Immigrate to Canada as a Bartender – Complete Guide

There are thousands of bartenders just like you, immigrating to Canada. With these easy steps, you too, can join them.

You may not know this, but if you are a bartender and wondering where to make your fortunes, Canada is the answer. And what if you don’t have a job offer? Not to worry, there are suitable pathways through which you can immigrate to Canada as a bartender. Whether it is through Express Entry Process or the Provincial Nominee Program, Canada awaits you.

The processes outlined below, are simple and easy. From opening an express entry form, choosing an entry program, and eventually stepping on the shores of Canada, it is quite possible to immigrate to Canada as a bartender in just 6 months!

While bartending may not be a professional skilled job, it is certainly much more than being a professional bottle lifter! It is also one of the much sought-after and well-paying jobs, in Canada. An experienced bartender in Canada can make as much as $70,000 Canadian dollars annually. Plenty, isn’t it? There are plenty of bartenders immigrating to Canada. Why not join the queue, and start your journey to Canada – the land of opportunities.

Whichever pathway you choose, Canada awaits you.

Table of Contents

What is the job of a bartender?

A bartender mixes and serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Every job in Canada has a NOC code. A NOC code is a National Occupational Classification. For instance, the NOC code for bartenders can be found under the classification for Occupations in Food and Beverage Service. The NOC code for bartenders is 6512.

As you progress in your application for Canada visa, you will become familiar with this code which may eventually replace the term – bartender. Bartenders are usually employed in restaurants or any licensed establishment that entertains a drinking public.

Furthermore, when you are searching for bartender jobs online, the NOC code 6512 is what you will use to identify bartender jobs.

Other positions within term of bartender, are included in the 6512 NOC code. They are:

  • bar attendant
  • bar steward
  • barkeeper
  • barmaid
  • barman/barwoman
  • bartenders supervisor
  • beer barman/woman
  • head barmaid
  • head barman/barwoman
  • head bartender
  • lounge supervisor-bartender
  • managing bartender
  • service bartender
  • tapman/woman

If your position is in the above list, please use the NOC code 6512, when you are searching online for a bartender jobs or when applying for express entry in Canada.

Jobs not included in this category are:-

  • Bar managers (See 0631 Restaurant and food service managers)
  • Food and beverage servers (See 6513 Food and beverage servers

Duties of a bartender

Bartending is different, from one province to the other. The hustle and bustle of a particular province or city, as different from the next, determine how diverse your duties as a bartender are.

In the excited buzz of a noisy crowd at a Toronto restaurant, a bartender can be forgiven for being a socialite. However, in the outbacks of Prince Edward Island, a bartender had better keep his opinion to himself! So you see, a bartender in Canada is expected to be a lot of things at the same time.

He should also know how to gently say no to a customer who has had one too many drinks and wants yet another. Learn to cut someone off one drink too early than one drink too late.

The duties of a bartender include, but are not limited to:

1. Taking beverage orders from fellow staff or directly from customers.

Note that some employers forbid their bartenders and other staff to drink alcohol while on duty. The bartender, knowing this, should be able to put his foot down, and refuse a fellow staff who requests for a drink.

2. Mixing drinks (alcohol or soft drinks) water and other ingredients to prepare cocktails and other drinks that customers may require.

A bartender is expected to have a good memory. How to keep up with one customer’s request as different from another’s, is a task left to the bartender.

3. Preparing mixed drinks, wine, draft or bottled beer, and non-alcoholic beverages which are either served by food and beverage servers or are served directly to the customer by the bartender

4. Collecting payment for beverages served and recording sales correctly.

An improper entry makes the work of bartending arduous. The bartender manages the cash drawers and ensures that the amount collected, corresponds with services rendered.

5. Maintain inventory and control of bar stock and order supplies.

Having a bar run out of a particular brand is like catching a man with his pants down! A bartender who knows what he is about must ensure that the bar is always stocked and that dwindling supplies are replenished in ample time.

6. Clean bar area and wash glassware.

This is very crucial to the success of a bartender because it takes hours of cleanup to get a bar rid of the many flavors that come to play when you are mixing drinks.

7. Ensure compliance with provincial/territorial liquor legislation and regulations.

For instance, the government of Quebec has its own special regulations concerning the sale of liquor.

8. May train and supervise other bartenders and bar staff.

Especially if he is the team leader, a bartender supervises and trains employees in their respective duties. This is an exalted position and a sign that the bartender knows his onions. He should be able to teach other staff how to prepare and deliver drinks, how to set up the bar at the beginning of a shift, and how to break it down at the end of a shift.

9.  May hire and dismiss staff.

This may not be anyone’s favorite duty, but someone has to do the job. A bartender is often required to work in a capacity for which he is not trained. This may be one of such functions.

10. Provide customer service

Customer service is what makes the difference in sales. It is what determines whether a customer will come back after the first time.

Apart from ensuring a positive experience for a customer, the bartender has to set the rules for querulous customers too. He may have to set the rules for bouncing a customer from the bar.

Requirements to work in Canada as a bartender

Completion of secondary school may be required.

Completion of college or other programs in bartending

Completion of courses in mixing drinks is usually required.

Responsible beverage service certification may be required.

