Microsoft's Bill Gates has used his considerable clout to press Congress on the need for more H-1B visas.
While he found a supportive listener in President Bush, Gates' efforts haven't resulted in an increased H-1B visa cap or other business-friendly revisions to the H-1B program. In fact, the H-1B is rapidly becoming a political hot potato for Congressional representatives who don't want to be seen as anti-American as an election year approaches.
Apparently tired of waiting, Microsoft is opening a major software development center in Canada, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. According to a statement issued by the software giant, the location "... allows the company to recruit and retain highly skilled people affected by immigration issues in the U.S."
The facility will initially employ several hundred developers, according to a Microsoft spokesman. The Vancouver, British Columbia, location is especially attractive to Microsoft because of its proximity to Microsoft HQ in Redmond. Microsoft already employs some 900 folks in Canada, most of them in Toronto.
Microsoft also has developers in Denmark, Israel, India, China and the UK and has announced plans to expand in Bellevue, Wash., Fargo, N.D., North Carolina and Silicon Valley.