Candidates with Limited English Proficiency (LEP)
Individuals with LEP are persons who do not speak English as their primary language and have limited ability to read, speak, write or understand English. (See FINRA Information Notice 8/1/12.)
Candidates whose primary language is not English must meet the LEP criteria to be eligible to receive additional time to complete a qualification examination. A FINRA-registered firm or a non-FINRA firm that uses CRD registration must certify that an individual is eligible for LEP in order for a candidate to receive extra time based on the length of the qualification exam. Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam takers must submit a LEP Request Form to FINRA for processing.
|Exam Appointment||Extra Time Allowed|
|up to 2 hours long||30 minutes|
|more than 2 hours long||60 minutes|
How to Request Additional Time
The process for requesting additional time for a qualification exam depends on whether the LEP-eligible candidate is sponsored or unsponsored. SIE exam takers must submit a LEP Request Form to FINRA for processing.
LEP-eligible candidates who are associated with a FINRA-registered firm or a non-FINRA firm that uses CRD to register candidates with other CRD participating regulators must follow certain protocols to be granted extra exam time.
1. Request the applicable exam window.
Open the appropriate enrollment window in Web CRD using the Form-U4 (Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer Form.)
2. Complete and Retain the Hard-Copy LEP Request Form.
LEP-eligible candidates and their firms must continue to complete the hard-copy LEP Request Form retain a copy in their records and produce the form upon regulatory request. You no longer need to send the form to FINRA.
3. Submit Your LEP Request via the Non-Filing Information (NFI) Individual functionality in Web CRD. *Requests for the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam will require form submission.
Firms must submit all LEP requests for additional time using Web CRD. For step-by-step instructions, reference the LEP Request User Guide. SIE exam takers must submit a LEP Request Form to FINRA for processing.
Sponsored SIE exam takers must submit a LEP Request Form directly to FINRA for processing.
4. Schedule an Appointment Immediately After LEP Request
Right after submitting the LEP request through Web CRD, firms can schedule exams.
Sponsored SIE exam takers submitting a LEP Request Form will be notified within 10 business days.
LEP-eligible candidates that are not sponsored by a firm or candidates who are taking the SIE and have enrolled for a qualification exam must follow certain protocols to be granted extra exam time. Unsponsored and SIE requests should allow approximately 10 business days for FINRA to process the LEP Request Form to receive confirmation before scheduling an appointment.
1. Submit a completed LEP Request Form.
The completed LEP Request Form to FINRA's LEP Support Services Team via email (PDF format only) or fax to (202) 689-3487. The request for additional time will apply to all of the exams that are included on the LEP Request Form and have an open enrollment window.
2. Receive a Response to Your Request.
Within 10 days of submission the LEP Request Form will be reviewed and FINRA will provide notification via email either that the initial submission was incomplete and a new, complete form is required; or that the request was complete and has been processed. Once a completed request is processed, FINRA will notify Prometric that the candidate should be provided additional time for LEP to complete the exam.
3. Schedule Exam with Prometric. You’re now ready to schedule your exam appointment. FINRA will notify Prometric that you should be given additional LEP time to complete the exam. You can schedule an appointment online using www.prometric.com/finra or by calling their Contact Center toll free at (800) 578-6273.
Retaking an Exam
If you do not successfully complete an exam and need to retake it, you must submit a new LEP request. For additional details, please review the LEP FAQ.
Test center personnel are not permitted to provide additional time for LEP candidates at their discretion without prior authorization from FINRA.
Any misrepresentations of LEP eligibility may result in a disciplinary action or proceeding against you and/or your firm by the sponsoring organization (i.e. the self-regulatory organization, state or bank regulator), as appropriate.