In accordance with the Charter of the French Language, the Ordre des optometrists du Québec may only issue a permit to practice optometry to individuals who have appropriate knowledge of French. Generally speaking, individuals who have completed their secondary and postsecondary education in French are, under certain conditions, presumed to have appropriate knowledge and may be issued a regular permit to practice. Otherwise, only a temporary permit to practice (valid for one year, but renewable) may be issued.
The conditions for renewing a temporary permit are the following:
- A temporary permit may be renewed only three times, with the authorization of the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF).
- The OQLF grants authorization only if it feels that the public interest warrants it (letter from an employer in Quebec in support of the candidate).
- Candidates may only apply for a renewal if they have sat for the examinations held by the OQLF, before their permit expires.
Candidates who pass the French examination and gain authorization from the OQLF are issued a regular optometry permit by the Order. Information on the French courses offered to candidates is available on the OQLF Web site.