You are:

Exempt person guidance

The criteria for determining whether an applicant for GOC registration is entitled to be registered in the register of optometrists or dispensing opticians pursuant to EU Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications (‘the Directive’) is contained within section 8(1A) of the Opticians Act 1989 (as amended) (‘the Act’).  As well as meeting the provisions set out in the Directive, the applicant must be able to satisfy the GOC that he is a fit person and that he is an ‘exempt person’.  Being an exempt person does not give automatic right to registration.

Section 36 of the Opticians Act 1989 (as amended) defines an exempt person as being:

  • a national of a European Economic Area ( EEA ) state (or Switzerland) other than the UK;
  • a national of the UK who is seeking access to the profession(s) by virtue of an enforceable EU right; or
  • a person who is not a national of an EEA state (or Switzerland) (‘a third country national’) but is entitled to be treated no less favourably than such a national by virtue of an enforceable EU right.

An enforceable EU right is not defined in the Act but examples of these are likely to be a UK national who has obtained a qualification in another EEA member state or the spouse of an EU citizen who is residing in the UK (that spouse must also be residing in the UK).

This is a complex area of the law and we suggest that you take your own legal advice if you have any doubt that you fall into one of the above categories.

EEA member states

The EEA member states are as follows:

Austria

Greece

Norway

Belgium

Hungary

Poland

Bulgaria

Iceland

Portugal

Croatia

Ireland

Romania

Cyprus

Italy

Slovakia

Czech Republic

Latvia

Slovenia

Denmark

Lichtenstein

Spain

Estonia

Lithuania

Sweden

Finland

Luxembourg

United Kingdom

France

Malta

 

Germany

The Netherlands