Ability to stand for long hours, and to lift heavy kegs and move large wine boxes

General requirements to Immigrate to Canada as a Bartender

Certain requirements are expected, for you to migrate to Canada as a Bartender. They are:

  • Education

Completion of Secondary School is required.

  • Language

Proficiency in English or French, as Canada is a mixture of both.

  • Employment experience

If you have previously been employed as a bartender, now is the time to show it. If you have been certified as one, it would be a plus in your pursuit as a bartender in Canada.

  • Age

While there are provinces that accept a person of 18 years, others may not. Find out the age requirement of the province where you expect to work.

  • Arranged Employment

This improves your eligibility under the Federal Skilled Workers Program. It is an advantage if you already have a job offer from a Canadian employer.

  • Adaptability

Your adaptability points will aid your ability to become economically established in Canada. If you have a relative in Canada, for instance, you will score precious points in adaptability.

Find out more about CRS Scores and express entry.

Specific requirements/certifications for immigration to Canada as a bartender

While it is not compulsory that a bartender should display an array of certificates, certain certifications may come in handy.

Many bartenders complete Bartending School to earn a certification.

Food and alcohol handling certifications are also an advantage.

Bartenders who need to craft different types of cocktails can also complete mixology courses.

Pathways to immigrate to Canada as a bartender

  1. Express Entry

The Express Entry System is the bartender’s fastest pathway into Canada. It is also the simplest. If you are above 18 years, are proficient in English and/or French languages, and have the right qualifications as listed above, you may be in Canada faster than you think, most probably in 6 months. Learn how to calculate your Canada Immigration points for Express Entry using the Canadian Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

Some of the elements that CRS Points are awarded for include:

  • Age
  • Qualifications
  • English ability
  • French ability
  • Your partner’s skills
  • Work experience

2. Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) allows immigrants who have not been to Canada before, to apply to be permanent residents through the Express Entry System.

3. Occupation in Demand

This is a special pathway for people who are skilled in particular fields. Bartenders are sought-after in all the provinces of Canada. A bartender can immigrate to Canada through this means.

4. Provincial Nominee

The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) allows skilled and semi-skilled immigrants to live and work in Canada. Each province has its own PNP and specific requirements.

As a bartender, find out if you have the skills your chosen province requires. If you do, you stand a chance of getting a provincial nomination.

A provincial nomination is worth 600 extra Permanent Residency points. With this, you are certain that you will get a Canadian permanent residence.

Steps to immigrate to Canada as a bartender

1 : Open an Express Entry Profile

On the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website, open a free Express Entry Profile account and start your application process.

2: Choose a program

What pathway do you think is best for you, as entry into Canada? Find the program you want to apply for. Here are a few:

  • Canada Express entry
  • Federal skilled worker program
  • Provincial Nominee programs

3: Get a job offer from a Canadian employer

Although this is not a prerequisite, it is a great advantage to the immigrant seeking to enter Canada as a bartender. It is an assurance to the Canadian government that the newcomer will at no time, be a liability. If you have a valid offer of employment from a Canadian employer, he will be required to prove that no Canadian citizen or permanent resident can fill the gap.

4: Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA)

Once your CRS points are adequate (based on the above), you will receive an invitation to apply. This invitation comes from Canada Immigration, and it gives you 60 days to apply. It is important that you are honest in your assessment of your CRS, and are ready to provide the required documents without hesitation. Remember that once you are invited to apply, you cannot retrace your steps or change your scores.

5: Submit your application with supporting documents

You have only 60 days from the time you receive your ITA, to the submission of your application and supporting documents. At this point, time seems to run fast, so be ready with all you need.

These are your job offer (if any), language proficiency test result, your proof of identification, proof of funds, and proof of work experience. Remember that you must pay an application fee of CAD $150.

6: Get your work permit

You will get this at the point of entry into Canada. A work permit allows you to work in Canada. You may have a visa to Canada, but without a work permit, you will not be able to work as a bartender in Canada.

7: Canada welcomes you

That’s it! You are finally in Canada as a bartender. A whole new world is open to you. Experience Canada.


Can I work as an immigrant bartender at 18 in Canada?

Yes, you may work as a bartender at age eighteen in Canada but employers outside of Alberta, Manitoba, or Quebec may ask for age nineteen or older. The legal drinking age is 19 in Canada except for AB, Manitoba, and Quebec.

How many hours does an immigrant bartender work?

On average, a bartender works 10 – 12 hour shifts.

How much can I make, working as an immigrant bartender in Canada?

Depending on the province, you a bartender can make between $73500 and $99600 per year.

What is it like, to work as an immigrant bartender in Canada?

Bartending is fun, with lots of tips and opportunities to meet new people. It is hard work, though, and a dignified profession.

Is bartending considered a skilled job experience in Canada?

Yes, and a highly skilled one at that. Bartending is more than pouring out drinks. It entails having a good memory of flavors to mix, a pleasant disposition, and good customer service skills.

Is there a high demand for immigrant bartenders in Canada?

With the rate of immigration into Canada, it is estimated that Canada will create more than 29,000 jobs over the next few years. These new jobs will be occupied by people from all professions, and bartenders are not left out.


There is no substitute for a likable personality, a positive outlook, and lots of patience combined with a good dose of integrity. With these, you are on your way to being an indispensable immigrant bartender in Canada.