we will therefore rely on, was published by the European Commission in February 2020.

I hold qualifications listed in Annex V.7.1 of the MRPQD. What will the changes mean for me?

Those who hold qualifications that were listed in Annex V.7.1 prior to 11pm on 31 December 2020 have access to the profession in the state that the qualification was issued. If you also have the two years' professional practical experience required, you will still be able to join the RIBA as a Chartered Member.

Should I wait until there is more information about my right to live and work in the UK before applying for RIBA membership?

There is no need to, and we would encourage you to contact or call +44(0)20 7307 3686 to discuss applying as soon as you are ready.

RIBA is committed to being an inclusive global membership body. We are the voice and advocate for our members from over 115 countries around the world. We work with and lobby government to champion the value that an architect brings and to achieve change to help our members engage with the challenges and opportunities of a changing world.

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