EU or EEA nationals

EU and EEA nationals wishing to practise in the UK should apply to register with the General Optical Council.

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Nationals of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, who hold professional qualifications granted in their own country, can apply to another EU/EEA member state to have their qualifications recognised for practice there.

The General Optical Council (GOC) is the UK designated authority for optics, and considers applications to practise according to the relevant EU Directives. The Council must decide whether there are any significant differences between the applicant's training and education in optics and that which is required of a UK qualified optician (either a dispensing optician or optometrist). The applicant's post qualification practical experience must also be taken into account. More information is available on the GOC website .

Once eligibility for registration as an optometrist is achieved via this route, you may practise, but only when you have registered with the GOC. Once on the register, you must renew your registration annually in order to maintain your license to practise.