Guidelines for International Candidates

Application Criteria: 


  1. Education: Graduated from a minimum 4-year optometric degree program including teaching to the World Council of Optometry level 3 scope of practice.
  2. Clinical practice: Currently practice to a minimum of WCO level 3 scope of practice. 
  3. Licensing/registration: Attainment of licensure/registration at the highest level permitted by law in countries /jurisdictions where applicable. 
World Council of Optometry level 3 scope of practice includes the broad competencies of: 
  • Management and dispensing of ophthalmic lenses, ophthalmic frames, and other ophthalmic devices that correct defects of the visual system. 
  • Investigation, examination, measurement, recognition, and correction/management of defects of the visual system. 
  • Investigation, examination, and evaluation of the eye and adnexa, and associated systemic factors, to detect, diagnose, and manage disease. 
  • For more information, please view the WCO Global Competency report.

Application Process


The following information and documents are needed to complete your application: 

  1. Completed application form.
  2. Current resume or CV – please include a minimum of past 5 years work history and optometric continuing education courses.
  3. Payment of appropriate fees. 
  4. A copy of your passport information sheet (only pages that have your picture and information).*
  5. Notarized or original copy of optometric certificate, diploma, or degree (translated to English).*
  6. Notarized or original copy of current optometric license or registration where applicable (translated to English).*
  7. If you are not currently practicing in your country of education, a letter from the regulatory body stating that you are eligible to be licensed in the country of your education where applicable.*
  8. Notarized or original copy of diploma, certificate/degree from any other post-secondary/university level educational programs.*
  9. Optometric academic transcripts, notarized or original.*
Applicants from countries at WCO level 3 or higher will only need to submit items 1-6. All others will need to provide items 1-9. Items 1-3 must be submitted through the online candidate portal. All other items denoted with a * must be submitted directly to your subcommittee chair once you have been assigned.

In certain circumstances some educational institutions within a country might meet the registry criteria and some may not. In cases where an applicant believes he/she has graduated from a 4 year program of optometry, trained to a level 3 or higher, and is able to practice at a level 3 or higher may appeal for a special exemption allowing the applicant to provide only items 1-6.

Please see the online Appendix C at the following link for guidance: https://worldcouncilofoptometry.info/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/wco_global_competency_model_2015.pdf.