Total CPA Cost for International Candidates

cpa cost for international candidates

Sumit is our CPA exam blogger from India. He writes for us every Monday.

Folks – Thank you for visiting my Blog page.

We are now clear with the benefits of being a qualified CPA. It is important to note the total CPA cost for international candidates which will be incurred on this qualification. There are defined steps which needs to be followed. Everything is USD.

1. Eligibility check

This is the first step in the CPA journey which is to get your eligibility check done. It is essential to know if an individual is eligible to sit for the CPA exams.

I got my Graduation and Post-Graduation mark sheet attested from my respective universities. They charged me $27 for getting my mark sheet attested. It totally depends on your university, some of them don’t even charge anything.

After getting my mark sheet attested, I sent the relevant documents – attested mark sheets, Identity proof, copy of Payment receipt to NASBA. I opted for a decided board option and paid $20ofor the same. Those who are not sure about their credit hours they should select undecided board option which will cost $300.

Summary of Fees

  • Decided Board – $200
  • Undecided Board – $300

2. Registration Fees

It is required to register for the course and it depends on the center and the cost varies from $30 to $200.

3. Examination Fees

Description of the exam fees is as follows which might vary from state to state. International students need to pay additional fees apart from the above if they sit for the exam outside the US.

US Exam Sites Non-US Exam Sites*
  • AUD : $193.45
  • BEC : $173.60
  • FAR : $193.45
  • REG : $173.60
  • AUD : $302.97
  • BEC : $327.49
  • FAR : $307.97
  • REG : $327.49

* If an individual who plans to sit for the exam outside US then he will have to apply for the CPA License within 3 years after passing all the exams and have to pay additional exam fees as mentioned above.

4. Study Material

I hired a coach who trains me and provide the study material as well. I have paid $750 for all the 4 subjects. There are other alternates available in the market such as:

Review courses (videos lecture, MCQs, coaching)up to $3,000

Books (all 4 subjects) – $30

5.  Traveling and Accommodation

For international candidates traveling from their place to the US or other member centers is a costly affair.


Before that we need to apply for the visa which costs $160 (US visa for Indian citizen) and the cost varies from country to country.

Flight Tickets

The flight ticket from India to US (New York) costs $1,800 – to and fro from India.

Accommodation, Traveling and Food

It will cost $500 approx. for 5 days.

6. License Fees

After passing all the exams one needs to pay up to $300 for getting a license. The cost may vary from state to state.

7.    Miscellaneous

Few states require an ethics exams after passing all the 4 CPA exams and the cost for that does not exceed to $150.


I am from India and will be giving exams in the US. I will be spending around $4,030 if I clear my exams in 1st attempt. I have a friend there in the US and will be staying at his place. So I have excluded food and accommodation cost from my budget.

Please visit NASBA website for detailed information –

Watch out for the next Blog which will talk about “MBA vs CPA”

Note from Stephanie

Sumit, this is a useful post for international candidates and a great supplement to my original article on CPA exam expense breakdown. While some costs vary depending on where you come from, this is an accurate estimate for those who apply for the exam from outside of the US.


About the Author Sumit G

Hello, I am Sumit, an Audit Senior at KPMG Global Services in India. We serve Channel Islands team (UK) in their Auditing tasks. I have an MBA in Finance and I plan to start my CPA Journey in January 2016.

  • Shobhit Jain says:

    I will be starting my CPA journey in 2016 and aiming to appear for examination in Dec 2016.
    Keep posted……….

  • Moid Raza says:

    Dear Sumit,

    I would like to highlight that the costs you are mentioning are based on your experience only. As you may know most of the Indian auditors are CAs, not MBAs, thus they would face issue for the credit hours, for which they still need to get certain courses done in order to be eligible for the exam, which will cost eventually.

    One of the most important point missed for Indian Candidates is the fact that they can give the exam in Middle East and do not need to go to US for the exam. The link is below.

    Going and giving exams in Middle East is much cheaper then in US.

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Thanks Moid, that’s right. It’s quite a bit more if candidates need to take extra courses to fulfill the exam requirements.

      I believe what Sumit listed out is the additional cost for the non-US exam sites. Regards, Stephanie

    • Sumit G says:

      Hi Moid

      Thanks for the message.

      You are right on your part. There are few key points – there is 1 board which gives an exemption to CAs. There are few CA’s in my batch and they are pursuing CPA.

      Also with regards to cost for international students, there are few things to note –
      1. Exam fees – If an individual plans to sit for the exam in Dubai then he has to pay more amount, for ex Audit exam cost will be – 302.97 USD plus 193.45 USD which is 497 USD.

      Regardless of which Board of Accountancy has declared you eligible for the Exam, in addition to paying any domestic testing fees, you must pay additional fees for each Exam section you plan to take internationally.

      Those fees per Exam section are:

      Auditing and Attestation (AUD) $307.97
      Business Environment and Concepts (BEC) $327.49
      Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) $307.97
      Regulation (REG) $327.49

      2. License clause – There is 3 year clause in which after completing all 4 exams, one has to apply for license within 3 years. If you miss the deadline then your certificate will be considered as null or void.

      All the best for your CPA.


      • shilpi says:

        hi my husband is indian ca….so will cpa will be difficult fr him??….will it require lots to study?

        • Stephanie Ng says:

          Hi Shilpi, it’s hard to tell because even among CAs, the education background and ability can be quite different. Very roughly speaking, he should expect putting 300-400 hours to study. Regards, Stephanie

  • Ronak says:

    hi sumit,
    i am graduate with 53 % and cleared ICWAI.
    also i have 4 years of experience.
    would you please tell mine eligibility.


