The U.S. CPA exam will be administered internationally for the first time this August in Japan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates.

The American Institute of CPAs, National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and Prometric announced this change as a response to “rapidly escalating international demand” for U.S. CPA licensure. The number of international candidates traveling to take the exam in 2010 increased 22 percent from the previous year to more than 10,000. Almost one-third came from Japan.

“We are very pleased to be able to offer this program in Japan and several countries in the Middle East,” said Craig Mills, AICPA vice president for examinations and continuing professional education, in a statement. “We believe the international administrations will provide additional opportunities for individuals who want to become U.S. CPAs. As we gain experience in international administrations, we are looking forward to expanding the program to other countries where there is interest.”

The exam will also be administered in these Japan and Middle East locations November 2011 and February and May 2012. The English-language uniform exam and educational and experience requirements will be the same as for U.S. candidates.

Registration for the international exam begins May 1. As state boards have the governmental legal authority to award U.S. CPA licensure, candidates can apply through certain state boards of accountancy that will be offering this international eligibility. The list of participating state boards will be posted on the NASBA website in April.

“Ensuring safe, secure delivery of the CPA exam has always been a priority for us,” said Bill Murtagh, senior vice president of client services and sales at Prometric, in a statement. “Carrying our commitment to security to other key locations around the world will simply be an extension of the diligence we provide in the U.S. to support the integrity of this high-stakes exam.”

All citizens and long-term residents of the countries where exams will be administered will be eligible to take them. Citizens of Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia can sit for the exam in one of the Middle East locations, while U.S. citizens living abroad can test in any location.

The exam will initially be offered internationally for a one-month window per calendar-year quarter. More information is available on the international testing FAQ sheet at the AICPA CPA examination website.