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A Guide to Buying Eyewear for Newcomers

nouveaux arrivants

At Bonhomme à lunettes, we are convinced that accessibility to eyewear for newcomers is a public health issue. Integration in Québec can sometimes present considerable challenges, from language barriers to cultural adaptation and access to healthcare. Among the often overlooked aspects of this integration, access to eyeglasses proves to be a crucial issue. Here's how newcomers can save big on this essential purchase:

Newcomers and Refugees

The very first thing you need to do is an eye exam with an optometrist.. For it to be free of charge, it is essential to obtain the necessary documentation from the government. In fact, when you arrived in Canada, the Canadian government gave you an identification paper with a IUC number. It's also commonly known as "brown paper". Having the brown paper is essential for what happens next. Once you've taken your test:

  1. With the brown paper and your prescription, come see us in one of our service points. Please note that some of them require an appointment, while others do not. It's important to check beforehand.
  2. Choose your frame and take advantage of our advice.
  3. Thanks to the brown paper, our optician will be able to confirm your eligibility with La Croix Bleue Medavie. If accepted, you will be entitled to a lump-sum payment once every two years. Please note! The Canadian government pays basic amounts. So you may have to pay the difference if you choose more expensive options.
  4. Once the application has been approved, your glasses are sent to the laboratory. As soon as they're ready, we check them and call you.
  5. Pick up your glasses and let us make the final adjustments.

With more than 70 points of service, Bonhomme à lunettes is there for newcomers and marginalized people who wish to obtain eyeglasses, as mentioned in the article by La Converse (in French).

Other Ways to Get Low-Cost Glasses

There are also other ways to get affordable glasses that are more specific to Quebec. Here are a few of them:

The See Better to Succeed Program for Kids

Quebec government program for children 17 and under with a valid health card. It provides a $300 reimbursement every two years. We offer up to three pairs of glasses for the amount reimbursed. For more details, visit the page dedicated to the RAMQ reimbursement program.

Glasses Starting at $10 for Social Assistance Recipients

This Quebec government program is for all social assistance recipients, whether newcomers, long-time residents or native-born. It offers a lump-sum payment for the purchase of eyeglasses (similar to the federal government's program mentioned above) once every two years. To be eligible, however, you need to have been a claimant for more than six months (one year for the free eye exam). To find out more, visitez notre page web dédiée au programme.

La philosophie du Bonhomme à lunettes

Vous n’êtes pas admissible à aucun des programmes mentionnés dans ce billet ? Pas de problème. Ici au Bonhomme à lunettes, on se voit comme une sorte de filet social quand vient le temps de se procurer des lunettes. Nos prix sont bas (en fait, ils sont les mêmes depuis 2007), nos garanties sont solides et notre service à la clientèle est sympathique. Nous allons toujours trouver un moyen de s’arranger. Notre objectif est de ne jamais laisser quelqu’un partir sans lunettes s’il s’agit uniquement d’une question de prix.

Nous sommes heureux de servir les nouveaux arrivants de partout et de les aider à voir clair grâce à des solutions adaptées à leurs besoins et à leurs portefeuilles!