Microsoft Heads North to Ease Employment Challenges

Ann All

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.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jul 6, 2007 3:35 AM Bill Gates Bill Gates  says:
Total balony. M$ is not setting up operations in Vancouver due to visa issues. Getting work visas in Canada is more difficult than in the U.S. In today's Seatle P.I. M$ admitted visas is not the reason they are setting up this facility. Reply
Jul 21, 2007 11:37 AM andie andie  says:
Who sais that getting a work visa to Canada is harder? Now that's balloney. It is almost impossible to get an H1B, meanwhile Canada is not running out of quota... Furthermore Canada welcomes hundreds of thousands skilled immigrants every year. Those people have to speak English (or French) to pass the mark, are determined to make it - and work very hard - no matter what. And they go wherever the job is. Reply
Mar 19, 2008 4:31 AM Employment 911 Employment 911  says:
I've recently heard a rumor that they're going to increase the H-1B visa cap. Do you know if this is true?Although with the economy slowing down and layoffs starting: it may start to get easier to find skilled workers in the US already without having to worry about importing employees. Reply

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