Welcome to Canada

Are you considering immigrating to Canada? We welcome international applicants, because diversity is what makes Canada great.

This section of the website is intended to help you choose the right province for you and your family. You will find links to other websites that will help you through the immigration process, as well as information about living in Canada, and becoming a Canadian optician.

Many of our opticians have followed a similar path, joining us in Canada from abroad. The following video is the story of one international applicant’s journey.

To learn more about the immigration process and becoming an optician, explore this website or contact the regulatory body for opticians in the province where you want to live.

College of Opticians of British Columbia
Suite 900 – 200 Granville St.
Vancouver, B.C.
V6C 1S4

Ph. 1-604-278-7510
Toll Free 1-888-771-6755
Fax. 1-604-278-7594
www.cobc.ca

Saskatchewan College of Opticians
#13-350 103rd Street East
Saskatoon, SK
S7N 1Z1

Ph. 1-306-652-0769
Fax. 1-306-652-0784
www.scoptic.ca

The College of Opticians of Ontario
#300 – 90 Adelaide St. West
Toronto, ON
M5H 3V9

Ph. 1-416-368-3616
Fax 1-416-368-2713
www.coptont.org

Nova Scotia College of Dispensing Opticians
Halifax Professional Centre
Suite 342, 5991 Spring Garden Road
Halifax, NS
B3H 1Y6

Ph. 1-902-425-7928
Fax. 1-902-425-0360
www.nscdo.ca

The Dispensing Opticians Board of Newfoundland and Labrador
P.O. Box 2552
St. Johns, NL
A1C 6K1

Ph. 1-709-579-2605
Fax. 1-709-579-2605
dispensingopticiansboardnl@nl.rogers.com

Alberta College & Association of Opticians
Suite 201, 2528 Ellwood Dr.
Edmonton, Alberta
T6X 0A9

Ph. 1-780-429-2694
Fax. 1-780-428-5576
www.acao.ca

The Opticians of Manitoba
215-1080 Portage Ave.
Winnipeg, MB
R3G 3M3

Ph. 1-204-222-8404
Toll Free: 1-855-346-3715
Fax. 1-204-222-5296
www.opticiansofmanitoba.ca

Opticians Association of New Brunswick
P.O. Box 6743,
RPO Brunswick Square
Saint John, NB
E2L 4S2

Ph. 1-506-642-2878
Fax 1-506-642-7984
www.opticiansnb.com

P.E.I. Board of Dispensing Opticians
P.O. Box 20140, RPO Sherwood
Charlottetown, P.E.I.
C1A 9E3

Immigrating Successfully

Immigration can seem intimidating, but if you do your research before you begin you will have an easier transition. Researching provinces for demographics, geography, and climate may help you make a decision.

While you are researching, look for schools and any houses of worship specific to your religious beliefs. Also, look for the provincial nominee program for immigrants. Under this program immigrants who have special skills, work experience and education can sometimes qualify for express entry to Canada and to that province.

To begin this process, visit the link below:

Provincial Nominee Programs

Visit the Living in Canada page of this website for more information on what Canada has to offer.

Choosing a Province

Before you become an optician in Canada, you need to choose where you would like to live. Each province has something unique to offer, and there are a range of living environments. You can live in a remote rural community, a town, a small city, or a busy metropolis. A good place to start research is on provincial government websites.

For information on life in each province, visit the links below:

British Columbia

Alberta

Saskatchewan

Manitoba

Ontario

Quebec

Nova Scotia

New Brunswick

Newfoundland and Labrador

Prince Edward Island

Immigration Services

Once you have chosen a province, it’s a good idea to look for immigration services in your chosen area. These services range from helping you get settled, helping you find a job, and improving your English language skills, among other things. Take full advantage of what your community has to offer to help you integrate into Canadian society.

There are too many immigrant organizations across the country to include on this page, but the following list should help you get started in each province:

British Columbia

Multicultural Organization Database

Immigrant Services Society of BC

Alberta

Calgary Multicultural Centres and Resources

Calgary Ethnic Organizations

Edmonton Multicultural Family Resource Society

Saskatchewan

Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan

Regina Multicultural Council

Saskatoon Open Door Society

Manitoba

Immigrant Centre Manitoba

Manitoba Ethnocultural Organizations

Ontario

Ontario Services for Newcomers

Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization

London Cross Cultural Learning Centre

Access Alliance Toronto

Quebec

Cultural and Ethnic Communities – AMI Quebec

New Brunswick

New Brunswick Multicultural Council

Nova Scotia

Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia

Cultural Associations of Halifax

Newfoundland and Labrador

Refugee and Immigrant Advisory Council

Office of Immigration and Multiculturalism

Prince Edward Island

PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada

Documentation

To become an optician in Canada you have to submit educational and professional documentation through the PLAR process. This is a separate application, with different documentation than what you will need to supply to the federal government for the immigration process. The length of time it takes to complete the immigration process varies according to the entry stream for which you qualify.

For specific information about immigration in Canada, visit these areas of the Government of Canada website:

Immigrate to Canada

Canadian Citizenship

Application Processing Times

Temporary Work Permit

Study Permit

Permanent Residency

Federal Skilled Worker Program

Preparing Your Family

Immigrating alone is enough work, but many people who choose Canada as their new home have a family coming with them. There are volunteer organizations across Canada ready to help you and your family transition to live in a new country, but finding them can be a challenge before you know where you’re going.

The Government of Canada website has a portal for newcomers that is a great resource to get you started:

Newcomers Services

Before you move, you can begin to prepare your spouse, parents, and children, by introducing them to the environments and cultural practices they may encounter in Canada. The internet is a valuable source of information, and a great way to get excited about this new adventure.

Keep in mind that when immigrating to a new place, people can feel a range of emotions, from excitement to extreme sadness. Feeling homesick is common if the society you’re joining is very different from your own.

Young children tend to be more resilient and able to integrate quickly, whereas seniors may feel isolated. That is why finding an immigrant community to support and guide you as you settle is so important. Having someone to talk to and share your experience with will help ease your worries if culture shock threatens to overwhelm you.

At the same time, don’t be afraid to make friends outside of your ethnic or religious group. Most Canadians are friendly and welcoming, and part of becoming Canadian is integrating into the multicultural fabric of our society.

Here are a few links to help you, whether you’re feeling overwhelmed, excited, or you just have questions:

Canada Immigration Discussion Forum

Four Stages of Culture Shock

Immigrant Youth Resources

10 Things to Know Before Moving to Canada

Ethnic Community Associations in Canada

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