Microsoft sings 'O Canada' amid immigration challenges

Following the failure of an immigration bill that would have expanded the number of foreign high-tech workers that could have come to the U.S. under so-called H1-B visas, Microsoft has decided to open a development center in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It will be "home to software developers from around the world. The Vancouver area is a global gateway with a diverse population, is close to Microsoft's corporate offices in Redmond, and allows the company to recruit and retain highly skilled people affected by immigration issues in the U.S.," said Microsoft.

Microsoft spokesman Lou Gellos said that while the immigration issue was a factor, the company would be opening the center in Vancouver even if it were not for the immigration challenges. That said, Vancouver is particularly attractive since it is a short drive from Redmond, Washington, but not bound by U.S. immigration policies. Microsoft plans to start with a couple hundred workers, but is looking for a spot "with room to grow," Gellos said. "We haven't finalized the actual facility or the site yet. Once we get an indication of where we can do the center, that will help us to clarify the numbers."

Link: Forum Discussion (Thanks Hurmoth)
News source: News.com

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26 Comments

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For all those people saying immigrants in MS work for less... I am sorry... MS hires immigrants and pays about the same... its just that they are smarter than the local people.

whatever you think about immigration laws, its BS that they don't have enough americans to hire.

foreign tech workers who move here though are willing to work for less; and the type of visas referred to are given to people tech companies ask for. so what they want, is govt to approve people to come here just because they'll work for less.

not that this is really an honest rationale in the first place, like the article says they would be opening a vancouver office no matter what the immigration law was.

but anyone who believes the reasoning given by tech companies is being a tool.

its good that a huge company like MS is establishing an office in a lrage Canadian city but they did it for the wrong reasons, Canada doesn't have looser immigration laws just to take in the US's garbage...

Well, well, well. So Corporate America can't insource more cheap labor from overseas anymore at home. The H1-B visas program is highly abuse and is mainly used to hire workers who will work for far less than an American worker will. Usually around $13,000 per year less on average.

BTW, moving up here to Canada may not save them any more money either since the Canadian dollar is doing great against the American Dollar and could be on par by the end of the year and could possibility be over it again soon after. And of course they'd have to provide for their workers as well up here.

Im a Vancouverite right here. All my friends in computer science are probably going to be very glad to hear about this.

Why? MS is moving their to hire more immigrant workers since the US is now limiting Visas to the US. If your friends are already in VC, their chances of getting hired are slim.

betasp said,
Why? MS is moving their to hire more immigrant workers since the US is now limiting Visas to the US. If your friends are already in VC, their chances of getting hired are slim.

You're an idiot. Plain and simple.

ImWatchingYou said,
You're an idiot. Plain and simple.

I guess I'm an idiot too. Care to explain beyond insults, or hast the internet forsaken your tongue to the point of sheer flamage.

nice.... vancouver is my home town....bring more business there... not a bad thing.... more reason to move back when I can

Leave it to the US government to screw up the laws to the point where they are actually driving people out of here - the ones that are trying to stay here legally that is... :mad:

And pray tell how a bill that gave amnesty to ILLEGALS was a good thing?

More FOREIGN workers? When the average College graduate with an IT degree can't find a decent job because they all went to lower pay earning foreigners?


Please before making a comment get you stuff together and know more than just the retarded catchlines from the "news" channels.


*edit* Notice how there is no talk of hiring Canadians, it's a development for foreigners because Canada has less retrictions to importing low pay earners than the US.

Actually, fivehorizons, what we're doing is the opposite to bashing. We're actually concerned about how America is going down the toilet so quickly. It turns out that your greatest enemy isn't the terrorists or even your classic enemies like the communists, but right in your own yard. Namely Corporate America. They're really screwing you out of a lot that is your basic human rights and so many of you have been conditioned to love this because otherwise you would be a picko, commie. If anyone is "bashing" America it is those, like you, who continue to support this decline in your country in the name of capitalism.

Uhh, I'm not sure how my comment was even supporting America. More like supporting people who actually think things through. That's all. I'd like to see more of that sort of thing on this site, whether I agree with what the person is saying or not. Hell, you even admitted the H1-B program is abused below, so it seems like you wouldn't agree with the OP's view either. Looks like you just saw a chance to go on a long tirade about the evils of capitalism instead of looking at what I was actually saying.

Oh, and for the record, I haven't been "conditioned" or anything of the sort. I love how a simple one-line post can give you enough evidence that I've been brainwashed...

fivehorizons said,
Uhh, I'm not sure how my comment was even supporting America. More like supporting people who actually think things through. That's all. I'd like to see more of that sort of thing on this site, whether I agree with what the person is saying or not. Hell, you even admitted the H1-B program is abused below, so it seems like you wouldn't agree with the OP's view either. Looks like you just saw a chance to go on a long tirade about the evils of capitalism instead of looking at what I was actually saying.

What a load.

Oh, and for the record, I haven't been "conditioned" or anything of the sort. I love how a simple one-line post can give you enough evidence that I've been brainwashed...

All you had to do was open your mouth with this comment. "mindlessly bashing the USA is not acceptable here!" Showing concern is not bashing.

Awesome, you called my comment a "load" and then quoted me out of context.

Explain how the first comment was showing concern. It was just a reactionary and not very well thought out thing to say, and I pointed it out. Are you done attacking me yet? I'm sure other people want to discuss the article.

z0phi3l said,
And pray tell how a bill that gave amnesty to ILLEGALS was a good thing?

It's one of the stupidest things I've seen in a long time. They should have been kicked out of here a long time ago. I have nothing against anyone wanting a better way of life but when I have to pay taxes to support someone when they pay none and are allowed all the sam benefits and better is total BS.

More FOREIGN workers? When the average College graduate with an IT degree can't find a decent job because they all went to lower pay earning foreigners?

QFT

Giving amnesty to illegal immigrants is a very good thing. And the reason for that is because, with proper working rights, they can be a part of employment schemes set out by the government to tackle unemployment, and will be able to demand higher wages. Right now, as illegal citizens, they are forced to take whatever they can get. If they become legal immigrants with working rights, they can demand a higher pay, evening out the job market a little. Besides, not knowing who is in the country is a pretty big security risk and general bad management.

As for the comment about graduates not finding jobs, I see that as quite a misinformed comment. Take a look at the other angle: college graduates aren't willing to adjust their payment expectations to competitive rates. It's not the immigrants who are at fault - it's not like they don't do the work. It's the companies who want to cut costs at every opportunity who are to blame. They don't have a good idea of their social and economic responsibilities. Certainly lowering payment standards is a bad economic move, but rahter than moaning about the circumstances, try working with them.

So cool. It'll be nice to have an MS development site right in my backyard . Hopefully it'll bring even more tech companies to the area.