Are you an internationally trained optometrist looking to practice in Canada? ASOPP offers an educational path for those who have completed their optometry training outside North America and want to obtain a license to practice in Canada. The Advanced Permanent Optometry Preparatory Program (ASOPP) at the University of Waterloo is the first step in this process. The application process includes attending an orientation session and passing a jurisprudence exam. This is an open book exam, and the College can provide printed study material upon request.
It is important to notify the University if any information on the application changes, as applications are valid for one year from the date of submission. The University reviews all registration documents to ensure compliance with the current regulatory scheme and records and archives them according to established policies and practices. The original documents remain the property of the College. The College's mandate is to serve and protect all residents of British Columbia by ensuring that regulated optometrists provide qualified, safe and ethical care to their patients.
Optometrists differ from opticians, who are licensed to dispense eyeglasses, contact lenses, and other vision devices, and from ophthalmologists, who are doctors who specialize in all aspects of eye care. Optometrists are primary care providers who specialize in examining people's eyes to diagnose vision problems and eye diseases. Most optometrists work in general medicine, but some specialize in eye care for children, the elderly, sports vision, or working with people with partial vision. If an optometrist finds evidence of a disease such as diabetes or high blood pressure during an examination, they refer the patient to another health professional. Optometrists are in demand across Canada, and you may be able to obtain a Canadian permanent resident visa with or without a job offer. The Express Entry process requires a job offer for foreign workers to move to Canada, but as an optometrist you also have other options available.
The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program allows intermediate to upper-level semi-qualified foreign workers to move to the Atlantic provinces of Canada. Since there is a great need for optometrists in all four Atlantic provinces, you can apply if you have a job offer valid for at least one year. Optometrists examine patients' eyes using any method (other than surgery) to diagnose abnormal eye conditions. They also prescribe corrective lenses that adjust the rays of light that enter the eye so that patients can see objects near and far as with equal clarity. Optometrist jobs in Canada tend to be better paid than in the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia, and Canadian employment law respects work-life balance. Upon graduation, most optometrists work as associates in an existing office before buying as partners, buying another office, or establishing a new office.