International CPA Exam

international cpa exam

The privilege of having the letters “CPA” follow your name is powerful, and American citizens have had the ability to earn this privilege domestically for almost one hundred years. Citizens of other countries find the American CPA certification advantageous as well, but until recently, international candidates had to travel to one of the 55 U.S. jurisdictions to gain their certification. Now that the CPA Exam incorporates international testing, the chance to test closer to home provides international CPA Exam candidates with increased opportunities and convenience.

International CPA Exam Administration

The AICPA started offering the CPA Examination outside of the 55 U.S. jurisdictions for the first time in August 2011, and since then, the nations of Brazil, Japan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates have been hosting the exam along with the United States. This change has increased the number of people the AICPA is able to reach.

The ability to sit for the Uniform CPA Examination in Brazil extends to more than just Brazil’s own citizens. In February 2012, when administration of the CPA Exam in Brazil began, citizens and permanent residents of Argentina, Colombia, and Venezuela were also permitted to test, and in 2013, these same permissions were granted to citizens and permanent residents of Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, and Uruguay. In 2017, candidates in the following countries became eligible to sit for the CPA Exam in Brazil:

  • Antigua/Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Cayman Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Grenada
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • St. Kitts/Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent/Grenadines
  • Trinidad & Tobago

Other testing centers have joined Brazil in offering the exam to candidates of nearby countries. Citizens and permanent residents of Egypt, India, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen can now test in Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, and the UAE.

International CPA Exam Format

No matter where they sit for the CPA Exam, all candidates sit for the same CPA Exam. The Uniform CPA Examination is administered in the same computerized format and the same language (English) worldwide, and it also has the same testing windows available (January, February, April, May, July, August, October, and November). The release of the international and the domestic CPA Exam scores follows the same schedule, which our free CPA Exam guide provides.

Though the international CPA Exam also aims to qualify candidates for licensure as a CPA through U.S. state boards of accountancy, not all U.S. State Boards participate in the international administration of the CPA Exam. Non-participating jurisdictions include:

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • South Dakota
  • Virgin Islands

International CPA Exam Requirements

Just like domestic candidates sitting for the CPA Exam, international candidates sitting for the exam must establish their eligibility through a participating jurisdiction and contact the Board of Accountancy or its designee in that jurisdiction in order to apply for the exam. Other steps international CPA Exam candidates must take include:

  • Making a commitment to seek CPA licensure upon passing the CPA exam, and thereafter maintaining their status as licensees to sit for the exam outside the U.S.
  • Meeting citizenship/residency requirements
  • Providing demographic information
  • Paying additional fees

After you determine when and where you will be sitting for the CPA Exam, discover how to prepare to pass the CPA Exam by learning more about Gleim CPA Review!