Harsh U.S. Immigration Rules Force Microsoft To Open Shop In Canada

Company says talent is located overseas and immigration quotas block talent.

Microsoft Corp. said July 5 it would soon open an office in Canada, lamenting tough immigration rules in the U.S. that make it difficult to hire foreign staff. "It is about recruiting the best and brightest, and right now, the majority are coming from overseas," Marc Seaman, a spokesman for the world's biggest software company, told The Globe and Mail newspaper.

"The U.S. has immigration quotas and some limitations for bringing in people from outside the country," he said. "That challenge is an opportunity for Canada, in the sense that this will bring the top software developers to Canada."

The development office, to be opened in Vancouver, a three-hour drive north from Microsoft's Redmond, Wash. headquarters, will initially be staffed by some 300 recruits from around the world, the company said. Eventually, it could grow to house as many as 1,000 employees.

Canada is currently the third-largest source of recruits for Microsoft outside the U.S., after India and Japan.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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