Wednesday, May 28, 2014
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
In the heart of downtown Vancouver, construction workers are installing glass facades on two office towers. One will be an engineering hub for Microsoft, the other for Amazon.com. Facebook, Salesforce.com, and a bunch of startups with less familiar names have also been setting up shop in the city.
In addition to great views in a convenient time zone, Vancouver offers U.S. tech companies world-class talent, lower salaries and few immigration headaches.
Each year the U.S. government grants as many as 85,000 H-1B visas for highly skilled workers. In the last two years, it received so many applications that it stopped taking them after five days and held a lottery.
Companies applied for about 172,500 visas in April, meaning at least 87,500 engineers, developers and others couldn't take jobs in the U.S. Canada welcomes any highly skilled worker who has a job offer, and salaries for tech workers are about 10 to 15 percent lower than in the U.S., according to Jen Geddes, a steering committee member of HR Tech Group, a networking group in British Columbia.
Karen Jones, Microsoft's deputy general counsel, said her company applied for about twice the roughly 750 H-1B visas it received for 2015. "The U.S. laws clearly did not meet our needs," she said. "We have to look to other places." Read more....