CPA Examination Administration FAQs (International) 

Published March 11, 2017

What is international testing?

International testing for the Uniform CPA Examination allows individuals from select countries outside the United States to pursue the U.S. CPA license through administration in selected countries. The AICPA, NASBA and Prometric provide the same services as they do for the domestic program, so that the Examination and the licensure process will be the same for international examinees as it is for examinees within U.S. jurisdictions.

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When is international testing offered?

Examination testing is administered the same as for domestic candidates. The Examination is offered for at least the first two months of each calendar year.

  • January 1 - March 10
  • April 1 - May 31*
  • July 1 - September 10
  • October 1 - December 10
*Testing closes on May 31, 2017 due to the launch of an updated version of the Examination.

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What are the international locations?

The Examination is offered at selected Prometric testing centers in Bahrain, Brazil, Japan, Kuwait, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Additional information, including specific locations and schedules, is posted on the AICPA Examination web page as information becomes available.

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What were the criteria used to select the international testing locations?

The international locations have been evaluated based on a set of criteria, including:

  • Volume demand as demonstrated by candidates from those countries taking the Examination in the United States
  • Ability to deliver the Examination without legal obstacles
  • Security threat to the Examination (both physical security at test center and intellectual property security of Examination content) assessed at levels equivalent to those presented domestically
  • Existence of established Prometric test centers

At this time, countries that have not met those criteria to the combined satisfaction of NASBA, the AICPA and Prometric are not under consideration as testing locations. While we appreciate the desire for the Examination to be available in many locations, we can best serve the state boards of accountancy and the accounting profession by ensuring a safe, reliable and valid Examination.

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What must candidates do to be able to apply to take the Examination in an international location?

In order to qualify to take the Examination outside the U.S., candidates will have to first establish their eligibility through application to a state board participating in the International CPA Examination Administration Program. For specific instructions on how to apply to take the Examination, please visit the NASBA website.

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Once a candidate has applied to take the Examination, what is the registration process for testing in an international location?

International testing requires some additional procedural steps that you will be required to follow. For specific information on the international registration process, please visit the International Section of the NASBA website. In addition, candidates electing to sit in an international location will be required to:

  • Make a commitment to seek CPA licensure upon passing the Examination, and thereafter maintain their status as licensees
  • Meet citizenship/residency requirements
  • Provide demographic information
  • Pay additional fees

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Once a candidate has registered to test in an international location, how can he or she schedule their Examination at an international testing location?

Once a candidate has completed the international registration process, the next step is to contact or visit the Prometric website to schedule the Examination in an international location.

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What are the fees for international testing?

An additional fee per section is required, and is non-refundable. Please refer to NASBA’s website for a breakdown of these fees.

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Who is eligible to take the Examination at an international location?

U.S. citizens and permanent residents living abroad, and citizens and long-term residents* of the countries in which the Exam will be administered may sit for the Examination internationally, with some exceptions in the Middle East. Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Citizens, permanent residents and long-term residents of the selected testing countries can sit for the Examination in their country of residence (proof of long-term residency status, a work visa or a student visa will be required on the day(s) you take the Examination).
  • Those on short-term tourist or transit visas cannot sit for the Examination internationally, but are still welcome to sit for the Examination in the U.S.
  • Citizens, permanent residents and long-term residents of Egypt, India , Jordan, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen may sit for the Examination in Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon and the UAE.
  • Citizens and long-term residents of Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuala may sit for the Examination in Brazil.

* "Long-term" refers to the categories of residency that include non-citizens residing in testing countries for the purpose of work, study or governmental assignment, or as dependents of citizens or long-term residents.

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I’m a resident of an international testing country but don’t have a passport. Can I sit for the Examination?

No. All candidates, including U.S. citizens living abroad, must present their passport as their primary identification.

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I am a citizen of a non-testing country. I have been granted eligibility by a state board of accountancy to sit for the Examination, yet according to your policy, I am unable to test internationally and must travel to the United States. If I’m eligible, why can’t I test anywhere I want to?

With regard to citizenship and residency requirements for testing, the AICPA, NASBA and Prometric must operate testing centers under the strictest of security measures, guarantee data integrity and security, and protect candidates’ privacy. The three Examination partners decided that citizenship and residency requirements, and the integrity of certain kinds of proof of identification, provide a needed layer of security and allow us to better serve Examination candidates.

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Many people from my country travel to the U.S. to take the Examination. Why haven’t you opened a test center here?

The number of candidates in a particular geography is only one of the criteria used to determine the international locations for the Examination. We chose the current countries based on the above criteria (see question 4). We decided to focus on a small number of countries and expand slowly so that we can gauge success and ensure that all candidates are given the same opportunity to receive a thorough and fair Examination, no matter where they test. It is also worth noting that at this time, there is no specified timeframe for expanding the program beyond the current countries.

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Where can a candidate of a non-participating jurisdiction take the test?

If you register through a non-participating jurisdiction, you may take the test only at approved testing centers in the U.S., Guam, Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands. Please check with NASBA to see if your jurisdiction is participating in the international administration program.

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Where can I apply for International testing?

Please refer to NASBA’s website for an updated list of participating state boards of accountancy.

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Can I use my International Notice to Schedule (NTS) to schedule at a U.S. test site?

No. Once an NTS is obtained for one of the international testing centers, it cannot be interchanged with an NTS for any of the U.S. testing centers. You would have to notify NASBA to change back to a domestic NTS.

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Can I apply for a refund or an extension of my present NTS in order to schedule at one of the International test sites?

There is no provision for withdrawing from the Examination and/or requesting an extension of your current NTS. Application and/or examination fees are not refundable. If your NTS expires prior to taking the Examination section, or you miss a scheduled testing appointment, you will not be able to reschedule or receive a refund on any of the fees paid. You will have to reapply for the examination and pay the appropriate application/registration and Examination fees.

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If I test internationally, when will I get my scores?

Scores for international and domestic candidates are released on the same timeline. For score release timelines, please visit the Examination Scoring section.

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Where can I find additional information and when will it be available?

Information and updates about international testing will be posted to the AICPA Examination web page as more information becomes available. Candidates should visit the NASBA website for the most current information about Examination eligibility and the application process.

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Do you know of any companies or schools in my country that can help me prepare for the Examination?

The AICPA, NASBA, and Prometric neither endorse, nor support, any third party review course providers. It is strongly recommended that you review the resources available on the AICPA Examination web page, read the Candidate Bulletin, study the content areas in the Examination Blueprints and take the sample test and tutorials before taking the Examination.

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My question hasn’t been answered. What can I do?

For eligibility, scheduling or pricing inquiries, please contact NASBA at iexam@nasba.org. For all other inquiries, please contact the AICPA at cpaexam@aicpa.org

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