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Certification of Italian as a Foreign Language 

The Certificates of Italian are titles attesting the degree of communication skills in Italian as a Foreign Language. Potential recipients include foreign citizens, Italian citizens residing abroad (of Italian origin), and foreign immigrants in Italy. 

No previous degree is required to take the exams.

For the administration of the exams through the Italian Culture Institutes, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has signed agreements with the following institutions:

The certification is consistent with the parameters set by the European Union's Framework of Reference for Languages.

 Università per Stranieri di
Università per Stranieri di
Università degli Studi di Roma Tre Dante Alighieri
CELI 4 CILS Tre-C1 ------ PLIDA C1          
CELI 3 CILS Due B2 ------ PLIDA B2
Level B1 Cittadinanza All centers. Required to acquire Italian citizenship only
CELI 1 CILS A2 ------ PLIDA A2
CELI 1 CILS A1 ------ PLIDA A1

^ As of December 4th, 2018 (Italian law No. 132, of December 1, 2018) a requirement for being granted Italian citizenship pursuant to art. 5 and 9 of Law 91/1992, is adequate knowledge of the Italian language. Adequate knowledge is defined to be no less than level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
Fulfillment of this requirement is met by the acquisition of a title/certification issued by an institution of public education/educational institution or a certification issued by an authorized/recognized certifying body.

How to take the exams abroad 
Certification exams can be taken abroad. They are administered by the Italian cultural Institutes or other authorized institutions. In New York, the Italian Cultural Institute offers CILS exams (on behalf of the Università per Stranieri di Siena) twice a year - in the first half of June and in the first half of December of each year. A registration fee is required in order to take the exam.  More information are available at the Universita' per Stranieri di Siena, web site.

Registration with the Italian Cultural Institute

  • The next session will take place on December 3, 2019 (all levels).
  • Registration deadline for the December 3rd session is October 15, 2019.  
  • Applicants must send a filled-out Application Form, a photocopy of an ID (passport or driver's license), and a check or money order for the registration fee corresponding to the level of the exam one wishes to take. Please be aware that personal data (e.g. family name, etc.) on the application form must be completed and match the I.D. 
  • Applications materials must be sent to: Italian Cultural Institute, 686 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10065 and postmarked no later than October 15th, 2019. Checks or money orders should be made payable to Esami CILSIstituto Italiano di Cultura, 686 Park Avenue, New York, NY, 10065.

Important: Please be advised that seats are limited. Acceptance is on a first-come-first-serve basis. Exams take place with a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 20 applicants. If there are fewer than 8 applications, the exam will not take place and the fee(s) will be refunded.

Important information for the December 3, 2019, exam:

  • The test takes place at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, 686 Park Avenue, New York.
  • Candidates are required to arrive by 9:45am for check-in procedures.
  • The exam will start promptly at 10:00am. There will be no late admittance to the test. 
  • The oral section will begin right after the written part (times vary according to levels), with each candidate examined individually for about 10 minutes. The order of examinations will be based on the check-in list. Be advised that, depending on how many people have signed up, there may be a few hours wait before one's turn.
  • Candidates will receive a confirmation email about 10 days before the exam. 

Registration fees:

Level Fee        Fee for each proficiency **
A1 € 50  * ($56.81) € 15  *($17.04)
A2 € 50   *($56.81) € 15  *($17.04)
UNO B1 Cittadinanza € 100 * ($113.62)  
UNO B1 € 100 * ($113.62) € 25 *($28.41)*
DUE B2 € 110  *($124.98) € 27  *($30.68)
TRE C1 € 135  *($153.39) € 35  *($39.77)
QUATTRO C2     € 160  *($181.79)     € 35  *($39.77)

* current amount in $ according to applicable rate exchange 
** Applicable to test(s) not passed in a previous exam.

Fees are in Euro. For registration to exams administered by the Italian Cultural Institute of New York, applicants should refer to the Consular exchange rate of 1 Euro = 1,1362 USD and send a check in dollars for the amount calculated on the basis of the same exchange rate. Registration fees are NOT refunded unless the session is canceled due to the lack of a sufficient number of applications. In case of serious and properly proven reason (health, family, work, study, etc.) students who were unable to take the exam may transfer the paid fee to the next session of exams.

Applicants can access the result of their exam on the website of the Università di Siena (, by keying in their "numero di matricola" and their date of birth. It is also possible to access the result by sending a written request to the Italian Cultural Institute of New York.