    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Ronak, I will let Sumit give you his opinion, but for background info please refer to this page:

      • Sumit says:

        Hi Ronak,

        Thanks for the post. There are few centers which considers less than 150 credit hours. It will be best if you can do MBA from correspondence which will help you earn more credit hours. You need to get the evaluation formalities done. Connect with NASBA, Select undecided board while filling details online on NASBA website –
        Let me know if you need any other information

        Best wishes

        • Ronak says:

          thanks sumit ,
          continue providing your guidance.


          • Satish says:

            Hello Sumit,

            My Name is Satish Iyer. I am from India.

            I wish to become a CPA too.

            I have done my Masters in Commerce and also completed my Chartered Accountancy (Professional Education II) level, also known as CA (Intermediate).

            I have completed Certified Equity Professional (Level 1) from Santa Clara University, California with 72%.

            I am currently living and working in California on H1B visa.

            I have done my articleship for 3 years in India in a CA Firm.

            I also have work experience in IT industry (under Oracle JD edwards Finance domain) of more than 5 years.

            Since I have completed my Masters in Commerce and I have 3 years of experience in working in a Indian CA firm, am I eligible to apply for US CPA in California?

            Please let me know further steps in completing my Degree and Credit hours evaluation process.


            Satish Iyer

    • Ronak says:

      i searched all but i still not get that A COST ACCOUNTANT is ELEGIBLE for CPA,

      NOT talking about CA

      • Bhairavi Agnihotri says:

        Hi Ronak, Its the 150 credit hours educational requirment that is must in most of the states to be eligible for enrolling in the CPA exam.Some states also take 120 credit hours. I am not sure if the Indian cost accountancy degree will be considered to fullfill education requirment of 150 credit hours. You need to inquire with NASBA.

  • Archie says:

    Hi Sumit,

    I am Indian residing in St. Maarten, one of the Caribbean islands, Have finished Post Graduation – M.Com from India, Are any credit hours considered for M.Com for CPA.


  • Kuldeep Kachhwal says:

    Dear Sumit,

    I came to understand from above discussion that I need to pay additional exam fees if I will appear from Dubai. Please let me know how much extra fees need to be paid for all 4 exams for this location.
    I am qualified CA cum CS, please let me know whether I should disclose CS also. Moreover, I have not applied for CS membership yet.

  • Darryl says:

    Hi Sumit,

    Could you help me with a private tutor as I have read your article and you mentioned that you invoked a private coach. Basically I live in Mumbai and am looking for someone who can guide me with the CPA however I am unable to find any private tutor.

    Would be waiting for your response!

    Thank You.

  • GG says:

    Hi sumit,
    1.I have an mcom (correspondence) and bcom (regular). So do i fulfill the 16 years regulation criteria.?
    2. Is it necessary I need to join some coaching centre to carry out all verification process and studies. Can i do this on my own. I have a friend who is giving me the latest books 2016 version(Wiley)…is it ok to use them?
    3. I have appeared for my CA final and work for a big 5. So I need to provide these details.?
    4. I would like to start preparing now…since i am working…And considering other factors…I would like to appear in apr/may 2017…say weekend 4/5 hours…will it suffice?

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hello, Sumit doesn’t check the comment section often, but you can use the Wiley books given it is updated. But I suggest that you get a set of online test prep because this exam isn’t just about knowing the materials, but also on knowing the exam taking strategies. The US exams are quite different from the Indian system. Regards, Stephanie

  • Swati says:

    Hi Sumit/ Stephanie,

    I am from Delhi. I am enrolling for CPA in this year, but I am confused for which institute is better for the study material and every other thing. Most of the people are suggesting me for Becker only, but as I was checking the comparison, roger is better than Becker. Please suggest.


  • raghu nair says:

    Hi I am an Engineer from India and an MBA from Univ of Florida. Have completed FRM certification and cleared 3 levels exam and in process of getting CFA as well. I will travel to US on H1b next week. I currentky work in IT in an accounting control function.
    so based on above how manny accounting courses would I need to take in USA to be eligible to sit fir exam.?

  • Jakir Hussain Laskar says:

    Dear Sumit,

    I have MS in Finance, before that I have B.Com (H.) in Accounting & Finance. I want to know some information, I have working experiences around 4-5 years. Is it possible to attemt CPA in the age 32 years? Please let me know, thanks

  • Swati says:

    Hi, can you give an idea as to what a fresher CPA can earn in India, without a CA degree?

    • Stephanie Ng says:

      Hi Swati, sorry, I don’t have the information, but you should be able to get a general idea from the Indian online job search website (search for companies requiring CPA in your area, and how much they are willing to pay).

  • Boef says:

    Do I understand correctly that it wasn’t necessary for you to translate your documents (e.g. degrees, course descriptions etc…)

  • Athira says:

    I have a question. I am from India and want to pursue CPA. My question is , is it possible to apply for CPA and right the exams while doing as a correspondence to meet the eligibility criteria?
    I have a degree in and thats it. Now that i want to pursue CPA, is it possible to do as a correspondence, study CPA and work at the same tim ?? Is that humanly possible ??

  • Pavan says:

    Hi, there is a point saying “If an individual who plans to sit for the exam outside US then he will have to apply for the CPA License within 3 years after passing all the exams”. How will this change if I choose to write two exams in Dubai and two in US?

  • Ayush Jajodia says:

    My name is Ayush..
    I am currently studying in class 12. Is there any minimum pass pecentage in the board result to apply for the exam??
    And what are the other requirements for the exam??

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